Partner - Dispute Resolution and Litigation
Aaron is a partner in the firm’s dispute resolution division. He advises clients on a range of litigious and risk related matters, with particular expertise in the areas of corporate misconduct, white collar criminal and regulatory affairs, sports law and employment law. Aaron leads our sports law practice, and is a member of the firm’s health and safety, public law, and organisational integrity teams.
Well regarded by clients for his ability to analyse and strategise complex situations, Aaron is internationally recognised for his ability to implement pragmatic and commercial strategies to minimise risk and create opportunity. This ability has resulted in clients avoiding significant litigation and commercial consequences.
Aaron is an experienced advocate, having argued cases in the District Court, High Court, Employment Court, the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court of New Zealand, along with numerous tribunals.
He is recognised by international legal directories including by Chambers & Partners (Asia Pacific), Who’s Who Legal, Expert Guides, Best Lawyers and Doyles.
Before joining MinterEllisonRuddWatts Aaron practiced as a barrister with Paul Davison QC, and has lectured at the University of Auckland.
Employment and regulatory advice
For more than a decade, Aaron has advised Qantas Airways, and its subsidiaries, on employment and regulatory matters in New Zealand. Aaron has recently assisted Qantas transition the Jetconnect fleet of Boeing 737-800s to Qantas’ Australian AOC, including steps necessary to ensure the continued operation of Jetconnect in New Zealand (as part of the wider Qantas group).
White collar and regulatory affairs
Aaron has defended clients in the New Zealand courts on charges laid by a range of regulatory agencies, including the FMA, New Zealand Customs, the SFO, and the Commerce Commission. He has also acted as part of cross-border legal teams for New Zealand based clients facing prosecutions offshore by the United States Department of Justice and Scotland Yard (the London Metropolitan Police). Recently, he acted as New Zealand counsel for an individual involved in investigations by offshore financial regulators into alleged currency exchange rate manipulation in Europe. This involved accompanying the individual to interviews offshore, and advising in relation to the substance of the allegations at the centre of the investigation.
Anti-Bribery & Corruption (AB&C)
Aaron regularly advises New Zealand corporates on their compliance with domestic, and international, anti-bribery and corruption legislation. Recently, Aaron advised one of New Zealand’s largest publicly listed entities on its compliance with AB&C laws in New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom, enabling the business to manage risk and enter into commercial contracts with offshore entities requiring compliance with AB&C regimes globally.
Restructuring and redundancies
Advised on a number of significant restructuring and redundancy projects for private and government sector clients including the New Zealand arm of a major international manufacturing business, a prominent government department, one of the world’s largest car manufacturers and retailers, and a major sporting body.
Sports integrity - Implementing and auditing ‘best practice’
Aaron is at the forefront of integrity risk management auditing, reporting and risk management in sport. He has worked with leading sports organisations and professionals in New Zealand and Australia, to develop comprehensive methodology for auditing and assessing integrity risk in the sporting environment, providing CEOs and Directors with the tools necessary to ensure effective integrity risk management in sport. Aaron’s work in this area covers a range of areas, including anti-doping, medical welfare (including concussion), gambling & match-fixing, financial integrity and on-field and off-field conduct.
Sports integrity – Disciplinary work
Aaron is one of the world’s leading rugby lawyers, having defended players in more than 75 judicial hearings for on-field and off-field misconduct, anti-doping violations, and commercial matters at events such as the Rugby World Cup. In 2018 Aaron acted for the French rugby team, on their tour of New Zealand, successfully defending French fullback Benjamin Fall following his red card in the second test against the All Blacks. Current clients include the New Zealand Rugby Union, the Argentinian Rugby Union, the five New Zealand Super Rugby franchises and Argentina’s Jaguares Super Rugby Franchise. Aaron also acts as the Judicial Officer for New Zealand Rugby League and New Zealand Netball. He has recently written a comprehensive set of judicial guidelines for use in rugby league in New Zealand.
- New Zealand
- Australia (NSW)
- LLB (Hons), University of Auckland
- BA (Political Studies and Philosophy), University of Auckland
- Associate Member, American Bar Association
- Member and former executive, Legal Research Foundation Inc
- Member, Institute of Directors (New Zealand)
- Member, Auckland Medico-Legal Society
- Member, Transparency International (New Zealand)
- Appointed SPCA Pro-Bono Prosecution Panel
- Appointed Sports Tribunal of New Zealand Panel of Pro-Bono Counsel
- Dispute Resolution and Litigation
- Health and Safety
- Organisational Integrity
- Competition and Regulation
- Privacy and Data Protection
- Public Law and Regulatory
- Ranked Band 1 for Sports Law, Chambers Asia Pacific
- Recognised for Sports Law, Best Lawyers