Litigation & Local Government
After initially practising in Wellington I joined Cooney Lees Morgan in 1987. I became a partner in in the firm in 1992 and lead the civil and commercial litigation and employment law teams.
I specialise in resolving wide-ranging business disputes, including shareholder disputes, partnership disputes, inter-company disputes, contract claims, negligence and other tort claims, property and land claims, employment disputes, and claims against estates.
I gain a great deal of satisfaction from working hard for clients to achieve the outcome they want when they become involved in a dispute, whether in their business or in their personal affairs.
I’m a strong advocate of alternative dispute resolution, particularly mediation, as this often provides the most cost effective and speedy resolution of wide-ranging business and property disputes. I’ve been on LEADR’s (now called ALPMA) approved panel of mediators since 1996.
Sometimes disputes cannot be resolved without going to court. In these cases I act as counsel for clients in the Courts, including at appellate level and in arbitrations.
I also accept appointments as an arbitrator having on occasions been appointed as sole Arbitrator by both the New Zealand Law Society, Waikato BOP sub-branch, and by other lawyers whose clients have been involved in commercial disputes.
My wife, Pip, and I have two teenage children. We enjoy the Bay of Plenty lifestyle.
Between 2004 and 2011 I was on the Board of Trustees at St Mary’s Primary School in Tauranga, the last six years of which I was the Board Chairperson.
I enjoy mountain biking, snow skiing, and golf.
Examples of work:
Counsel for a party involved in a Royal Commission of Inquiry in Australia into the Australian Wheat Board’s involvement in the United Nations Oil-for-Food programme with Iraq.
Counsel in both the High Court and Court of Appeal for a Consultant to the dairy industry sued in negligence as part of a class action claim for advice given to 1200 shareholders of a dairy company on the merits of a merger proposal with another dairy company.
Counsel for a Local Authority in both the High Court and Court of Appeal sued in negligence for an alleged breach of its duty when processing a resource consent application under the Resource Management Act.
Counsel for a local authority in an arbitration claim over compensation for land taken for public roading.
Counsel in a number of land compensation claims to the Land Valuation Tribunal under the Public Works Act
Counsel for significant participants involved in the kiwifruit industry who were sued in various contractual and tortious disputes, including a challenge by Turners & Growers against Zespri’s 'single desk' export structure that exists under the Kiwifruit Industry Restructuring Act 1999.