Senior Associate

Sam Houliston

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

Sam graduated with conjoint degrees in Law and Management/Employment Relations in 2005 from the University of Auckland. He was admitted to the Bar in February 2006.

Sam joined Hesketh Henry in September 2017, having previously worked for Auckland laws firms as an employment, civil and criminal litigator representing clients in courts, the Employment Relations Authority and other tribunals. He has also prosecuted health and safety matters for the Department of Labour (now MBIE), and acted as an independent Accident Compensation adjudicator.

Sam advises employers and employees on all issues (contentious and non-contentious) arising from the employment relationship including performance management, disciplinary procedures, redundancy and restructuring processes, restraint of trade and non-solicitation issues, personal grievances, negotiated exits and employment agreements and policies. He regularly assists clients at mediation and in the Employment Relations Authority, and has appeared in the 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:

  • Reviewing an international company’s health and safety policies, and advising on compliance and  implementation in New Zealand.
  • Representing a senior employee in respect of a managed exit from a multinational financial services company.
  • Providing advice to employers regarding implementation of drug and alcohol testing and implementation of policies.
  • Enforcement of restraint of trade covenants following the exit of key employees.
  • Advising on employment issues arising from the sale and purchase of businesses.
Individually recognised 'Rising Star', Labour & Employment' 2021.
The Legal500 Asia Pacific 2021 Directory individually recommended Senior Associate, Sam Houliston as a 'Recommended Lawyer' in the Employment practice area.

Insights & Opinion / Sam Houliston

Demolishing the “I’m not a PCBU” defence
In WorkSafe New Zealand v Dong SH Auckland Limited [2020] NZHC 3368, the High Court considered the statutory concept of a Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU).  The facts of the prosecu...
04.03.2021 Posted in Health & Safety
The impact of lockdown on the Minimum Wage Act: the Employment Court judgment in Gate Gourmet
In Sandhu v Gate Gourmet New Zealand Ltd, Gate Gourmet challenged the Employment Relations Authority’s determination that the protections under the Minimum Wage Act 1983 (MWA) applied to its employe...
03.03.2021 Posted in Business Advice & Employment
COVID-19 Redundancies: Cutting Corners Courts Censure
The Employment Relations Authority (Authority) has recently issued a determination that considers redundancies implemented due to the Government’s COVID-19 restrictions:  De Wys and Jenney v Solly...
13.08.2020 Posted in COVID-19 & Employment
COVID-19: Health and Safety in essential businesses
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, New Zealand’s alert level is currently at Alert Level 4.
31.03.2020 Posted in Business Advice & COVID-19 & Health & Safety
Ending Employment – Process is Key!
Even when employment has lasted for a very short time, an employer is still required to follow the law, and the consequences of failing to comply can end up being very significant.  So it was for a C...
26.09.2019 Posted in Employment
Stop Press: “It was pure luck that nobody was killed”
Earlier this month, we set out an overview of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA) as it applies to landlords and tenants. On 23 August 2019, the first sentencing decision involving a landlor...
28.08.2019 Posted in Health & Safety
Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail: Leasing and Health and 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 over 3 years ago as part of the Government’s strategy to reduce serious...
13.08.2019 Posted in Commercial Property & Health & Safety