DLA Piper New Zealand has extensive experience in complex, large scale commercial litigation.

Our specialist litigation team is amongst the most consistent, considerable, and solely dedicated litigation practices in New Zealand. It has provided enormous depth and capability to clients over many years.

Our legal advice is crisp, commercial and pragmatic. DLA Piper New Zealand partners and solicitors appear regularly before all New Zealand courts. We have frequently acted on some of New Zealand’s most defining commercial cases and are known for successful outcomes.

DLA Piper New Zealand also specialises in resolution of complex business and regulatory problems through mediation, alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and expert determination. These options can be cost effective and meet clients’ objectives.

We have access to seamless, large scale, cross border capability on major international disputes. Conversely, global clients represented offshore find in DLA Piper dependable, commercial litigation lawyers in New Zealand. We continue to act for large global organisations and high profile brands in litigation based in this country.

Our lawyers are always attentive to clients’ objectives. We are strategic in assessing the risks of litigation and advise clients of issues early in the process.


  • Mediation, arbitration
  • ADR, disputes, dispute resolution
  • Court
  • Contractual and commercial disputes
  • Insolvency, IP, corporate disputes, government - central & local, resource management
  • Competition law; media law and defamation; company and securities law


Cathay Pacific Airways Limited
DLA Piper New Zealand acted for Cathay Pacific Airways Limited in proceedings by the New Zealand Commerce Commission alleging cartel conduct overseas. These cross-border proceedings were complex and wide-ranging, with 24 causes of action alleged relating to 12 different jurisdictions, revolving around cargo revenues in excess of NZ$200 million. DLA Piper New Zealand continues to act in the anti-trust and competition sphere representing Cathay Pacific globally on air cargo and passenger matters.

Kuehne + Nagel International
DLA Piper New Zealand acted for the parent of Kuehne + Nagel in proceedings by the New Zealand Commerce Commission alleging cartel behaviour in freight forwarding markets. Working closely with lawyers in Switzerland, United States, Europe and Asia, and K+N management, DLA Piper New Zealand represented K+N in High Court and Court of Appeal protesting jurisdiction, striking out the majority of the pled causes of action.

DLA Piper New Zealand also managed a large-scale multi-jurisdictional discovery process for K+N, negotiating a settlement under which K+N agreed to pay a penalty on the basis of an admission of one allegation while the Commerce Commission discontinued its other allegations.

Motor Trade Finances Limited and MTF Securities Limited
DLA Piper New Zealand acted in defending a significant regulatory action by the Commerce Commission who alleged MTF charged ‘unreasonable’ establishment, account maintenance and default fees on a large number of consumer loans, along with allegations of misleading and deceptive conduct relating to fees charged. This High Court litigation is a ‘test case’ on fees in consumer finance contracts, raising difficult statutory interpretation issues which will likely have far-reaching consequences across the industry.

ACE Insurance and Lloyd's Syndicate
DLA Piper New Zealand acted for the insurers who declined cover for arson (alleging the owner of a hotel deliberately set fire to the hotel for the purposes of making a fraudulent claim under the insurance policy). After a four week trial involving over 40 expert and lay witnesses, the High Court concluded it was more likely than not that the hotel owner had committed arson and found in favour of the insurers.

Lloyd's Underwriters
DLA Piper New Zealand act for the Lloyds underwriters in relation to material damage claims for five commercial buildings insured under a single policy, damaged during the Canterbury Earthquakes. DLA Piper New Zealand successfully defended the underwriters in an action by the policyholder seeking the value of unspent repairs arising from the damage caused by the September earthquake, in addition to the full sum insured following the total loss of the building from the February earthquake.

We have prepared a Guide To Doing Business In New Zealand to help those venturing into the market navigate their way through local legislation to identify and maximise the many opportunities that are available.