Stacey Shortall

Partner - Litigation and Dispute Resolution

Ko Mātairangi te maunga
Ko Raukawa te moana
Nō Manawatū ia
Ko Stacey Shortall te ingoa

Stacey has over 25 years of experience successfully representing financial institutions, other corporate clients, public sector entities, and directors and officers in significant litigation and regulatory matters. She has been recognised as a leading lawyer in New Zealand by Chambers Global and Asia-Pacific, The Legal 500 Asia Pacific, Legal Media Group, and NZ Lawyer.

Alongside a broad regulatory and litigation practice, including substantial trial and appellate experience, Stacey also provides legal and strategic advice on a wide variety of matters to directors, executive management, and in-house counsel. She is frequently instructed to conduct internal reviews and self-assessments for clients and their boards.

Stacey is renowned for her expertise in handling the challenging interplay between regulatory investigations, criminal prosecutions, and civil lawsuits.  She is adept at dealing with the media on high-profile matters.

Clients trust Stacey to help navigate complex claims in a calm, efficient, and strategic manner.  She has a reputation for integrity and is described by clients as “absolutely outstanding, highly experienced and calm in a crisis, with lots of tools in the toolbox,” and “all-round amazing, responsive and very easy to deal with” – Chambers Asia-Pacific 2021.

Stacey has advised on disputes and investigations involving contractual breaches, the exercise of statutory powers, misleading statements & omissions, insurance cover, fraud, accounting improprieties, bid-rigging, money laundering, tax abnormalities, health & safety violations, fair trading concerns, construction issues, environmental matters, food safety, medical matters, and Te Tiriti issues

Co-author of the Thomson Reuters book titled Health and Safety at Work in New Zealand: Know the Law, Stacey is particularly experienced with health and safety matters.  She regularly assists clients with coronial inquiries, internal and WorkSafe investigations following incidents, prosecutions, and crisis management.

Before returning to MinterEllisonRuddWatts in 2010, Stacey worked for over a decade as a litigator at Paul, Weiss in New York on complex financial, commercial, and environmental matters.  As a result of that work, she has considerable experience defending class action lawsuits, complex financial litigation, and dealing with third party litigation funders.

Described in Chambers Asia-Pacific 2022 as a “strong and prominent lawyer” with “a great reputation”, Stacey was named as New Zealand’s Disputes Star of the Year at the annual Asia Law Asia-Pacific Dispute Resolution Awards in 2018.  In 2021, Stacey was named by Benchmark Litigation as one of their Top 100 female litigators in the Asia-Pacific region.  In 2020, Stacey won the inaugural Chambers Diversity and Inclusion Award for the Asia-Pacific region.

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. In 2021, she received a Distinguished Alumni Award from Herenga Waka, Victoria University of Wellington.

Stacey is the deputy chair of the Capital and Coast District Health Board. She also is frequently invited to publicly speak and write on issues including leadership, diversity and inclusions, and social mobility.

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Professional background

Recent work

Te Tiriti related matters

Advising the Crown and quasi-Crown agencies on implementation of Te Tiriti principles in regulatory settings.  The advice has covered a broad range of issues including recognition of mātauranga Māori.

Conduct and Culture matters

Acting for various public and private sector clients seeking to address conduct and culture matters within their organisations. The work has included responding to regulatory inquiries, together with being engaged by boards and management to conduct internal reviews.  Matters have included bank conduct and culture, workplace sexual harassment and bullying, and risk culture.

Claims arising from the Canterbury and Wellington Earthquakes

Acting 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.  Also acting for the Earthquake Commission on litigation matters.

Health and safety matters

Acting as 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.  Also defending Pike’s former CEO in his prosecution for alleged health and safety violations.  Regularly assists clients with coronial inquiries, internal and WorkSafe investigations following incidents, prosecutions, and crisis management.

Incident and crisis management

Assisting 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.  Frequently advising clients about crisis management preparation.

Failed finance companies

Acting 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

Acting for a range of professional advisers (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

Acting 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
  • Deputy Chair, Capital & Coast District Health Board
  • Ambassador, Te Tatai Hauora o Hine (the Centre for Women’s Health Research) at Herenga Waka, Victoria University of Wellington
  • Patron, Hutt City Women’s Refuge

Specialisations

  • Commercial Claims
  • Crisis Management
  • Environmental Law
  • Health and Safety
  • Insurance
  • Litigation and Dispute Resolution
  • Regulatory Compliance
  • White-Collar Crime

Awards

  • Ranked Band 1 for Dispute Resolution, Chambers Asia Pacific & Global
  • Ranked as a Leading Individual – Dispute Resolution, The Legal 500 Asia Pacific, 2019-2022
  • Winner - Distinguished Alumni Award, Victoria University of Wellington (2021)
  • Recognised as Top 100 Woman in Litigation, Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific (2021)
  • Semi-finalist, Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year (2019, 2020)
  • Winner – Social Mobility Lawyer of the Year, Chambers Diversity and Inclusion Awards (2020)
  • 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)