David Ryken

Principal, Senior Counsel


  •   Master of Arts (Hons), University of Auckland
  • Bachelor of Laws, University of Auckland
  • Diploma of Teaching, Teacher’s College of Auckland

Bar Admissions & Memberships

  • Admitted as a barrister and solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand on 21 June 1989.
  • International Bar Association Immigration and Nationality Law Committee since 2000.
  • New Zealand Law Society
  • Auckland District Law Society Inc.


David is the founding solicitor of Ryken and Associates Barristers and Solicitors. He has practiced law in New Zealand since 1989 with experience working with the Crown Solicitor in Whangarei and then with a litigation boutique firm in Auckland.

After a number of years working for a well-known human rights law firm Haigh Lyon specialising by then in immigration, refugee law and employment law, David set up his own business in 1995 focusing on litigation and immigration law, including corporate immigration, judicial review and tribunal work.

David is a member of a number of committees and regularly writes papers for conferences in New Zealand and internationally. He has a reading knowledge of a number of European languages. He has for many years been listed in the peer-reviewed listing Who’s Who Legal Corporate Immigration listing. He is regularly featured on the R & A Newsroom with updates on news, cases, articles and more.

David has experience in all types of litigation and has been involved in some leading cases. Following a collaborative approach David’s expertise is often called upon as senior counsel. With time sensitive appeal rights, accessing prompt senior-level advice can be critical for all clients. David has given evidence as an expert witness in a number of cases.

When not at work, David reads avidly in a number of European languages (Russian, French, German, Spanish and Portuguese) and keeps a close eye on world events. He has an MA (Hons) in Russian language and literature and before law studies was a foreign language teacher and then an interpreter for New Zealand’s Ministry of Defence. He also plays the piano & is an out-of-practice church organist.