Mike is an employment and health and safety specialist, with extensive experience in serious workplace incidents and investigations.  He is highly regarded by his clients for providing strategic and pragmatic advice.

Mike advises on all aspects of employment law, including disciplinary and dismissal processes, restructures and redundancies, employment agreements, workplace policies, independent investigations, performance management, holidays and leave issues, union and industrial disputes, personal grievance issues, health and safety, and human rights, and privacy law issues.

Mike works with corporate clients, public sector entities, and local government authorities to ensure compliance with the various duties under health and safety legislation. 

Before moving into private practice, Mike was a Legal Officer in the New Zealand Army where he assisted with the investigation and emergency management of fatalities on operations both domestically and overseas.  He also worked for a leading law firm in the United Kingdom on significant health and safety matters.

Utilising his experience of incident investigations to inform areas of potential risk, Mike provides strategic safety advice, including corporate governance, due diligence and the development of procedures. This includes looking at both organisational and individual health and safety liability within complex corporate structures. 

Mike also assist clients in their response to serious incidents management, regulatory investigations and proceedings commenced by enforcing regulator.

The sectors in which Mike has advised include defence, construction, manufacturing, energy, transport, waste management, agriculture and forestry.

Mike regularly represents clients at mediations and has appeared in the Employment Relations Authority, District Court and High Court. 

Mike is a member of the NZLS Employment Law Committee, Wellington branch, and regularly speaks at employment law, human resources and health and safety events.

NZ Lawyer 2023

Rising Star

Work Highlights

New Zealand Defence Force

Representing NZDF to successfully have a charge, laid by WorkSafe following a fatality of a Special Forces operator during training for counter terrorism response activities, dismissed by the High Court (following the successful judicial review of a District Court decision declining application to have the charge dismissed).

New Zealand Defence Force

Representing NZDF in relation to sentencing for offences under health and safety legislation following a fatality in which a Navy Diver drowned during training and an incident during riot training where NZ Army soldiers suffered burn injuries caused by the misuse of Molotov Cocktails.

New Zealand Rugby

Working with the firm’s corporate team to advise on employment and bargaining issues arising out arising out of the Silver Lake Transaction and the Players' Collective Agreement.

Apprenticeship Training Trust

Advice in respect of its health and safety obligations when recruiting apprentices and the management of their placement with host businesses to undertake their apprenticeships and its duty to take all reasonably practicable steps to consult, cooperate and coordinate with the host businesses in relation to any shared duties under health and safety legislation.

Trojan Holdings Limited

Successfully obtaining an Enforceable Undertaking, in lieu of prosecution, for a health and safety charge laid by WorkSafe following an incident at Cromwell Waste Transfer Station.

Various employers

Conducting and advising on independent investigations relating to allegations of bullying, harassment and employee misconduct for a range of employers.

Corporate matters including employment and health safety due diligence for sale and purchase transactions, employee share schemes and services agreements.

Advising employers in the public and private sector on Holidays Act compliance and Labour Inspector audits, investigations and enforceable undertakings (including two secondments with the Ministry of Education to provide advice to the Ministry’s Schools’ Payroll Holidays Act Programme for the calculation and delivery of remediation payments to affected current and former staff).

Reviewing and drafting workplace health and safety policies and procedures, conducting and advising on independent reviews relating to safety management systems, good governance, officers' due diligence and duties.

Assisting various clients to undertake duty holder reviews, privileged investigations, attending WorkSafe interviews and obtaining enforceable undertakings in lieu of prosecution for breaches of health and safety legislation arising out of serious workplace incidents.

Advising on duties, liability, prosecution strategy and providing representation for alleged breaches of health and safety obligations arising out serious harm incidents and fatalities (including matters relating to sentencing such as fines, restorative justice, reparation payments and name suppression).

Areas of Expertise

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