Lester Cordwell (LLB)
Phone: +64 9 375 5803
Mobile: +64 21 655 062
Lester Cordwell, one of founders of Guardian Chambers, is a specialist Criminal Defence Lawyer who has successfully defended in the most serious and complex of criminal cases.
Drawing on his 23 years criminal experience Lester aims to achieve the best possible outcome for all his clients in every case.
He knows his clients only engage him when they find themselves in trouble and he is dedicated to helping alleviate the stress associated with negotiating the criminal justice system. That means he will make himself available to discuss your case and will always provide clients with sound and timely advice. Consequently, he is often sought out and personally requested by those he has previously represented.
His representation is founded on excellent legal knowledge, comprehensive and precise preparation, exceptional judgment, access to experts and investigators and highly skilled advocacy.
Lester has extensive experience in defending in every type of criminal case. He has been lead counsel in a wide spectrum of trials involving murder and manslaughter allegations, gang violence, armed robbery, kidnapping and other serious assaults.
He has vast experience of defending clients on serious drug offending charges involving importation, manufacture and the supply of illegal drugs and has been lead counsel in some of the most serious drug operation trials over the past 15 years.
Additionally, Lester has a wealth of experience and has had tremendous success over many years, in defending clients facing the most serious of sexual offences including rape and other sexual charges involving adult and child complainants and recent and historical sexual abuse allegations.
Lester also has substantial experience in high profile fraud matters involving clients charged with a broad range of white collar crime including money laundering and document fraud. He is regularly asked to advise clients in the early stages of serious fraud investigations and has achieved significant results in complex cases.
In recent years Lester has developed a strong appellant practice arguing serious miscarriages of justice in the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. He is frequently contacted by those convicted of serious crimes (or their families) and instructed to review their case to determine if grounds exist for an appeal. He has had many convictions overturned after arguing successful appeals in such serious cases as murder, armed robbery, drug cases and serious sexual offending.
His relationships with his clients are based on his understanding of the stress that criminal charges place on them and their families. He is acutely aware that every one of his clients is someone’s son or daughter, someone’s mother or father or someone’s partner and strives to represent them in a way that befits their family’s concern and, of course, their own.
Lester is considered a tenacious and dedicated defence lawyer who has always been passionate about his defence practice and the pursuit of justice.
In recent years he has been contacted and instructed by the Ministry of Justice to be an ‘amicus curiae’ in the District Court, High Court and the Court of Appeal to assist those accused who are self-represented. This entails ensuring that the accused person knows all the court procedures and options available to them in the conduct of their defence.
Lester is a member of the Criminal Bar Association and over the years has been guest lecturer at the University of Auckland on the subject of criminal defence practice.
He defends clients on a privately funded basis or on legal aid if an accused cannot afford to pay for legal representation.