Phillipa is Simpson Grierson's Chair, and one of New Zealand's leading employment lawyers. She acts for many of New Zealand's major corporations, tertiary institutions, and local government bodies.

Phillipa has successfully argued several leading cases in new areas of employment law. These include the first major damages claim brought by an employer against a union, the first successful stress damages case to go to the Court of Appeal, and the first employment law case to go to New Zealand's Supreme Court.

Phillipa is a Director of Delegat Group Limited, Chair of Fletcher Building Employee Educational Fund and a Trustee of Sweet Louise Foundation.

Phillipa has co-authored two Brookers texts: ‘Employment Law’ and ‘Recruitment & Termination’.

Asia Pacific Legal 500 2024
Labour & Employment

Leading Lawyer (Hall of Fame)

Chambers Asia-Pacific 2024

Leading Lawyer

The International Who's Who Legal 2021
Employment & Benefits

Global Leader

Asialaw Leading Lawyers Guide 2018
Labour & Employment

Market-leading Lawyer

Work Highlights

University of Auckland (New Zealand’s largest tertiary institute with over 40,000 students and 5,556 FTE staff)

Acted for the University for a number of years on all employment litigation (including cases before the Employment Court regarding restructuring, medical incapacity and academic freedom.

NZ Rugby Review

Undertook an extensive review of the Black Ferns team/management and issued a public report in April 2022.

Culture Reviews & Investigations 

Regularly undertakes independent culture reviews for organisations and she has also investigated (and issued reports) regarding complaints of bullying, harassment and other inappropriate conduct in workplace.

Key employment advisor 

Phillipa has been the key employment advisor for many of New Zealand’s largest companies, banks and local authorities for many years.

Holidays Act 2003 

Advised a large number of employers in the public and private sector on issues around inadvertent non-compliance with the Holidays Act 2003 and obligations to remedy any holiday pay underpayments.

Covid-19 advice 

Advised a number of clients in the public and private sector on various Covid-19 related issues. The introduction of the Alert Level lockdowns and accompanying Government orders and other legislative instruments posed a number of novel and complex legal issues.

Sport New Zealand 

Investigated options for a Complaints Management and/or Dispute Resolution System for the New Zealand Sports System (CMDRS) in 2020 and was then a member of the Advisory Group review of Sport NZ and HPSNZ structures in 2021.

Board advice 

Provides strategic employment advice to many NZ Boards of Directors and holds a number of outside governance roles.

Areas of Expertise

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