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

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...
New ICC Arbitration Rules 2021 come into force
The revised International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Arbitration Rules for 2021 (2021 Rules) have now come into force and apply to all ICC arbitrations begun after 1 January 2021.  While the new Rules...
10.03.2021 Posted in Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Demolishing the “I’m not a PCBU” defence
In WorkSafe New Zealand v Dong SH Auckland Limited [2020] NZHC 3368, the High Court considered the statutory concept of a Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU).  The facts of the prosecu...
04.03.2021 Posted in Health & Safety
When is someone ‘at work’ under the Health and Safety at Work Act?
The High Court has confirmed that to be ‘at work’ for the purposes of the Health & Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA), a link between the particular activity undertaken and the work of the PCBU is required. If that link is established, any person engaged in the activity will be 'at work' for the purposes of the HSWA.
18.02.2021 Posted in Business Advice & Health & Safety
English Supreme Court clarifies approach to determining the governing law of an international arbitration agreement
The English Supreme Court has recently clarified how the governing law of an arbitration agreement should be determined, where the agreement lacks an express choice of law provision.  In an area of l...
The High Court clarifies the liability of ‘officers’ under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015
The High Court has clarified the due diligence duty imposed on ‘officers’ of a PCBU. Due diligence is not limited to obligations of governance, but will depend on the nature of the PCBU and the role the officer occupies in it.
17.02.2021 Posted in Business Advice & Health & Safety
Construction Contracts Act Enforcement Costs
Cubo Projects Ltd v S&S Import Solutions Ltd
17.02.2021 Posted in Construction
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