Health and Safety
All organisations should be aware of their obligations and responsibilities under the new health and safety legislation. Breaching these requirements can be costly for organisations; not only in a financial sense but it can also have a commercial and reputational impact.
Our reputation as leading health and safety law experts has been built on our specialist knowledge of the relevant legislation and how it applies to specific industries. We’ll provide you with strategic advice focused on effective methods of compliance so you can successfully manage your legal risk. Health and safety issues often intersect with industrial relations, accident compensation and discrimination claims. Our team is trained to view matters within an organisation’s industrial and commercial landscape, rather than focusing only on the legal issues.
Our health and safety practice spans a wide range of industries, both in the public and private sectors. We do a significant amount of work in the energy and resources, construction, health, transport and manufacturing industries where there is often an inherent risk of serious injury. We understand how the health and safety enforcement agencies operate and use that knowledge assisting our clients through the investigation process, including attendance at investigation interviews. We also proactively engage with those agencies on behalf of our clients to minimise the risk of prosecutions and other enforcement actions. Where prosecutions are brought, we appear in the civil courts to defend our clients.
We are regularly called on to guide Boards and individual directors and officers on protections against personal liability in the health and safety context. In addition, we regularly conduct in-house training and workshops for clients, and speak at health and safety industry conferences.
Working with you, we’ll draw on our knowledge of the particular obligations and responsibilities involved as well as industry best practice measures to help you successfully manage your risks. We can help you to develop health and safety policies, manuals, procedures and contractor management systems. Also, you can benefit from our acknowledged health and safety training programme, to assist your line managers identify and understand their responsibilities to manage hazards and prevent harm to employees.
Who can help
Partner - Dispute Resolution and Litigation
Aaron is a partner in the firm’s dispute resolution division. He advises clients on a range of litigious and risk related matters, with particular expertise in the areas of white collar criminal and regulatory affairs, sports law and employment law. Aaron leads our sports law practice, and is a member of the firm’s health and safety and public law teams.
Aaron is well regarded by clients for his ability to analyse and strategise complex situations. He is recognised by both clients, and his peers, for being able to implement pragmatic and commercial strategies to minimise risk and create opportunity for our clients. His ability has resulted in clients avoiding significant litigation and commercial consequences.
In 2017 Aaron was named by Chambers & Partners (Asia Pacific) as one of New Zealand’s leading sports lawyers, and has been recognised for his employment and sports law expertise in other legal directories including Asia-Pacific Legal 500 and Who’s Who.
Before joining MinterEllisonRuddWatts Aaron practiced as a barrister with Paul Davison QC, and has lectured at the University of Auckland.
Partner - Employment
Gillian is an experienced advocate with a pragmatic approach that is highly valued by clients. She helps clients manage risks and protect business proprietary interests. Gillian negotiates executive severance arrangements and represents clients in personal grievance claims through all levels of the New Zealand court system.
Her broad employment practice includes advising on restraints of trade and protection of confidential information; industrial relations and collective bargaining matters; restructuring programmes including outsourcing, redundancy and consultation processes; and health and safety matters.
Gillian is an internationally recognised employment law specialist, with significant experience practicing in top tier law firms in New Zealand, Scotland and England.
Partner - Corporate and Commercial
Jane leads the technology team at MinterEllisonRuddWatts, and sits on the board of the firm’s joint venture, McCarthy Finch, investigating how legal services can be provided using artificial intelligence.
Jane specialises in commercial projects and commercial law with a particular focus on technology, procurement, public sector contracting and governance.
Jane has over 20 years of experience working in and for technology and blue chip organisations. She is trusted with clients’ most business-critical and complex technology projects, right across the technology spectrum. She is recognised as a practical option-generator, an excellent facilitator and clear communicator.
Health and Safety Consultant - Health and Safety
John is a health and safety specialist who has experience working with multinationals in New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom. Most recently, John was Group Safety and Wellbeing Director for Lion, supporting the senior leadership team in delivering continuous improvement in the health and safety of their staff.
John has been working in the new health and safety environment in Australia, ensuring that Lion’s directors and officers fully understood their obligations under the Model Health and Safety legislation and providing guidance on how to carry out their due diligence duties.
John’s role at MinterEllisonRuddWatts complements the work of our legal teams by providing guidance on the new Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 and the responsibilities of Directors and Officers under this legislation. John helps Boards and senior leadership teams drive best practice in health and safety governance, understand their significant risks/hazards and help develop a reporting regime to meet the new due diligence requirements.
Partner - Employment and Public Law
Megan leads both the public law team and the Wellington employment team and acts for both public and private sector clients. She has practiced law for over 20 years in top tier firms in New Zealand, Australia and London, and sits on the partnership’s board.
Her practice traverses strategic, litigious and time-critical day-to-day advice on all aspects of Public law and Employment related law. Megan regularly acts for numerous government departments and crown entities (including central government education agencies).
Bringing significant experience to all employment related matters, Megan regularly advises on drafting employment agreements and HR policies, managing poor performance, restructuring and redundancy, disciplinary investigations and dismissals, leave entitlements, minimum standards compliance, secondments, fixed term employment, KiwiSaver, collective bargaining, independent contractor arrangements, establishing business in NZ and recruiting staff, and restraints of trade and other post termination obligations.
As a recognised expert in Employment law, Megan is on the Editorial Boards of employment publications and is also the co-author of the Laws of New Zealand Employment chapter. As a recognised expert in Public Law, Megan is also an external member of the Legislation, Design and Advisory Committee (which is an appointment by the Attorney General).
Megan is also a Public Law expert and advises on exercise of statutory powers, legislative drafting, discrimination and judicial review proceedings, risk management and legal compliance and governance.
Megan’s leading expertise across Employment and Public Law is consistently noted in independent national and international peer guides, including Chambers Global and Chambers Asia Pacific.
She also has specialist expertise in PPPs having acted for the Ministry of Defence (UK) on their defence procurement and Railtrack plc on the privatisation of the UK railway.
Partner - Dispute Resolution and Litigation
Oliver provides advice and advocacy as counsel in complex and often strategically important cases. He has a broad corporate and commercial law practice with a focus on investigations, prosecutions and civil proceedings initiated by regulators. He also advises clients in contractual, shareholder and fair trading disputes and on commercial contracts that might have a contentious angle. He has a particular interest in privacy and data protection including the proposed reforms of the Privacy Act and the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Oliver joined MinterEllisonRuddWatts in 2010 having worked as a litigator at Clyde & Co in London and Clayton Utz in Sydney.
Partner - Dispute Resolution and Litigation
Stacey has over 20 years of experience successfully representing financial institutions, other corporate clients, public sector entities and directors and officers in significant litigation and regulatory matters. She has advised in complex disputes and investigations involving contractual breaches, the exercise of statutory powers, misleading statements and omissions, insurance cover, fraud, accounting improprieties, bid-rigging, money laundering, tax abnormalities, health and safety violations, fair trading concerns, construction issues, food safety and medical matters.
Stacey has substantial trial and appellate experience. She returned to the firm in 2010 after spending 11 years working for top litigation firm Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP in New York (selected as the best litigation firm in the United States by The American Lawyer in 2006).
Stacey has been recognised by international legal research directories as a leading lawyer and was named in the Legal Media Group Rising Stars 2015 guide (an international publication that identifies “the brightest young talent”). She also was named in the NZ Lawyer 2015 Hot List.
Stacey co-authored the 2016 Thomson Reuters book Health and Safety at Work in New Zealand: Know the Law, which covers all the essential elements of the new health and safety Act, the legal framework and policy background, while also discussing relevant cases from New Zealand and Australia.
Under the “WHO DID YOU HELP TODAY” social movement she founded, Stacey has also developed Homework HELP Clubs around New Zealand (a weekly programme that partners businesses or organisations with low decile primary schools), the Mothers Project (a prison programme to help jailed mothers maintain meaningful connections with their children) and HelpTank (a skilled volunteering digital platform).
Special Counsel - Employment
Emma, a Special Counsel in the Wellington Employment team, has been with the firm since 2002. Emma undertakes a wide variety of work in the areas of employment law, health and safety, public law and education law.
Emma’s areas of expertise span both contentious and non-contentious issues, including drafting employment documentation, representing both private and public sector employers at mediation, the Employment Relations Authority and the Employment Court, and providing legal opinions on employment, health and safety, and public law issues.
Emma assists clients with employment due diligence and provides advice on all employment-related aspects of taking on new staff, or buying or transferring a business. She also assists clients with employment issues arising in the context of receiverships. Emma has extensive experience assisting employers to carry out restructuring, poor performance and disciplinary processes.
Senior Associate - Employment
Chris has extensive experience advising corporate clients on a wide range of employment and health and safety matters.
With a background in commercial litigation, Chris regularly represents clients in mediations and in proceedings before the Employment Relations Authority and the courts. He advises on all employment related matters, including statutory compliance, restraints of trade, disciplinary investigations, restructuring processes, personal grievances, poor performance, leave entitlements, employment agreements and policies, industrial relations, and workplace health and safety.
Senior Associate - Dispute Resolution and Litigation
Duncan is a senior associate in the Dispute Resolution team. He has a broad range of experience working for both corporate and public sector clients. Duncan has a particular focus on insurance related work (acting for both insurers and their insureds); insolvency and receiverships (including debt recovery claims); and general commercial disputes (including complex contractual disputes). Duncan also advises clients about their health and safety obligations (having been heavily involved in the Pike River Royal Commission of Inquiry) and he acts for clients in the medico legal area.
Duncan appears for clients in court (principally in the High Court and District Court, but also on appeal to the Court of Appeal) and in private arbitration and mediation. Duncan appeared before the Pike River Royal Commission of Inquiry and has also appealed in the Coroner’s Court.
Senior Associate - Employment
June has broad experience in all aspects of both New Zealand and English employment law. June regularly advises on senior executive appointments and terminations; restraints of trade and protection of confidential information; performance and disciplinary processes; restructuring, redundancy and outsourcing programmes; industrial relations and collective bargaining matters; whistleblowing and protected disclosures; and employee data privacy issues. June has been involved in litigation at all levels of the New Zealand court system, both in relation to substantive disputes and urgent interlocutory matters. June has significant experience in acting for both private and listed companies in the financial services, pharmaceutical and healthcare, and food and beverage sectors.
June recently returned to New Zealand, having practiced at a magic circle firm in London for several years, and at another top tier New Zealand law firm prior to that. During her time in London, June regularly advised leading private equity houses and FTSE100 companies on employment law and regulatory issues.
Protect your business
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