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Emma Moran (Sweet)


Emma is an experienced commercial litigator who advises clients and resolves disputes in sectors including public law, building and construction, insurance, and life sciences.

She is an effective advocate who has appeared as counsel in the Family, District and High Courts, the Court of Appeal, before specialist tribunals and in commercial arbitration. 

Her core work is advice and litigation focussed on regulatory, government, corporate and insurance clients across New Zealand and globally. 

She acts for numerous local authorities and has in in-depth knowledge of key local government legislation. She advises on governance and decision-making, electoral services, rating issues and all aspects of public law. She leads the firm's New Zealand Public Law practice. 

Emma advises both domestic and international clients on complex regulatory matters in the life sciences sector — including in relation to medicinal cannabis, therapeutic claims, healthcare regulation and medical devices. Emma's medico-legal experience includes appearances at coronial inquest hearings.

Professional QualificationsBarrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand, 2008


  • Alternative dispute resolution experience including negotiating favourable client outcomes in large and complex commercial mediations, arbitration and via direct negotiation.
  • Extensive public law advisory experience gained in private practice, on secondment to local authorities (including Auckland Council) and in-house with a large government department. 
  • Broad construction law litigation experience including acting for Capital & Coast District Health Board in an ongoing complex claim against parties involved in the design and construction of Wellington Regional Hospital. 
  • Advised a multinational teledentistry company on all aspects of the New Zealand dental regulatory regime from the initial stages of testing the suitability of the New Zealand market throughout the establishment of the business and ongoing operations.  This has involved consideration of issues pertaining to therapeutic claims, healthcare regulation and medical devices.
  • Successfully opposed an application for declaratory judgment by New Zealand's largest electricity retailer against the Commissioner of Utilities Disputes concerning the interpretation of the Consumer Guarantees Act and the Commissioner's exercise of discretion and decision-making process (Contact Energy Ltd v Moreau [2018] NZHC 2884).  
  • Experience in all aspects of the legislative process including preparation of submissions and the drafting of primary and subordinate legislation including the Wellington Town Belt Act 2016.
  • Successfully appealed a judicial review that has a significant impact on the local government sector (Wellington City Council v Minotaur Custodians Ltd [2017] NZCA 302, [2017] 3 NZLR 464).
  • Acting for insurers in relation to complaints made to the Human Rights Commission and Human Rights Review Tribunal.  
  • Advised multinational biopharmaceutical companies operating in the medicinal cannabis sector on the regulatory requirements for importing CBD products into New Zealand.
  • Advised a food manufacturer on regulatory requirements for importing hemp CBD product as dietary supplements and/or food products into New Zealand. 
  • Advised on the hazardous substances regulatory regime including requirements for product labelling, storage, disposal, transport and advertising. 
  • Victoria University of Wellington, BA (Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations), 2008
  • Victoria University of Wellington, LLB, 2008


  • Emma is ranked as a Rising Star for Dispute Resolution in 2020's Legal 500 Asia-Pacific rankings. 
  • Emma was also recognised in 2020's Chambers and Partners directory as a Notable Practitioner for Public Law
  • In 2020, Emma was named in LawFuel's Power List of Emerging Litigators as one of 14 'ones to watch' on the litigation front.  Described by LawFuel as 'The Specialist', the listing quoted a client who said Emma is 'pragmatic and smart'.  

Prior Experience

    Earlier in her career, Emma gained experience working in-house for a large central government department and in the United Kingdom with time spent conducting civil actions to recover the proceeds of organised crime, including corporate fraud and evasion.

Memberships And Affiliations

  • New Zealand Law Society
  • Society for Construction Law
  • New Zealand Society of Local Government Managers
  • Wellington Women Lawyers' Association