Career Highlights

· Court of Appeal and Privy Council - Senior Counsel in the significant commercial law/company law litigation Arklow v MacLean – my client succeeding in both the Court of Appeal and Privy Council

· “Winebox Inquiry” – was one of several counsel assisting the Commission of Inquiry into certain matters relating to taxation.

· Air New Zealand, Qantas, Wellington International Airport, Auckland International Airport v BARNZ and ors, unreported,Wgtn HC. Acted for Air New Zealand, Qantas, Wellington International Airport, Auckland International Airport and BARNZ and ors in their successful challenge to the Government’s attempt to levy a $36m per annum charge on the industry.

· AT&T Counsel for Australian subsidiary of one of the (then) world’s largest companies in litigation over the largest e-commerce contract at the time in New Zealand.

· R v A Conducted first sentencing appeal for Crown under new sentencing regime for cases involving sexual violation.

· Securities Commission Have been appointed by Securities Commission in its investigations into alleged Finance Company improprieties.

· Commerce Commission Have assisted Commerce Commission in investigations into competitive pricing/ Fair Trading Act issues.

· Peak Petroleum bid for Fletcher Energy Acted for Peak Petroleum in high profile attempt to take over Fletcher Energy. Peak’s bid resulted in increased value of $180m to Fletcher shareholders.

• 2003/2004 Group/Representative Litigation – Acted for 150 tax payers in resolving a dispute with Inland Revenue over software valuation.

• 2006/2007 Finance company collapses - Assisted investors in recovering funds from defunct finance companies and later made submissions to Commerce Committee enquiry into same

• 2009 Feltex IPO dispute - Assisting 1800 + aggrieved subscribers in the 2004 IPO of Feltex, the disgruntled shareholders alleging that they were lured into the investment by false representations. Appeared as sole counsel for the shareholders in Court of Appeal hearing in November 2009, where Bell Gully represented the directors, with Russell McVeagh for Credit-Suisse and a total of seven lawyers in in opposition

• Four Privy Council appearances, all successful

Other assignments : more detail


Securities Act issues

I have been appointed by the Securities Commission to assist in their enquiries into Finance company issues, have acted for local and offshore clients in disputes regarding securities placements in New Zealand listed companies, and litigated/acted for aggrieved shareholders unhappy about vendor misrepresentations.

E-commerce Litigation:

I have conducted litigation on behalf of the Australian subsidiary of one of the (then) 10 largest companies in the world, American Telephone & Telegraph, in a dispute concerning one of the largest -at the time- existing e-commerce contracts in New Zealand.

The litigation concerned a dispute over the right to provide electronic commerce services to New Zealand Customs.

Public Law Litigation:

I have significant public law background through my six years’ experience at the Crown Law Office, Wellington as a Crown Counsel. I appeared as senior counsel to Ms Mai Chen, of the leading public law firm of Chen & Palmer, in the case of BARNZ v Attorney-General. This was a significant public law case in which Chen & Palmer acted for a number of airlines, New Zealand based airports and tourism organizations in challenging the then Government’s endeavors to impose a $36 million per annum charge on various participants in the travel industry .

The airlines/airports established that they had not been properly consulted in accordance with the Biosecurity Act. In the final result, with a change of Government in , the proposed $36 million per annum charge has never been imposed, and our clients were thus entirely successful in the litigation and saved themselves $36 million per annum as a result of it.

Tax Advisory Role:

I was appointed one of several counsel assisting Sir Ronald Davidson in the “Winebox” tax inquiry. The inquiry was one of the longest running, in-depth inquiries into taxation matters conducted in Australasia, and involved some of New Zealand’s leading lawyers, law firms and listed and unlisted companies.

Senior Advisory role

I have been appointed as Counsel assisting civil servants at the highest level. With the Inland Revenue accused of unfair treatment of a member of the public, the then Commissioner of Inland Revenue John Perham appointed me as sole counsel assisting him in settling complaints raised by an aggrieved taxpayer in mediation proceedings

Civil Litigation:

I have acted, amongst many others, in disputes over misrepresentations, business sales/purchases, sale of land, share placements, breach of contract, Fair Trading Act issues, negligence, alleged faulty manufacture of furniture, breach of trust and Trustee Act matters generally.


Employment Court work


A number of preliminary skirmishes pertaining to a significant Employment Court dispute I am acting in have been reported. These include Premier v Beattie [2012] NZEC 71, and [2012] NZEC 26. The case concerns disputes over broken promises by an employer to pay for clients introduced by an ex-employee, allegations of breach of duties of good faith & fairness by the employer, disputes regarding short pay, alleged breach of terms of an employment contract, alleged breach of duties of fidelity & confidentiality, and alleged breach of a restraint of trade.

Criminal Law:

I have conducted many criminal jury trials and appeals to the Court of Appeal. I also appeared as junior counsel in the Privy Council in the case of Yogasakaram v R . An anesthetist injected and killed a patient with a deadly drug in error. Amongst the lower Court hearings I have been involved are Fraud trials, sexual violation , theft, and assaults ranging from the serious to domestic violence. I previously worked at Crown Law and as Chief Fisheries Prosecutor. My most recent high profile engagement was for a well-known former All-Black who pleaded guilty to striking his son with a leather belt. The All-Black star succeeded in obtaining a discharge without conviction under s 106 of the Sentencing Act, and also succeeded in obtaining (infrequently granted) name suppression. The case is reported as T v Police [2012] NZHC 1426 and a newspaper report of the case can be viewed at this link:

Company Law:

I organized a team of legal advisers to Peak Petroleum and Greymouth Petroleum in the takeover bid for Fletcher Energy. The Peak bid involved both litigation and company law initiatives. The attempted takeover by Peak resulted in Royal Dutch Shell raising their bid for Fletcher Energy by US0.20c per share, which resulted in an increase in wealth of $180m for Energy shareholders.


Level 4, International Arts Centre Building, 272 Parnell Road, Auckland 1151

Pro-bono work


New Zealand Law Society “Litigation Skills” Faculty member

NZ Finance Company collapses 2006-9

Samoan Electoral petitions

It is a privilege to practise law and I believe we all must give back to the profession & the public when the occasion arises.