Nick Gillies

BCom. LLB (Hons)
Nick is a partner in the Disputes Team.  He is a specialist construction lawyer and leads the firm's construction practice.

Prior to joining Hesketh Henry in 2013, Nick worked for Russell McVeagh, before spending eight years with specialist construction firm Beale and Company in London.  He is admitted in both New Zealand and England & Wales.

Nick acts for clients in all types of construction matters, including time and money disputes, building defect claims, and contract advice.  He is individually recommended by Doyles Guide, Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners for Construction.  Clients describe him as having “exceptional industry knowledge”, “client focused” and providing “proactive, professional and to the point advice”. 

In addition, Nick has experience advising on insurance which intersects with his construction practice, including pursuing and defending liability claims involving underwriters.  With a sailing background, Nick also advises on marine and yachting industry issues.

Nick is a member of AMINZ, New Zealand Society of Construction Law, and the Dispute Resolution Board Foundation.  He writes and speaks regularly on construction and dispute resolution issues, and has been published in Building and Construction Law Journal, Arbitrator & Mediator Journal, and the Solicitors Journal.  Nick has authored arguably New Zealand’s leading papers on Dispute Boards, Engineer to the Contract, and Concurrent Delay.

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Examples of work completed by Nick include:

  • Advising contractors and specialist subcontractors on claims involving variations, prolongation, thickening, measured works, and extensions of time under commercial and civil contracts
  • Handing various adjudications under the Construction Contracts Act 2002
  • Advising on performance bonds under construction contracts, including obtaining injunctive relief
  • Defending liability claims against construction professionals for alleged design and build defects
  • Representing subcontractors in proceedings concerning earthquake repairs
  • Successfully defending a US$85m claim against consulting engineers concerning the construction of a Filipino power station
  • Representing a building systems subcontractor on the new Wembley Stadium in disputes with the main contractor
  • Representing an international engineering consultancy in proceedings concerning insurance cover for design defects with a new wastewater treatment plant in Ireland
  • Representing a marine contractor in a substantial delay and disruption claim for a refit project
  • Advising on claims concerning the construction of on-shore shipping facilities in the Middle East
  • Advising on establishing a new international class under World Sailing rules
Nick is individually recognised in Band 3 for 2021.
Nick is recommended by Legal500 as 'Leading Individual" in Construction.
Nick is recommended by Legal500 in Disputes.
Nick is recommended by Doyles Guide as a Leading Construction, Projects and Infrastructure lawyer
  • Getting the Deal Through – Construction (2015 – 2020)
  • LexisNexis Dispute Resolution Guide (2016 – 2020)
  • LexisNexis Practical Guidance – Insurance
  • We need to talk about the Engineer: A New Zealand Perspective (2018) 34 BCL 179
  • A Guide to Concurrent Delay (2018)
  • Rebuilding New Zealand: A case for Dispute Resolution Boards (2014) 33 AMJ 121

Insights & Opinion / Nick Gillies

The Impact of Unclear Communication
The recent decision of the New South Wales Court of Appeal in Valmont Interiors Pty Ltd v Giorgio Armani Australia Pty Ltd (No. 2) [2021] NSWCA 9 is an example of an unclear direction resulting in a principal being unable to rely on a notification time bar in a construction contract.
11.10.2021 Posted in Construction
Clarity on Liquidated Damages following Termination
The United Kingdom Supreme Court in Triple Point Technology Inc v PTT Public Company Ltd [2021] UKSC 29 has clarified the operation of liquidated damages clauses in the event of termination.  The dec...
17.09.2021 Posted in Construction & Disputes
NZS 3910 Court Judgment, With Implications
The High Court decision in Hellaby Resource Services Ltd v Body Corporate 197281 [2021] NZHC 554 is a rare NZS 3910 decision, with implications for the construction sector. 
09.07.2021 Posted in Construction
Retentions Regime: On the Road to Repair
The retentions regime in the Construction Contracts Act 2002 is on the road to repair with the introduction of the Construction Contracts (Retention Money) Amendment Bill (Bill) on 1 June 2021.  The ...
16.06.2021 Posted in Construction
Contractors, Caveats, and Retention of Title clauses
The High Court in Development Construction Company Ltd v Mackenzie [2021] NZHC 546 has confirmed  that retention of title (RoT) clauses do not provide contractors with a caveatable interest. This dec...
20.04.2021 Posted in Construction & Disputes
Adjudication When In Administration
In Meltzer and Lamacraft v Amstar New Zealand Ltd the High Court highlighted the interplay between insolvency and construction adjudication issues.
15.04.2021 Posted in Construction
Construction Contracts Act Enforcement Costs
Cubo Projects Ltd v S&S Import Solutions Ltd
17.02.2021 Posted in Construction