Expertise

Disputes

Overview
Get the result you want with our specialised litigation and dispute resolution advice and services

Effective dispute resolution happens with less stress, and often with less expense, when you work with a specialist dispute settlement and litigation team. There are only a handful of dedicated dispute teams in New Zealand; Hesketh Henry has one of the best. Many dispute situations are complicated by powerful personal dynamics and emotions, which is why the quality of your legal relationship is of paramount importance.

Within our dispute resolution law team there are experienced litigators for every core area of our dispute resolution services – construction, insurance, property and trusts. Every case begins with understanding what the client wants as an outcome, then working out a practical and time-efficient way of getting to it.

Our toolbox for achieving the ideal result includes every traditional and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) solution – arbitration, mediation, negotiation and, only when absolutely necessary, litigation.

Members of our team don’t shy away from delivering a difficult message. If you’re unlikely to succeed with your dispute action, we’ll tell you. Likewise we will recommend against a dispute settlement if we think a proposed solution is unfavourable.

Need advice on Disputes?
Contact the expert team at Hesketh Henry.
Examples

Examples of work completed by our team include:

  • Representing manufacturers and suppliers of engineered wood products in various Commerce Commission investigations and associated claims;
  • Advising the international distributors of medical products in connection with the non-performance of a long term distribution agreement and breach of IP rights, including proceedings in the NZ High Court;
  • Representing a structural engineering firm at the Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission of Inquiry into the collapse of the CTV building (Tom Weston QC leading). This was a very high profile matter that was closely followed by the media and bereaved families;
  • Representing and international engineering consultancy at the Government Inquiry into Havelock North Drinking-water (lead counsel). This inquiry followed a campylobacter outbreak in 2016.  More than 5,000 people were infected, with three confirmed deaths;
  • Management of various product recalls and consequential claims against suppliers and their insurers.  Includes claims brought by Nutricia Ltd following contamination of a discontinued line of infant food products, and claims by a prominent wholesaler or baked foods following a recall of contaminated Product;
  • Management of Commerce Commission investigations relating to product marketing and alleged non-compliance with Australia and NZ Standards;
  • Savvy Vineyards 3552 Ltd v Kakara Estate ltd [2015] 1 NZLR 281 (SC).  Successful enforcement of a long-term supply contract in the Supreme Court (David Jones QC leading).  This case is now the prinicipal NZ authority on the assisggnment and novation of contracts.;
  • Savvy Vineyrrds 3784 Ltd v Arck Ltd [2015] NZCA 534.  Successful enforcement of an option in a supply contract in the Court of Appeal (sole counsel);
  • I-Health Ltd v iSoft NZ Ltd [2012] 1 NZLR 379 (CA).  Successful enforcement of a limitation provision capping damages in a multi-million dollar contract dispute in the High Court (Alan Galbraith QC leading) and in the Court of Appeal (sole counsel);
  • Watts & Hughes Construction Ltd v Completed Siteworks Co Ltd [2014] 22 PRNZ 397 (CA). Successful enforcement of a subcontractor payment claim in the Court of Appeal (lead counsel).  This claim attracted significant media attention, following the partial destruction of a car park on Campbell Live, which needed to be appropriately managed;
  • Acting for health care providers in investigations by the Health and Disability Commissioner and coronial inquiries; and
  • Representing health care providers and manufacturers in claims for defective medical devices.
Key Contacts
Recommendations
Dispute Resolution Team ranked Tier 3 the latest Legal500 Asia Pacific Directory 2021.
Partner Alan Sherlock, individually recognised in the Asialaw Profile Directory 2021 as 'Distinguished Practitioner'.
Recognised in The Asialaw Profiles Directory 2021.
Publications
Events

Insights & Opinion / Disputes

Penalties imposed for a single phone call attempting to enter a price-fixing agreement
The High Court in Commerce Commission v Specialised Container Services (Christchurch) Ltd recently imposed pecuniary penalties under the Commerce Act 1986 (the Act) for an attempt to enter into a pric...
07.10.2021 Posted in Business Advice & Regulatory
Exclusion of liability for deliberate breaches of contract 
In Mott Macdonald Ltd v Trant Engineering Ltd [2021] EWHC 754 (TCC) the English High Court considered a summary judgment application on the applicability of a limitation of liability clause to an alle...
How low can you go?  Commerce Commission’s prosecution against Bunnings dismissed
The District Court recently dismissed the Commerce Commission’s case against Bunnings for alleged misleading and deceptive representations under the Fair Trading Act 1986 (FTA). In dismissing the Co...
Regulators do not “bend” on AML/CFT compliance: Financial Markets Authority v CLSA Premium Limited
Earlier this month, the High Court released its decision in Financial Markets Authority v CLSA Premium New Zealand Limited.
23.09.2021 Posted in AML/CFT & Business Advice & Regulatory
Formation of Contract: Black Sea Commodities Ltd v Lermarc Agromond Pte Ltd
The English High Court decision in Black Sea Commodities Ltd v Lermarc Agromond Pte Ltd [2021] EWHC 287 highlights the importance of parties to commodities contracts expressly including an arbitration clause in the contract. This is particularly when the contract is formed by email or instant messaging negotiations.
20.09.2021 Posted in Litigation & Dispute Resolution
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...
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...
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