Mai Chen was born in Taiwan in 1964 and moved to New Zealand when she was six years old.
She studied at Otago Girls’ High School where she was Head Girl as well as being awarded Dux.
She continued her education in Dunedin obtaining her law degree with first class honours from the University of Otago. After being admitted to the bar in 1986 she studied at Harvard University for her Masters degree.
After Harvard came a human rights scholarship and a job working in Geneva for the International Labour Organisation. However, she didn’t feel like that was her scene and her husband was offered a job back in NZ. She applied for work at Victoria University and quickly became a senior lecturer.
It was at Victoria University where she met Sir Geoffrey Palmer and ended up going in to private practice with him. She is now most well known for being one half of the boutique law firm, Chen Palmer.
Mai has recently moved from Wellington to Auckland, is married to John Sinclair and has one son.
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