Litigation & dispute resolution

Protecting your reputation and financial position through good judgement and strong advocacy

Our team helps you avoid costly disputes by providing commercial, practical advice on managing key risks. By working with you when things are going well, we can reduce the likelihood of things going wrong down the track.

This proactive approach means we better protect your important business, public and personal interests. We are used to working on significant matters with legal, commercial, political and economic considerations and balancing diverse interests.

And should a potential or actual dispute arise, we’re the team to turn to. Leading businesses and entities engage us when faced with public, potentially damaging and mission critical situations. We have a proven track record for delivering under pressure when it really counts. We help our clients protect their reputations and financial positions.

We act on New Zealand’s most significant commercial disputes and employ specialists in areas prone to disputes including business acquisitions, securities regulation, competition, property and construction, energy, oil and gas, public law, general contract, intellectual property and employment law. No matter the nature of your dispute we will have a subject matter expert who can help. This is a key advantage of having the biggest litigation team in New Zealand.

We work closely with our clients to ensure the litigation process is managed in the most efficient and cost effective way, and with regular and open communication. We seek to break the litigation process down into well-scoped stages and to allocate appropriate resources accordingly. This not only helps keep costs down and assists you with budgeting but also gives you reassurance that key risks and issues will be flagged early.

Our national team, with lawyers based in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, has a strong track record before all levels of the court system including in the High Court, Court of Appeal, Supreme Court and the Privy Council. We have substantial experience across the full range of dispute resolution mechanisms, including international arbitration, arbitration and mediation.

Experience highlights

We have advised:

  • Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Trust, which filed judicial review proceedings against the Attorney-General, relating to decisions made about parcels of land, which Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei says, is within its core area of interest. This assertion is made on the basis of extensive historical evidence and its settlement with the Crown regarding historical breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi
  • EQC, as its primary legal adviser, on all aspects of its statutory natural disaster insurance obligations, including all earthquake-related insurance claims and associated litigation arising from the Canterbury earthquakes. The sheer volume of claims and litigation arising from the earthquakes is unprecedented in New Zealand history. So far the damage has generated in excess of 460,000 claims and EQC's potential exposure runs to over $12b
  • Solid Energy’s major bank creditors in High Court proceedings challenging the Deed of Company Arrangement that provides for the orderly sale, realisation and distribution of Solid Energy Group assets over a two and a half year period
  • Vector in several successful arbitrations against the Kapuni Mining Companies relating to Vector's entitlements to gas from the Kapuni gas field, New Zealand's oldest producing gas and condensate field
  • Wellington International Airport in a High Court judicial review relating to the airport’s proposed runway extension, a $350m project of national significance that will involve substantial land reclamation extending out into Wellington’s Lyall Bay

Ranked Tier One for dispute resolution work by independent legal directories Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2016, Chambers Asia Pacific 2016 and Asialaw Profiles 2016.


Competition & antitrust; Corporate & commercial; Employment; Environment, planning & resource management; Finance; Financial services regulation; Intellectual property; Health & safety; Mergers & acquisitions; Private client & trusts; Property & real estate; Public law; Regulatory law; Restructuring & insolvency; Tax

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