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John McKayJohn McKay

John McKay

John McKay


M:+64 27 494 9312

T:+64 9 357 9064


F:+64 9 357 9099



LLB (Hons), Victoria University of Wellington


1988 New Zealand, 1993 England & Wales


John is a senior commercial litigator who specialises in construction law, property disputes and media law.

John appears as counsel and advises on complex and high value construction disputes, professional indemnity claims, defamation proceedings, product liability litigation and rent review arbitrations. 
He has over 20 years' experience in commercial litigation. He is listed as a leading dispute resolution lawyer by Chambers Global 2016 and Chambers Asia Pacific 2016.  He is also recommended by Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2016.
John acts for clients from all sectors of the construction industry, including contractors, principals, engineers, financiers, suppliers and manufacturers.  He is also one of the few true specialist media lawyers in New Zealand with extensive experience is advising on media law issues, including acting for a major publishing company for many years in high profile defamation proceedings.

Recent experience

John has:
  • provided dispute resolution and strategic advice in relation to numerous infrastructure projects, including tunnels, power stations, waste water treatment plants, State Highways, airports, commercial high-rise, ocean outfalls, event centres and wastewater/stormwater networks 
  • represented the landlord in a multi-million dollar rent review arbitration
  • represented high net worth tenants in a residential rent review arbitration involving one of Auckland’s prime sites
  • represented James Hardie in relation to “leaky building” claims
  • acted for leading New Zealand and Australian engineering consultancy firms on matters in New Zealand, Australia, Singapore and Dubai
  • successfully represented a professional consulting firm in High Court litigation relating to a large infrastructure project
  • successfully represented three major trading banks in two High Court cases regarding large scale and controversial Unit Titles Act schemes
  • advised the Transport Agency on a wide range of construction law matters, including contract drafting, tendering, contractors’ claims and insurance
  • represented parties to Construction Contracts Act adjudication claims
  • advised high net worth individuals in defamation and privacy disputes
  • represented the media (print, radio and television) in defamation disputes
  • advised Transpower on advocacy and other construction law issues relating to its North Auckland and Northland 220KV cables project, and
  • successfully represented a specialist ground engineering and slope stabilisation contractor in a Construction Contracts Act adjudication, achieving very close to a full recovery of the claim including interest and costs.