Matthew is an experienced litigator, with a particular interest in major latent building defect litigation. He is also a regulatory investigations and prosecutions specialist. He acts for both private and public sector clients on a broad range of complex and high-profile disputes.
His recent experience includes complex latent building defect litigation involving novel claims for structural and fire defects, claims arising from the Canterbury earthquake sequence, defending regulatory investigations and prosecutions brought by various regulators, Coronial inquiry work, fraud recovery, and public law litigation.
Prior to joining MinterEllisonRuddWatts, Matthew worked for the office of the Crown Solicitor in Wellington as a Senior Crown Prosecutor. He has significant advocacy experience, having appeared regularly in the District and High Courts undertaking jury and judge-alone trials, as well as before various professional disciplinary bodies and tribunals. He has assisted with complex appeals in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court in connection with prosecutions for serious fraud and tax evasion.
During his time as a prosecutor, Matthew acted for numerous regulators, including WorkSafe New Zealand, Maritime New Zealand, local and regional councils, the Financial Markets Authority, the Serious Fraud Office and Inland Revenue. He also worked in-house on secondment for the Financial Markets Authority. This experience gives him a unique and valuable perspective when acting for clients in regulatory investigations and prosecutions.
Matthew’s approach to resolving disputes is client-centric, strategic, and commercial. He is especially good at obtaining a deep understanding of his clients’ businesses and sectors and using that understanding to tailor advice and seek outcomes that meet their objectives.
Acting for Auckland Council on various latent defect claims, including a $200 million claim relating to a mixed-use 40-storey building with complex and novel issues relating to Council liability for structural and fire defects: Body Corporate 366567 v Auckland Council.
Acting for numerous clients in the public and private sectors facing investigations and prosecutions relating to serious injuries or fatalities occurring in workplaces. Also providing ‘front-end’ advice to assist clients ensure they have adequate health and safety systems in place.
Acting for a large, multi-national cruise company during the regulatory investigations and prosecution following an explosion of a gas cannister on board which tragically killed one of its workers.
Acting for clients defrauded of significant sums of money, including obtaining freezing orders, carrying out and assisting with investigations to establish the extent of the fraud, liaising with the New Zealand Police and Serious Fraud Office to ensure the prosecution of the offender, and issuing civil proceedings to recover stolen funds.
Acting for the Department of Internal Affairs in proceedings seeking various declarations intended to challenge aspects of the Three Waters reform programme, the New Zealand Artificial Limb Service in proceedings seeking to define (narrow) the scope of its statutory functions, and TVNZ in both 2017 and 2020, defending injunctions sought by party leaders intended to secure their attendance at televised debates during the lead up to the general elections.
Acting for clients in the construction, transport and pharmaceutical industries in Coronial proceedings, including appearing as counsel.
Achievements and recognition
- Band 1 team, Construction, Chambers Asia-Pacific
- Tier 1 team, Construction, The Legal 500 Asia-Pacific
- Tier 1 team, Dispute Resolution, The Legal 500 Asia-Pacific