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 2022.
Alison is 'Recommended' by Legal500 in Dispute Resolution.
Christina is 'Recommended' by Legal500 in Dispute Resolution.
Helen is 'Recommended' by Legal500 in Dispute Resolution.
Glen is 'Recommended' by Legal500 in Dispute Resolution.
Nick is 'Recommended' by Legal500 in Dispute Resolution.
Publications
Events

Insights & Opinion / Disputes

Arbitrating the America’s Cup
In 1970, after Australia was controversially disqualified in Race 2 of AC21, Sir Frank Packer “raged that protesting to the New York Yacht Club was like complaining to your mother-in-law about your ...
29.03.2022 Posted in Construction & Disputes & Trade and Transport
Can Covid-19 frustrate a contract?
Introduction  Covid-19 has had a significant impact on the transport sector, in particular the aviation industry. It has been common for parties affected by Covid-19 to assert that it amounts to a fo...
19.11.2021 Posted in Business Advice & COVID-19 & Trade and Transport
Galtrade Ltd v BP Oil International Ltd – To Reject or Not Reject? Purchaser in Breach when Rejecting Off-Specification Fuel
The English Commercial Court in Galtrade Ltd v BP Oil International [2021] EWHC 1796 (Comm) has held that an oil trader who rejected off-specification cargo wrongfully repudiated the contract, as the specification requirement in the contract was an intermediate term and not a condition.
16.11.2021 Posted in Disputes & Trade and Transport
CMA CGM Libra – General Average Claim Defeated
English Supreme Court confirms defective passage planning made vessel unseaworthy – cargo interests not liable for GA contribution
16.11.2021 Posted in Disputes & Trade and Transport
How watertight is your boat building contract?
New Zealand boat builders beware.
10.11.2021 Posted in Disputes & Trade and Transport
Home Alone? MBIE forced to reconsider home isolation application
In Bolton v The Chief Executive of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment [2021] NZHC 2897 the High Court set aside a decision of MBIE denying an application for MIQ exemption.
04.11.2021 Posted in COVID-19 & Disputes
Class Actions Update
Class actions and litigation funding continue to grow in prominence in New Zealand, despite the lack of a regulatory framework for the same.
27.10.2021 Posted in Construction & Disputes
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