Public law and judicial review

This is a major specialty, and is an area of the law in which I have a keen interest. I represent both applicants and respondents in judicial review proceedings, in any context. I have acted in a diverse range of cases (with a high success rate), including, for example:

  • acting for a thoroughbred racing club in defending a wide-ranging challenge to the governance of the club;
  • acting pro bono for two animal welfare organisations in challenging the validity of regulations and minimum standards that permitted the use of farrowing crates in factory pig farming;
  • appointed as counsel assisting the court, in the High Court and Court of Appeal, in a case involving a decision on refugee status;
  • acting for Hamilton International Airport in challenging a decision by Customs to impose charges for passenger clearance services;
  • acting for SkyCity Auckland Ltd, in appealing a decision of the Gambling Commission categorising electronic roulette as a gaming machine rather than a table game;
  • appointed as counsel assisting the court in two cases challenging the smoking ban in prisons, successfully arguing in one that a prison rule was invalid and in the other that regulations were invalid.
  • representing an airport company in defending a challenge by Air NZ to its landing charges. The case was eventually favourably settled.
  • acting for SkyCity Auckland Ltd, in seeking a declaration as to the meaning of key provisions of the Gambling Act 2003.
  • acting for a timber exporter, in challenging a decision by the Ministry of Forestry declining to grant export approval for unprocessed ancient swamp kauri;
  • appointed as counsel assisting the court to present arguments on behalf of the respondent in a challenge to the findings of a coroner;
  • acting for Sky Tower Casino Ltd, in defending a challenge to the validity of its casino premises licence by an unsuccessful competing applicant;
  • representing the New Zealand Maori Council, in an action to prevent the sale of Radio New Zealand assets;
  • acting for a multi-national pharmaceutical company, in challenging a decision of the Minister of Health to cut a subsidy on a prescription drug;
  • acting for two port companies, in actions to enforce the offer-back provisions in s 40 of the Public Works Act 1981 in relation to surplus land.
  • defending a judicial review challenge by a competitor to the allocation of fishing quota.

I also advise regulators on the proper exercise of their statutory powers. For example, I have on a number of occasions assisted an airport company with its consultations with airlines on landing charges.

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