Stacey Shortall

Partner - Dispute Resolution and Litigation

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Stacey has more than 20 years’ experience successfully representing corporate clients and public sector entities, together with directors and officers, in significant disputes.  Alongside a broad regulatory and litigation practice, including substantial trial and appellate experience, Stacey regularly provides legal and strategic advice on a wide variety of matters to directors, executive management and in house counsel.

After graduating with degrees in law and accountancy from Victoria University, Stacey obtained a master’s degree of law from Canada in indigenous self-governance.  In addition to handling commercial litigation matters, Stacey worked early in her career on Waitangi Tribunal claims as part of the Māori law practice at Rudd Watts & Stone.

Before returning to MinterEllisonRuddWatts in 2010, Stacey worked for over a decade as a litigator in New York on complex financial, commercial and environmental matters  She is recognised by international legal directories as a leading New Zealand lawyer.  In 2018 Stacey was named as New Zealand’s Disputes Star of the Year at the annual Asia Law Asia-Pacific Dispute Resolution Awards.  In early 2020 Stacey was named as one of three finalists in the inaugural Chambers Diversity and Inclusion Awards: Asia-Pacific for her pro bono work to advance social mobility

Stacey has received other awards for her community-based work in New York and New Zealand. She is the founding trustee of the Who Did You Help Today charitable trust which has developed a number of projects designed to create social change including homework clubs in low decile primary schools, a programme connecting imprisoned mothers with their children and an online digital platform enabling community causes to access skilled volunteers.  She is also the founder of Our Words Matter which is an online forum for sharing ideas to solve the issues that affect New Zealand.  In 2019 and 2020 Stacey was named as a semi-finalist for the Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Award.

Stacey also is the co-author of the Thomson Reuters book titled Health and Safety at Work in New Zealand: Know the Law.

Professional background

Recent work

2017 Leaders' Debate Injunction

Acted for TVNZ in successfully opposing an interim orders application after Gareth Morgan sought an injunction prohibiting TVNZ from holding televised election debates without him in the lead up to New Zealand’s 2017 general election.

Claims arising from the Canterbury and Wellington Earthquakes

Stacey has acted for various commercial insureds and insurers in respect of claims arising from the Canterbury and Wellington earthquakes. The claims, mainly for material damage and business interruption, involve a full spectrum of issues including policy interpretation, indemnity issues and loss quantification as well as claims processing, management and resolution.

Health and safety matters

Following the explosion at Pike River’s coal mine in November 2010 Stacey was engaged to respond to investigations by NZ Police, the Chief Coroner and the (then) Department of Labour. She was lead counsel for certain company directors and officers, including Pike’s former CEO and board chairman, before the Royal Commission into the Pike Tragedy and at the Coronial Inquest. Stacey also defended Pike’s former CEO in his prosecution for alleged health and safety violations.  Stacey routinely assists clients with internal and WorkSafe investigations following incidents, together with acting as defense counsel in response to prosecutions.  She also regularly advises boards of directors, senior management teams and operational staff about health and safety matters, including in relation to the exercise of due diligence.

Incident and crisis management

Stacey has assisted a broad range of clients in response to high-profile incidents which have involved various regulatory agencies and media attention.  Several of these clients have been based offshore and required immediate advice in relation to complex issues of jurisdiction and potential culpability.  Stacey frequently advises clients about crisis management preparation.

Failed finance companies

Stacey has acted for directors of several failed finance companies in investigations and prosecutions by the Financial Markets Authority of alleged breaches of the Securities Act by making purportedly untrue statements in prospectuses and investment statements.

Professional negligence lawsuits

Stacey has acted for a range of professional advisors (lawyer, accountants, auditors and engineers) in professional negligence lawsuits, including defending clients in several cases that arose from the high profile failure of second-tier finance companies and property developments during the Global Financial Crisis. These have been large-scale, complex commercial claims, often featuring multiple parties, occasional interplay with criminal/regulatory prosecutions, and multi-threaded litigation strategies.

White collar crime

Stacey has acted for clients responding to investigations involving alleged Privacy Act breaches, together with allegations of other improper conduct.  This work has involved an array of issues and detailed preparation of witnesses for NZ Police and other agency interviews.

Admitted

  • 2007, US Supreme
  • 2000, New York State and US Federal
  • 1996, New Zealand

Qualifications

  • Public International Law Certificate, Hague Academy of International Law
  • LLM, University of Alberta
  • LLB, BCA (Accounting), Victoria University of Wellington

Affiliations

  • Founder, Who Did You Help Today?
  • Trustee, Whodidyouhelptoday Charitable Trust
  • Co-author, Health and Safety at Work in New Zealand: Know the Law

Specialisations

  • Commercial Claims
  • Crisis Management
  • Insurance
  • Regulatory Compliance
  • White Collar Crime
  • Health and Safety

Awards

  • Ranked as a leading Dispute Resolution lawyer, Chambers Asia Pacific & Global
  • Ranked as a Leading Individual – Dispute Resolution, The Legal 500 Asia Pacific
  • Semi-finalist, Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year (2019)
  • Winner – New Zealand Disputes Star of the Year, Asialaw and Benchmark Litigation Dispute Resolution Awards (2018)
  • Winner – Blake Leader, Sir Peter Blake Leader Awards (2016)
  • Kiwibank Local Hero recipient (2016)
  • Winner – Community and Not-for-Profit Award, Women of Influence Awards (2015)
  • Recognised on NZ Lawyer Hot List (2015)
  • Winner – Lawyer of the Year, LawFuel (2015)
  • Leading Lawyer – Legal Media Group Rising Stars (2015)