Christopher Finlayson was a legal advisor on the Ngāi Tahu settlement negotiation team and led the litigation strategy during the breakdown of the negotiations in the mid 1990s. He practised law in Wellington as a solicitor before going to the Bar in 2002. He was elected to Parliament in 2005 and became Attorney-General and Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations in 2008. He held those positions until October 2017 while also holding a number of other portfolios including Arts, Culture and Heritage. Mr Finlayson retired from Parliament on 30 January 2019 to return to the Bar.