Jim Roberts

LLM (Hons) (1st Class) / LLB / BCom
Jim Roberts heads up the Employment Law Team.

Jim has a wealth of specialist experience, having been practising employment law for more than 30 years.  He helps his clients, who are from a range of industries, develop their employment strategies around common employment processes, assists with compliance work to minimise his clients’ exposure to risk, with a particular focus on Holidays Act issues, and regularly advises on issues arising from mergers and acquisitions.

Jim is a highly skilled and experienced advocate and has a wealth of experience in mediation, the Employment Relations Authority, Employment Court and appellate Courts.  Over his career, Jim has acted on a number of leading cases.  A particular recent highlight is a Court of Appeal benchmark case on the application of short-term incentive payments under the Holidays Act.  A career highlight was appearing in the Privy Council regarding employment jurisdiction, which is the only employment case from New Zealand to ever be heard in the Privy Council.

As well as providing strategic legal advice, Jim is often involved in union disputes and collective agreement issues and is currently advising on one of the first fair pay agreement negotiations.  He enjoys getting to know his clients’ businesses and understanding the people behind the issues.


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Examples of work completed by Jim include:

  • Advising a publicly listed company on the managed exit of its CEO.
  • Representing an employer in relation to the workplace death of an employee.
  • Leading a mediation involving a dispute encompassing shareholding, directors and employment of the managing director.
  • Assisting an employer to commission an investigation into a senior employee alleged to have committed fraud and managing the subsequent disciplinary process.
  • Working with a large multinational employer to restructure New Zealand operations, including the redundancy of a large number of employees.

Insights & Opinion / Jim Roberts

FGH v RST the Sequel: Navigating mental health in employment processes
Mental health matters are complex and navigating those matters during performance or disciplinary processes can be difficult for both parties.  In an unusual twist, the Employment Court (Court) was a...
15.08.2023 Posted in Business Advice & Employment
Three parties in an employment relationship – the riddle in Riddler
Employment relationships are not always straightforward.  When there are three parties involved, things can get complicated.  The Employment Court (the Court) has recently had to untangle just such ...
01.08.2023 Posted in Employment
loud hailer
Breaking News: Timeframe to raise a personal grievance for sexual harassment set to increase to 12 months
The timeframe to raise a personal grievance for sexual harassment is about to increase from 90 days to 12 months. This change will come about as a result of the Employment Relations (Extended Time for...
09.06.2023 Posted in Business Advice & Employment
What to do when disaster strikes? Practical Guidance for Employers Following a Natural Disaster
Following the flooding in January and Cyclone Gabrielle in February the lives of many individuals (both employees and employers) in the North Island have been thrown into turmoil.  Many were devastat...
14.03.2023 Posted in Climate Change & Employment
The Employment Law Team – Updates for 2023
2023 has had a turbulent start to the year.  We know that many of you are affected in Northland, Coromandel and Auckland, and the scale of the devastation in Hawkes Bay and Tairawhiti is beyond compr...
24.02.2023 Posted in Employment
employee signature
On your marks, get set, STOP! Revoking an offer of employment
Sometimes, an employer wants to withdraw an offer of employment, especially when the offer was conditional. But what if the employee has already accepted?
10.11.2022 Posted in Employment
No Case to Answer. Significant Costs Awarded Against WorkSafe
The recent decision of WorkSafe New Zealand v Mount Somers Sand Ltd [2022] NZDC 12056 is significant because WorkSafe was required to pay the defendant’s costs after the Court found there was no cas...
21.10.2022 Posted in Health & Safety