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
Recognised in The Asialaw Profiles Directory 2019.

Insights & Opinion / Disputes

EBERT CONSTRUCTION RECEIVERSHIP – What You Need To Know
What is currently known? On 31 July 2018 Ebert Construction Ltd (Ebert) was placed into receivership.  John Fisk, Lara Bennett, and Richard Longman from PwC have been appointed receivers.  The recei...
Managing Risk and Dispute Resolution in Construction Projects ….
The best way to manage a dispute is not to have one.
Leaking Buildings: A Council Class Action In The Making?
We are now on what may be called the “third wave leaky buildings”.
Building Product Manufacturers and Duties of Care
Carter Holt Harvey Ltd v Minister of Education & Ors [2015] NZCA 321Last year the High Court[1] refused to strike out a negligence claim that a designer, manufacturer and supplier of building m...
10.12.2015 Posted in Construction Law
Selecting and Tailoring Dispute Resolution Clauses
Dispute resolution clauses are often relegated to the end of contractual negotiations or standard “boilerplates” are included with little or no thought as to their appropriateness.  Frequently s...
7.10.2015 Posted in Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Rebuilding New Zealand: A case for Dispute Resolution Boards
Download pdf paper Download Powerpoint slides New Zealand sits on the cusp of the largest construction boom in a generation.  One of the challenges (and opportunities) that this presents is how best ...
2.09.2014 Posted in Construction Law
Arbitration Act 1996 – Reconstructing the Agreement to Arbitrate
The recent stream of alternate dispute resolution methods is part of the zeitgeist where disputants are shying away from Courts and attempting to settle their differences outside the Courtroom steps. ...
9.07.2014 Posted in Litigation & Dispute Resolution
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