Melanie Hayes

Melanie Hayes

Senior Associate, Wellington

Litigation & dispute resolution

; {{item.Title}}

T:+64 4 498 4940

M:+64 27 452 1140


LLB, BA, University of Otago; ATCL (Associate Trinity College London – Speech and Drama)


2002, New Zealand

With over 19 years’ experience managing and resolving disputes for both private and public sector clients, Melanie has assisted clients across a wide range of business and industry groups. Her particular expertise includes construction, insurance, contractual and statutory interpretation, tort and estate law and the Public Works Act.

Melanie’s focus is to work with the client to devise the best strategy to resolve the issue it faces, whether that be by providing advice to the client towards an informal resolution or de-escalation of a dispute, a negotiated settlement, mediation, arbitration or court action.

Recent highlights

  • Assisting with the conduct of the defence to a class action claim in the construction industry.
  • Represented the Earthquake Commission in relation to the conduct of various claims.

  • Helped with the successful conduct of judicial review proceedings against a local authority on an illegal road designation. Injunctive relief was obtained and a significant costs order was made in favour of the client.

  • Assisted Queens Counsel with the successful conduct of a breach of contract claim against a financial advisor, followed by a successful application for increased costs.

  • Advised the successful defence of a declaratory judgment claim by successors of owners of land taken for completion of a motorway under the Public Works Act 1981.

  • Assisted with a successful application by a major New Zealand bank to High Court for indemnity costs following the abandonment of a claim. The judgment was later upheld by the Court of Appeal.

Employment; Health & safety; Insurance; Litigation & dispute resolution; Public law; Regulatory law; Restructuring & insolvency





Banks & financial institutions; Construction & major projects; Government; Infrastructure