April Payne

Senior Associate - Litigation and Dispute Resolution

April is an accomplished general commercial litigator who specialises in consumer, competition, and health and safety law.

April advises public and private sector clients on both contentious and non-contentious competition, consumer, and health and safety matters.  She has acted on many regulatory investigations and prosecutions including those brought by the Commerce Commission, Financial Markets Authority (FMA), and WorkSafe.  She recently acted on the first civil penalty prosecution brought by the FMA under the Financial Markets Conduct Act, a successful application to the Commerce Commission for merger clearance, and a number of high-profile health and safety prosecutions.

She also has significant experience advising on non-contentious competition, consumer, and health and safety matters.  April advises on compliance with key legislation such as the Health and Safety at Work Act, Commerce Act, Fair Trading Act, Consumer Guarantees Act, and Financial Markets Conduct Act (FMCA). She assists her clients with all aspects of workplace health and safety including the steps to take immediately following a significant health and safety incident.  She reviews marketing material and advises on consumer law compliance.

In 2019, April was seconded to a major bank to assist with the Bank’s response to the Reserve Bank and FMA’s Conduct and Culture Inquiry.  From this she gained a strong understanding of the financial services industry and its products.

April builds meaningful relationships with clients which enable her to understand and meet their needs.  She is recognised by clients for her ability to convey complex ideas in an accessible way and for her succinct and commercially minded advice.

April joined MinterEllisonRuddWatts in 2012.  She then worked at the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in London before returning to the firm in 2016.  During her time at the CMA, April worked on several antitrust investigations and market studies.  She draws on the invaluable insights gained from working for a regulator to provide her clients with pragmatic advice.

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Professional background

Recent work

First FMCA proceeding

Representing ANZ Bank in the first civil penalty proceeding brought by the FMA under the Financial Markets Conduct Act.  A negotiated resolution was approved by the Court.

Merger clearance

Acting for Dunlop Drymix Limited in relation to its successful application to the Commerce Commission for clearance of its proposed acquisition of Drymix N.Z. Limited.

Commerce Commission post-merger investigations

Acting for GasNet Limited in relation to a Commerce Commission post-merger investigation. The Commerce Commission advised that GasNet had not breached the Commerce Act and went on to file proceedings against the acquirer, First Gas Limited for substantially lessening competition in breach of the Commerce Act.

Allegations of false or misleading representations

Acting for Spark New Zealand Trading Limited in relation to charges brought by the NZCC alleging it made false or misleading representations on its billing and a promotional offer for new customers.

Admitted

  • 2012, New Zealand

Qualifications

  • LLB, BA (History and Mass Communications), University of Canterbury

Specialisations

  • Consumer Law
  • Competition and Regulation
  • Health and Safety
  • Litigation and Dispute Resolution

Awards

  • Member of MinterEllisonRuddWatts’ internationally recognised Tier 1 Litigation and Dispute Resolution team, The Legal 500 Asia Pacific