Litigation and dispute resolution

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When disputes arise, you need advisers you can trust. We’ll find the best way forward so you can get back to business.

Our Litigation and Dispute Resolution team has an outstanding reputation for advocacy and for resolving the most challenging disputes in a cost effective and timely manner.  

Ranked Tier 1 by The Legal 500 Asia Pacific, we are experts in managing risk and our full-service team is ready to assist your team with litigation, mediation, arbitration as well as risk management at the executive and board level.

We provide practical advice on the law and litigation strategies that enhance your prospects of success.  We have acted on some of the biggest cases in New Zealand and have some of the country’s brightest and most capable litigators.

With experience and leading expertise across all key commercial sectors, we hit the ground running in commercial disputes and regulatory investigations relating to construction, insurance, financial services, consumer law, insolvency and restructuring, employment, economic regulation and competition, property, energy, environment, and public law.

We can guide you through mediation and arbitration if this is the right option. However, we are also right at home at all levels of the court system. Legal advice across borders is no problem either, thanks to our international network through the MinterEllison Legal Group.

We can help you navigate:
  • Contractual disputes
  • Financial services disputes and regulatory investigations
  • Consumer law disputes
  • Insurance disputes
  • Construction disputes
  • Privacy and cybersecurity disputes
  • Economic sanctions and AML/CFT issues
  • Employment disputes
  • Class actions/Representative proceedings
  • Bankruptcy and insolvency litigation
  • Internal investigations
  • International arbitrations
  • Product liability disputes
  • Securities litigation
  • White collar and financial crime
  • Copyright and trademark litigation.

The firm demonstrates strong collaboration across the practice disciplines, which means they have the right subject matter experts weighing in to provide thoughtful and considered advice on complex issues. They are client-focused and highly responsive. Chambers Asia-Pacific 2023


Recent highlights
Landmark contract law case – Successfully defending a USD40 million claim over coal mining rights

Acting as successful counsel for Bathurst Resources Limited, defending claims for a US$40 million “performance payment” alleged to be due after Bathurst had acquired mining rights previously held by L&M Coal Holdings Limited. In its landmark decision overturning the Court of Appeal and dismissing L&M’s claim, the Supreme Court confirmed the principles of contractual interpretation applying in New Zealand, including when pre-contractual negotiations and post-contractual conduct can be admissible when interpreting a commercial contract. This will be a leading contract case in New Zealand. 

Overturning Court of Appeal Synlait decision

Successfully representing Synlait in the leading Supreme Court case on the removal of historic land covenants, overturning a decision of the Court of Appeal and defeating a neighbouring landowner’s objection to a $280 million dairy processing factory. The decision has significance for all property developments hindered by historic land covenants.

Landmark decision on directors’ duties with significant damages

Successfully representing the liquidators in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court in a claim against the directors of Mainzeal Property and Construction Limited (Mainzeal) and two related companies for breach of directors’ duties, reckless trading, knowing receipt and transactions for inadequate consideration. The High Court ordered the directors to pay $36 million to Mainzeal for reckless trading, the highest such award in New Zealand to date. The Court of Appeal found that, while the directors were not liable for reckless trading, they had incurred obligations without reasonably believing that they would be performed. Both decisions broke new ground for the approach taken to liability and to the assessment of loss for insolvent trading. We continue to act for the liquidators in the recently-heard appeal to the Supreme Court, the quantum determination in the High Court and enforcement action to recover the judgment sum.

High profile insurance arbitration for alleged breach of professional duties

Acting for a major insurance broker at arbitration in relation to claims of negligence, breach of contract, and misleading and deceptive conduct under the Fair Trading Act 1986 worth $350 million. This is a high profile, complex case involving cross-border witnesses. The claim raises numerous insurance issues including policy interpretation, insurance brokers’ duties, reinsurance, causation, the correct measure of damages, novel privilege issues in the context of a settlement, and complex quantum assessments.  

Significant IT project litigation

Acting in a claim against a main consortium subcontractor seeking $24million in damages. The claim relates to a project to provide a major new Human Resources Information Management System to a primary government agency. It involves complex issues of law and fact arising from the interrelationships between the parties and is likely to be the largest and most significant IT project litigation that is presently before the New Zealand courts.

Trustpower’s judicial review of 2020 transmission pricing guidelines

Advising Trustpower during the transmission pricing methodology (TPM) review process, including current judicial review proceedings relating to the 2020 TPM Guidelines, and a previous 2016 judicial review of the TPM guidelines process undertaken by the Authority.

High Court litigation brought by Commerce Commission

Representing viagogo AG, provider of the world’s largest secondary marketplace for event tickets, in High Court litigation taken by the New Zealand Commerce Commission alleging false and misleading statements and unfair contract terms.

Related expertise

Our lawyers provide clients with clear, strategic and commercial solutions that create lasting impacts to their business