Recognised as one of New Zealand’s leading media and defamation lawyers, I have a proven record of excellence and success with over 25 years litigation and advocacy experience. I deliver solution-based outcomes for my clients that recognise both legal and commercial imperatives. I advise a number of New Zealand’s major digital, broadcast and print media entities – both public and commercial – and have led and appeared in a number of significant media law and defamation cases.
I also have extensive experience in the areas of dispute resolution, coronial and other inquiries, human rights (freedom of expression), copyright, privacy, contempt, suppression, insolvency and liquidation, judicial review, professional disciplinary tribunals, and trust and estate litigation. I also regularly provide advice to New Zealand film production and publishing companies.
Prior to moving to the independent bar at Shortland Chambers, I was a litigation partner for 20 years at the highly respected Wellington firm Izard Weston. My international legal experience in the areas of commercial transactions and insolvency involved working in the London offices of global law firms Reed Smith LLP (as Warner Cranston) and DLA Piper (as Dibb Lupton Broomhead).
I am a member of the New Zealand Bar Association, the New Zealand Law Society and a faculty member of the NZLS’s Litigation Skills Programme. I have also contributed to legal education as a presenter to a number of NZLS CLE Media Law seminars
Selected Case History
Driver v RNZ & Ors  NZHC 3275 – successfully applied to strike out remaining causes of action in defamation on limitation and abuse of process grounds.
Ngaamo v NZ Police  NZHC 3129 – successfully opposed application for permanent name suppression for high profile personality convicted of domestic abuse.
Chiv v Stuff Limited  NZHC 767 – successfully opposed application for injunction to require take down of allegedly defamatory online article.
Arnold v Stuff Ltd & Shadbolt - successfully defended The Southland Times against a defamation claim brought by Cr Karen Arnold against the newspaper and Mayor Shadbolt (jury trial).
Wall v Fairfax New Zealand Ltd  NZHC 104 – successfully defended a claim that cartoons caused racial disharmony in breach of section 61 of the Human Rights Act 1993 with reference to the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act and freedom of expression issues.
Driver v Radio New Zealand & Ors  NZHC 3188 – successfully opposed plaintiff’s application to extend primary limitation period and obtained security for costs for nine media defendants.
Noble v Aharoni  NZHC 1995 – successfully overturned an interim injunction restraining publication of a defamatory notice on pleading a truth defence.
R v Warren  NZHC 1728 – successfully overturned an interim suppression order suppressing the names of police officers injured during an armed siege.
Arnold v Fairfax New Zealand Ltd  NZHC 207 – successfully opposed an application to strike out an honest opinion defence.
CPA Australia Ltd v NZ Institute of Chartered Accountants  NZHC 1854 – successfully defended a defamation claim by one professional body against another (instructing solicitor / junior counsel).
Lyttelton v R  NZCA 279;  1 NZLR 21 – successfully opposed an appeal against a refusal to order take down of historic online articles prior to a criminal trial.
Fairfax New Zealand Ltd v Ismail  1525;  NZAR 819 – successfully overturned an interim name suppression order (Malaysian diplomat case).
Beacon Media Group Ltd v Waititi  NZHC 281 – partially successful appeal by media entity overturning name suppression orders.
Admitted to the Bar: 1991
Partner – Izard Weston: 1998 - 2018
Barrister Sole: 2018
Year Admitted: 1991
Barrister Sole: 2018