Litigation and dispute resolution

Buddle Findlay is a major force in dispute resolution and litigation in New Zealand.  We provide strategic and tailored advice to achieve our client's objectives.


We are a major force in dispute resolution and litigation in New Zealand.  Our approach is to manage disputes in a commercial and cost-effective way to achieve the client’s objectives.  This includes exploring settlement options and other dispute resolution methods when appropriate.  A good understanding of our clients' business and commercial needs is fundamental to delivering value to the client in this area.

Acting predominantly in the High Court, Court of Appeal and specialist tribunals and commissions, members of our dispute resolution/litigation team have also appeared in the Privy Council, Supreme Court and in the District, Employment and Environment Courts.

Our firm's practice covers the full range of commercial disputes and we assist clients in many areas, including:

  • Company receiverships and liquidations

  • Contractual disputes

  • Intellectual property disputes including patent, copyright, trade mark and passing off actions

  • Commerce Act and competition matters

  • Judicial reviews and appeals against decision-makers

  • Pension and superannuation fund issues

  • Insurance litigation

  • Liability of corporate trustees, directors and auditors

  • Partnership disputes

  • Construction disputes, including adjudications under the Construction Contracts Act 2002

  • Arbitrations, including international arbitrations

  • Telecommunication disputes

  • Maritime and aviation disputes including seizure of vessels

  • Broadcasting Standards Authority proceedings

  • Tax and trust litigation

  • Energy and electricity sector disputes

  • Commercial property disputes, including caveat removal, leasehold disputes and rent review disputes

  • Professional negligence claims

  • Regulatory prosecutions

  • Valuation disputes, including disputes under the Public Works Act 1981

  • Interim remedies and injunctions

  • Enforcement of foreign judgments and cross-border litigation.

Our leading dispute resolution and litigation team have the skills, experience and specialist expertise to deliver effective results for clients.  We tailor our approach to suit the subject matter and our clients' needs, whether it be a streamlined approach for debt collection matters or comprehensive services in large and complex litigation.  We understand the need to be efficient and proportionate and have taken a key role in promoting the beneficial use of technology in litigation.

As a major national law firm, we manage disputes throughout the country and we also have significant experience in cross-border disputes.  Our advice to our clients is timely, relevant, practical, accessible and useable.


Guide to litigation in New Zealand 

Our national litigation and dispute resolution team have put together a high-level and general guide to litigation in New Zealand.  This guide covers a wide range of issues from an overview of the New Zealand court system to commencing High Court proceedings and enforcing judgments.

View and download guide


  • Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific firm of the year (2019)

Work highlights

Acting for Sky Television

in claims against sellers of pre loaded Kodi boxes that enable users to view pirated copyright content

Acting for the administrators of the Arrow Group of companies

including obtaining urgent Court orders approving their appointment, extending various statutory time periods and urgent orders preventing cranes being removed from various construction sites

Acting for New Zealand Industrial Park

in opposition to an application to remove covenants, which had to be removed for the purposes of Synlait Milk's construction of a NZ$280m infant formula manufacturing plant

Acting for Zespri

against formerly licensed growers, claiming breach of contract and the Plant Variety Rights Act following alleged unauthorised supply and licensing of kiwifruit in China

Acting for Sky Television, Television New Zealand, Lightbox New Zealand, and MediaWorks

in relation to copyright infringement proceedings concerning the Global Mode internet service provided by CallPlus Group

Acting for Auckland Council

in respect of seven individual claims by the successors of original owners of land at Te Atatu alleged to have been taken under the Public Works Act 1928 by the Auckland Harbour Board (Robertson v Auckland Council [2014] NZHC 765)

Our team

Bridie McKinnon

Partner, Wellington

Bridie has over 15 years' experience in a range of litigation matters in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.…

  • DDI +64 3 371 3563
  • M +64 21 0252 8460


David Allen

Partner, Wellington

David specialises in all aspects of resource management, environmental and natural resources law and local government law…

  • DDI +64 4 462 0423
  • M +64 21 955 744


David Broadmore

Partner, Auckland

David specialises in commercial litigation. He has over 17 years' experience in resolving banking and finance, insolvency, insurance…

  • DDI +64 9 358 7010
  • M +64 21 022 72994


David Randal

Partner, Wellington

David specialises in resource management, environmental and Māori law. He has advised clients at the heart of intensive RMA…

  • DDI +64 4 462 0450
  • M +64 21 742 863


Hamish Kynaston

Partner, Wellington

Hamish specialises in employment relations, litigation, health law, health and safety, and education…

  • DDI +64 4 462 0439
  • M +64 21 279 2147


Jennifer Caldwell

Partner, Auckland
National Chair

Jennifer specialises in resource management, environmental and local government law, with extensive experience as a strategic…

  • DDI +64 9 358 7034
  • M +64 21 624 162


Kelly Paterson

Partner, Christchurch

Kelly specialises in commercial litigation. She advises on a wide range of commercial litigation issues, including contract disputes…

  • DDI +64 3 371 3547
  • M +64 21 891 028


Luke Sizer

Partner, Auckland

Luke specialises in commercial litigation and arbitration. He regularly acts on matters involving complex corporate fraud, insolvency…

  • DDI +64 9 363 1036
  • M +64 27 297 0374


Mere King

Partner, Auckland

Mere specialises in employment, industrial relations, health and safety, employee privacy matters, as well dispute resolution and…

  • DDI +64 9 363 1348
  • M +64 21 575 609


Olly Peers

Partner, Christchurch

Olly specialises in litigation and dispute resolution. Olly's experience and areas of interest include company law, contract law…

  • DDI +64 3 371 3568
  • M +64 21 881 463


Paul Beverley

Partner, Wellington

Paul was the National Chair of Buddle Findlay from 2017 to March 2020. Paul specialises in Māori Law, Treaty settlement negotiations…

  • DDI +64 4 462 0406
  • M +64 21 276 9322


Peter Chemis

Partner, Wellington

Peter specialises in employment law, industrial relations and related areas, and leads Buddle Findlay’s national employment team…

  • DDI +64 4 498 7339
  • M +64 27 444 6619


Scott Barker

Partner, Wellington

Scott specialises in litigation and insolvency law. He advises both private and public sector clients…

  • DDI +64 4 498 7349
  • M +64 21 822 929


Sherridan Cook

Partner, Auckland
Board of Management

Sherridan specialises in employment, industrial relations and health and safety as well as litigation and dispute resolution…

  • DDI +64 9 357 1858
  • M +64 27 545 9768


Susan Rowe

Partner, Christchurch

Susan specialises in litigation, local government, insurance, industrial relations and health and safety. Susan currently advises…

  • DDI +64 3 371 3517
  • M +64 27 537 7784


Vanessa Evitt

Partner, Auckland

Vanessa specialises in resource management, environmental and local government law. She has acted…

  • DDI +64 9 363 0584
  • M +64 21 754 503


Willie Palmer

Partner, Christchurch

Willie specialises in commercial litigation including construction, insurance and insolvency law. He has broad experience in…

  • DDI +64 3 371 3502
  • M +64 21 377 961