Partner

Nick Gillies

BCom. LLB (Hons)
Profile
Nick is a partner in the Disputes Team.  He is a specialist construction lawyer, with additional expertise in the insurance and marine sectors.

Prior to joining Hesketh Henry in 2013, Nick worked for Russell McVeagh in Wellington, before spending eight years with specialist construction firm Beale and Company in London.  He is admitted in both New Zealand and England & Wales.

Nick acts for clients in all types of construction matters, including time and money disputes, building defect claims, and contract advice.  He is individually recommended by Doyles Guide and Legal 500 for Construction, with clients describing him as having “exceptional industry knowledge” and providing “proactive, professional and to the point advice”. 

In addition, Nick has experience advising on policy coverage and other insurance matters, which intersects with his construction practice, including pursuing and defending liability claims involving underwriters.  With a sailing background, Nick also advises on marine and yachting industry issues.

Nick is a member of AMINZ, New Zealand Society of Construction Law, and the Dispute Resolution Board Foundation.  He writes and speaks regularly on construction and dispute resolution issues, and has been published in Building and Construction Law Journal, Arbitrator & Mediator Journal, and the Solicitors Journal.  Nick has authored arguably New Zealand’s leading papers on Dispute Boards, Engineer to the Contract, and Concurrent Delay.

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Experience

Examples of work completed by Nick include:

  • Advising contractors and specialist subcontractors on claims involving variations, prolongation, thickening, measured works, and extensions of time under commercial and civil contracts
  • Handing various adjudications under the Construction Contracts Act 2002
  • Advising on performance bonds under construction contracts, including obtaining injunctive relief
  • Defending liability claims against construction professionals for alleged design and build defects
  • Representing subcontractors in proceedings concerning earthquake repairs
  • Successfully defending a US$85m claim against consulting engineers concerning the construction of a Filipino power station
  • Representing a building systems subcontractor on the new Wembley Stadium in disputes with the main contractor
  • Representing an international engineering consultancy in proceedings concerning insurance cover for design defects with a new wastewater treatment plant in Ireland
  • Representing a marine contractor in a substantial delay and disruption claim for a refit project
  • Advising on claims concerning the construction of on-shore shipping facilities in the Middle East
  • Advising on establishing a new international class under World Sailing rules
Recommendations
Individually recommend as a "Leading Individual" Nick is recommended by Legal500 as 'Leading Individual" in Construction.
Individually recommended by The Doyle's Guide Directory Nick is recommended by Doyles Guide as a Leading Construction, Projects and Infrastructure lawyer
Publications
  • Getting the Deal Through – Construction (2015 – 2020)
  • LexisNexis Dispute Resolution Guide (2016 – 2020)
  • LexisNexis Practical Guidance – Insurance
  • We need to talk about the Engineer: A New Zealand Perspective (2018) 34 BCL 179
  • A Guide to Concurrent Delay (2018)
  • Rebuilding New Zealand: A case for Dispute Resolution Boards (2014) 33 AMJ 121

Insights & Opinion / Nick Gillies

Design life in the spotlight
Blackpool Borough Council v Volkerfitzpatrick [2020] EWHC 1523 (TCC) In 2009, Blackpool Borough Council (Principal), as principal, contracted with Volkerfitzpatrick Ltd (Contractor), as head contracto...
COVID-19: Weekly Construction Briefings
12 June 2020 New Zealand has moved into Alert Level 1 from 8 June 2020. While this means that life has largely returned to normal, as physical distancing and other restrictions have been removed, upd...
12.06.2020 Posted in Construction Law & COVID-19
Liquidated damages and penalty clauses: the last word on Honey Bees
The Supreme Court’s judgment in 127 Hobson Street Limited & Anor v Honey Bees Preschool Limited & Anor [2020] NZSC 53 confirms the test for determining when a clause in a contract designed t...
10.06.2020 Posted in Construction Law
Retentions Regime: Government Announces Changes
On 27 May 2020 the Government announced several in-principle changes to strengthen the retentions regime (Regime) in the Construction Contracts Act 2002 (the CCA). Despite the Regime’s introduction ...
04.06.2020 Posted in Construction Law
Adjudicators’ Powers: The ability to award statutory damages and to consider matters already determined
Adjudication under the Construction Contracts Act 2002 (CCA) is a commonly used procedure to determine disputes between parties to a construction contract.  The recent decision of the High Court in H...
02.06.2020 Posted in Construction Law
Payment schedule dispute causes delay to Commercial Bay completion
The recent judgment in Fletcher Construction Company Ltd v Spotless Facility Services (NZ) Ltd [2020] NZHC 780 and 871 demonstrates the Court’s pragmatic approach to injunctive relief against a subc...
20.05.2020 Posted in Construction Law
When sparks fly: Electrix v Fletcher Construction
The High Court[1] has ordered The Fletcher Construction Company Ltd (Fletcher) to pay one of its subcontractors Electrix Ltd (Electrix) $7.5m for electrical work carried out on the recently completed ...
09.05.2020 Posted in Construction Law