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Litigation and Dispute Resolution

Our litigation and dispute resolution services

If you are facing a dispute, whether commercial or private, our skilled litigation and disputes resolution team aim to work with you to achieve the most favourable outcome. At the outset we advise on the most appropriate options to resolve the dispute, with a mind to achieving a cost effective solution.

Our team is experienced in the use of alternative dispute resolution including negotiation, mediation, and arbitration. However, when litigation is the only option, we are experienced over a broad range of matters in the various Tribunals, the District Court, Employment Court, Environment Court, Family Court, High Court, and Court of Appeal.

We regularly act on disputes involving:

  • Mediations and arbitrations
  • Contractual disputes
  • Commercial disputes
  • Debt recovery and insolvency
  • Relationship property and family law
  • Insurance
  • Judicial review
  • Claims in tort, including negligence
  • Trust and estate litigation
  • Employment
  • Professional body disciplinary action
  • Criminal law
  • Intellectual property

Examples of our recent work

Primary Wool v Stevens [2016] NZHC 2844

High Court Christchurch: Successful defence of summary judgment application in which the plaintiff attempted to enforce a personal guarantee.


Koura Mining v Geotech [2016] NZHC 1926

High Court Christchurch: Successful defence of application to set aside a Statutory Demand which was issued after the debtor defaulted on industrial machinery purchase payments.

Koura Mining goes bust owing hundreds of thousands of dollars


Queenstown Central Ltd v March Construction [2016] NZHC 1884

High Court Christchurch: Defended a civil claim in trespass, unsuccessful on defence of the trespass claim however successfully defended the claim for mesne profits to be calculated on land value rather than reasonable use.

Liquidation of Williams & Co, 12 February 2015

High Court Christchurch:

Christchurch building firm Williams & Co in liquidation | Stuff.co.nz


Strong v Hurunui Hotel (2004) Ltd [2015] NZHC 155

Strong v Hurunui Hotel (2004) Ltd [2015] NZHC 1216

Opposed application by tenant for relief against forfieture. Application granted but with strict conditions imposed on tenant.

Successful costs application on behalf of landlord opposing application for relief against forfeiture of lease.

Possession subsequently granted to landlord after failure of tenant to comply with conditions of relief.


UDC Finance v Rout [2015] NZHC 212

Successful opposition to an application for summary judgment against guarantor on the basis of undue influence.

Judge declines summary judgement for $4.6m debt – Otago Daily Times

Moore v Odgers CIV 2014-009-2639

Christchurch District Court (decision 22 November 2016): Successful claim against a defendant denying liability under a contractual arrangement for the division of profits between business partners.


  • Successfully defending an application for summary judgment brought against a guarantor under a loan agreement in UDC Finance Limited v Rout [2015] NZHC 212.
  • Representing several clients in Adjudication under the Construction Contracts Act 2002.
  • Successfully arguing for unequal division of relationship property Mauger v Mauger [2015] NZFC 570.
  • Successfully liquidating high profile Christchurch construction company Williams & Co Ltd.
  • Representing an engineer through the IPENZ complaints process arising from the Canterbury Earthquakes.
  • Obtaining an urgent freezing order over bank accounts in a relationship property dispute in Johnson v Watling, CIV-2012-409-1425, Christchurch High Court, 13 July 2012.
  • Successfully making application for summary judgment to recall letters of administration in Lee v Archer [2012] NZHC 3308.

External links to further information

New Zealand Law Society publications:

Get further advice from

Michael Kirkland

Michael Kirkland

Consultant/Special Counsel

T +64 3 963 1455
M 021 0285 1682
E michael.kirkland@saunders.co.nz

Andrew Riches

Andrew Riches


T +64 3 963 1457
M 021 982 115
E andrew.riches@saunders.co.nz

Peter Tatham - Hornby

Peter Tatham


T +64 3 265 0915
M 027 448 6336
E peter.tatham@saunders.co.nz

Tania Hutchinson

Tania Hutchinson

Senior Associate

T +64 3 966 7706
M 022 628 1302
E tania.hutchinson@saunders.co.nz

Virginia Nichols

Virginia Nichols

Senior Associate | Registered Patent Attorney (New Zealand and Australia)

T +64 3 963 1463
M +64 27 449 8893
E virginia.nichols@saunders.co.nz