Matt Toulmin

Special Counsel - Dispute Resolution and Litigation

Matt is a dispute resolution expert with a wide range of commercial litigation experience. He enjoys the variety of acting for all manner of businesses, from advising sole trader-type enterprises right through to NZX-listed companies.

Matt has a particular interest in intellectual property. He completed his Masters thesis in copyright law and had significant involvement in the leading copyright case in New Zealand concerning copyright in computer software. He has also been involved in a number of trade mark disputes involving marks registered under the Trade Marks Act 2002 and unregistered marks protected by the tort of passing off and the Fair Trading Act 1986. This work has included interim injunctions and an appeal to the Court of Appeal, as well as proceedings before the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand. He has advised in relation to the Plant Variety Rights Act 1987 and Designs Act 1953 and been involved in domain name disputes.

Matt’s general experience dealing with contractual disputes has resulted in a further interest in contractual damages, particularly following his involvement in a significant piece of arbitration litigation that resulted in several appeals to the High Court and Court of Appeal on difficult issues including the loss of chance doctrine.

Matt has also built up experience in disputes involving insurance, information technology, companies’ law (having commenced his career in MinterEllisonRuddWatts’ Corporate team), tort, conflict of interest, real estate agents’ regulation, regulatory investigations conducted by the Commerce Commission (including in the defence of a prosecution brought after such an investigation) and Financial Markets Authority and consumer law including the Consumer Guarantees Act 1993 and Fair Trading Act 1986.

Matt has represented clients in the Court of Appeal, High Court (including as lead counsel), District Count and a number of Tribunals and has assisted in successfully opposing an application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court.

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Professional background

Recent work

High Court representation

Defending a large New Zealand entity in relation to High Court proceedings against it involving allegations (amongst others) of dishonest assistance and knowing receipt.

Commercial insurance

Advising the owner of a number of commercial properties in Christchurch in relation to entitlements under his insurance policy following the Canterbury earthquakes, including High Court proceedings in relation to these.

Lead counsel to major New Zealand bank

As lead counsel, defending a major New Zealand bank in defence of an interim injunction application made against it seeking to prevent it exercising rights under the Property Law Act 2007.

Real estate disciplinary proceedings

Advising a Real Estate Agent in respect of a disciplinary proceedings brought against it in the Real Estate Agents Disciplinary Tribunal.

Bankruptcy, liquidation and caveat matters

Various appearances before the District Court and High Court, including in relation to bankruptcy, liquidation and caveat matters.


  • 2009, New Zealand


  • LLM (Hons) LLB, University of Auckland
  • BSc (Hons) (Biomedical Science), University of Auckland


  • Intellectual property law
  • General commercial litigation including disputes in contract and tort
  • Insurance law
  • Consumer law

Matt Toulmin