Bachelor, Bachelor of Laws, University Ackland, New Zealand, 1963. Master of Laws with honors, University Auckland, New Zealand, 1966. Master of Laws, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1968.
He was employed at the University of Auckland Law School and in 1980 became a full professor at the Faculty of Law of the University of Otago in Dunedin. At Otago, he served on two separate occasions as dean of the faculty. He became an emeritus professor in 2005.
The final game against Ortvin Sarapu ended in a draw, so Sutton and Sarapu were declared co-champions.
Sutton competed for New Zealand at a number of Chess Olympiads and in 1975 lost to Jørn Sloth in the final of the world championship of correspondence chess. Sutton died of cancer in Dunedin.
Member New Zealand Law Foundation, 1985-1986, National Housing Commission, Wellington, 1986-1988, Tertiary Chaplaincy Council, Christchurch, New Zealand, 1992-1996. Member Law and Economics Association of New Zealand (president 1995-1996).
Married Kensie M. Longman, February 20, 1965. Children: Alister, Phillipa, Gregory.