Harbour Chambers was established on 1 April 1991 with four founding members: Hugh Rennie (QC from 1995), Christopher Hodson (QC from 1998), John Walker and Jane Lovell-Smith.
Since its official opening by Lord Cooke of Thorndon, on 12 June 1991, Harbour Chambers has continued to grow and is now in its twenty-ninth year. It was one of the first barristers' chambers in New Zealand to follow an English model, although with a number of modifications reflecting the different Barristers Rules and legal professional practices in New Zealand.
In 1993 Jennifer Gibson joined to become one of Harbour Chambers' key members, while John Walker and Jane Lovell-Smith left, in 1993 and 1994 respectively, to become District Court Judges. Since 2004 Jane has also been a Judge of the Pitcairn island Supreme Court. John Walker is currently Chief Youth Court Judge in the District Court. David Howman joined in 1994, leaving in 2003 to join the World Anti-Doping Agency where he was Director General. David returned to Chambers when his term as Director General finished in 2016. He left in June 2020 to take up further appointments in international sport.
Rebecca Scott, Andrew Beatson and Gaeline Phipps joined Harbour Chambers in 2001. Matthew McClelland (QC from 2014) replaced David Howman in 2003 and further growth followed with the arrival of Adam Lewis and Isobel Egerton in the same year. Since that time, Andrew Beatson, Isobel Egerton and Gaeline Phipps have left Chambers to further their legal careers in other ways.
Phernne Tancock, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Palmer QC, Elana Geddis, Kevin Riordan, Susanne Ruthven and Paul Morten joined Harbour Chambers over recent years. Susanne Ruthven left Chambers in August 2017, with Callum Reid joining December 2017. Kevin Riordan left Chambers in March 2018 following his appointment as Judge Advocate General and Chief Judge of the Court Martial, and Ian Murray then joined. In 2020 Nicholas Russell became a member of Chambers.