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
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

The Commerce Commission is set to undertake a market study into the Retail Grocery Sector
On 17 November 2020 the Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs announced a market study into the retail grocery sector through the Commerce Commission under Part 3A of the Commerce Act 1986 (Act)....
Court of Appeal cuts fine for Steel & Tube’s breaches of the Fair Trading Act 
The Court of Appeal in Commerce Commission v Steel & Tube Holdings Limited [2020] NZCA 549 has set aside last year’s High Court decision under the Fair Trading Act 1986 (FTA) where it imposed a ...
My way or the highway: repudiation, cancellation and dispute resolution clauses
In Jade Residential Ltd v Paul, the Court of Appeal reviewed two issues which may arise in contractual disputes: The right to cancel a contract for “partial” repudiation; and Whether an aggrieved...
Is a Contract a Contract (if a Court says it’s not)?
Savvy Vineyards 4334 Ltd v Weta Estate Ltd [2020] NZSC 115
Hesketh Henry announces new managing partner
We are very pleased to announce the appointment of Christina Bryant as our new managing partner.
09.10.2020
Government calls time on Dodds litigation
Southern Response Earthquake Services Limited v Dodds [2020] NZCA 395
Entitlement to Indemnity under Marine Transit Insurance
The decision of the Full Federal Court of Australia in Swashplate Pty Ltd v Liberty Mutual Insurance Company trading as Liberty International Underwriters addresses the issue of when risk attaches pur...
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