Senior Associate

Sam Houliston

LLB / BCom
Sam Houliston is a Senior Associate in the Disputes Team and specialises in Employment Law.

Sam graduated with a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Commerce specialising in Employment Relations from the University of Auckland in 2005.  He was admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court in 2006.

Sam joined Hesketh Henry in 2017, having previously worked for Auckland laws firms as an employment, civil and criminal litigator representing clients in the Employment Relations Authority, Employment Court, High Court, and tribunals.  He has also previously prosecuted health and safety matters for the Department of Labour (prior to WorkSafe’s being) and acted as an independent Accident Compensation adjudicator.

Sam advises employers and employees on all issues arising from the employment relationship including restructuring, performance management, disciplinary procedures, personal grievances, restraint of trade issues, health and safety matters and statutory compliance.  He regularly helps clients at mediation, in the Employment Relations Authority, and Employment Court.

Sam is a member of the New Zealand Law Society and the Auckland District Law Society.


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Examples of work completed by Sam include:

  • Advising on health and safety compliance and WorkSafe enforcement action.
  • Enforcement of restraint of trade covenants following the exit of key employees.
  • Advising on employment aspects of mergers and acquisitions.
  • Advising employers regarding implementation of drug and alcohol testing.
  • Advising a national union in respect of industrial action.

Insights & Opinion / Sam Houliston

Trust liability under the Health and Safety at Work Act
WorkSafe New Zealand v RH & JY Trust & ors
21.02.2024 Posted in Health & Safety & Private Wealth
rsz large pillars
Health and Safety: The Consequences of Dishonesty
Siddhartha Gautama said that lies are like huge, gaudy vessels, the rafters of which are rotten and worm-eaten, and that those who embark in them are fated to be shipwrecked.  Two remarkable health a...
03.11.2023 Posted in Employment & Health & Safety
Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail: Leasing and Health and Safety
When the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA) came into force in April 2016 as part of the Government’s strategy to reduce serious work-related injuries, it marked an important shift in health ...
22.02.2023 Posted in Health & Safety & Property
Hands and gavel
Health and Safety at Work Act: Whakaari prosecutions and protection of the public
On 9 December 2019 Whakaari/White Island erupted tragically killing or severely injuring the 47 people who were exploring the offshore volcano.
21.10.2022 Posted in Health & Safety
Health Safety Blocks Wide
Directors’ accountability for health and safety violations
The Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA) defines an ‘officer’ as a person who exercises significant influence over the management of a business or undertaking (PCBU).
21.07.2022 Posted in Health & Safety
Are you ready for the new Covid-19 Protection Framework?
Parliament has been racing through COVID-19 legislation in preparation for New Zealand entering the COVID-19 Protection Framework (CPF) at midnight tonight, Thursday 2 December.   Employers operating...
02.12.2021 Posted in Business Advice & COVID-19 & Employment & Health & Safety
Construction Contractor Controversy: Guidance on the Status of Contractors
Workers in the construction industry are frequently engaged as independent contractors.
18.06.2021 Posted in Business Advice & Construction & Employment