Buddle Findlay

New Zealand

Review

Dispute resolution

Buddle Findlay has an experienced and consistent dispute resolution team, with seven partners permanently based across Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Having leading litigators stationed in all three of the country’s city centres gives it a competitive advantage in its relationships with judges and senior practitioners in each area. In addition to a strong commercial litigation practice, the team is known for its insolvency work.

Scott Barker heads the dispute resolution group that includes specialists Sebastian Bisley, David Broadmore, Sherridan Cook, Willie Palmer, Kelly Paterson and Susan Rowe.

In the commercial and transactions space, the firm continues to represent Southern Response in its defence of a class action brought by claimants who wished to revisit their previously settled insurance claims. The proceeding considered the novel question of whether an opt-in or opt-out class action model should be favoured in the country. New Zealand has never had an opt-out class action. The Law Commission is currently considering the class action landscape in New Zealand and whether it needs a legislative framework.

In another highlight, the firm is acting for New Zealand Steel in defence of a claim seeking an injunction requiring New Zealand Steel to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. The claim is a novel claim in which negligence, public nuisance and an inchoate cause of action are alleged. The firm acted for New Zealand Steel on all aspects of the dispute, and it appeared as lead counsel in the High Court and Court of Appeal.

In a high-valued and complex construction matter, the firm acted for the Department of Corrections in a dispute worth in excess of $100 million regarding its nationally significant modular prison build contract with Decmil Construction NZ. Following the High Court's judgment, a payment of approximately $12 million was made to the Department of Corrections.

Key clients include AgResearch, Bank of New Zealand, Eleonora Sport, MB Technology, New Zealand Industrial Park and Zespri Group.