My research list

Loading My Research List ...

Save my research

Don't lose any of your research. Fill out the form below and have your research list emailed to you.

Employment

We have what is widely considered to be New Zealand's leading employment law practice.

Our specialist national employment law group has significant depth and experience and includes four partners – Phillipa Muir, John Rooney, Samantha Turner and Shan Wilson – and eleven other lawyers, including five senior associates. We have a real depth of experience enabling us to resource matters efficiently and seamlessly across New Zealand.  In addition, the team works on client projects with other senior professionals in the firm including Sally McKechnie, a leading public law expert, and our specialist health and safety consultancy.

We have developed a reputation for robust and strategic advice that is pragmatic and technically sound.

Our expert advice is called on by many of New Zealand's top organisations in both the private and public sector. For example, we act for New Zealand’s largest government department (Ministry of Social Development), the largest tertiary organisation (University of Auckland), a number of local authorities (including Auckland Council, Tauranga City Council and Kaipara District Council), District Health Boards, and many major New Zealand corporates (such as Fonterra, BP Oil and leading banking institutions).

Our success before the Employment Relations Authority and courts is widely acknowledged. We also have extensive experience in mediations. We assist clients to resolve their employment relationship problems quickly and effectively.

We are skilled in all areas of employment-related work including:

  • personal grievance claims
  • disciplinary and performance management process
  • bullying and harassment
  • acting as independent investigators into workplace issues
  • restraints of trade
  • Holidays Act (including advising on audit and remediation processes)
  • collective bargaining (including strikes/lockouts)
  • industrial relations/union issues
  • employee benefits
  • employment and contracting agreements
  • health and safety
  • human rights
  • protected disclosures
  • superannuation (including KiwiSaver)
  • privacy
  • restructuring/redundancy.

Our reputation extends globally. We are independently recognised by key international directories as leaders in our field and as being dedicated to understanding our clients’ needs and delivering outstanding service. We have also been selected as the exclusive New Zealand member of the global Employment Law Alliance (a network of over 3,000 lawyers providing employment and labour expertise in more than 75 countries).  This enables us to ensure that multi-national clients have ready access to local employment law advice in many jurisdictions, where required.

Examples of our work

Advisory

Our core work is acting as a strategic business partner for our clients and providing day-to-day advice on the full range of employment law matters.  We are able to draw on other experts within our firm where required (for example, on tax and intellectual property matters).

Litigation

We have represented our clients in the Employment Relations Authority, Human Rights Review Tribunal, Employment Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.  Recent examples include:

  • Fonterra - successfully defended various unjustified dismissal claims including in respect of harassment and health and safety breaches
  • Ministry of Social Development – successful challenge in the Employment Court to Employment Relations Authority determination (finding of unjustified dismissal/reinstatement set aside).
  • Auckland District Health Board – successfully opposing application for interim reinstatement

Independent Reviews

  • New Zealand Football – Independent Review by Phillipa Muir of conduct and culture
  • Fire and Emergency New Zealand – Samantha Turner, member of independent review panel of workplace policies to address bullying and harassment
  • Various employers – independent investigations into alleged sexual harassment, bullying and other workplace conduct and culture issues.

Holidays Act audits

Assisting numerous public and private sector employers with Holidays Act audits and remediation processes (including the negotiation of Enforceable Undertakings with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment).

Industrial Relations

  • C3 Limited – appearing in the Court of Appeal in respect of alleged discrimination on the grounds of status as Union Delegate and Health and Safety Representative.
  • Advising a number of clients this year on industrial action including strikes, lockouts and union access issues