Alex Church

Senior Associate Pouarataki Pāhake


Alex specialises in litigation and dispute resolution with a focus on complex, commercial disputes. He combines a pragmatic approach with strong technical and strategic analysis.

Alex is an expert at resolving complex contractual interpretation and breach of contract claims. He also has experience in matters involving fraudulent or misleading behaviour. He has acted for financial institutions, professional services firms, and not-for-profit organisations in internal and external investigations and contentious regulatory matters.

As a general commercial litigator, Alex represents clients from a wide range of sectors. He has advised on many disputes in the agriculture and aquaculture industries and is also experienced in the banking and finance sector. He has appeared on behalf of clients in the District Court, High Court, and Court of Appeal. He also regularly appears in arbitrations, mediations, and other alternative dispute resolution (ADR) forums.

Alex enjoys getting to grips with the technical aspects of his clients’ business and industry in collaboration with key stakeholders and experts. He works closely with clients to identify solutions and strategies to achieve the optimum possible outcome, considering their fundamental commercial drivers. Recognising the commercial impact of disputes, Alex works to manage high profile, large-scale litigation so that disruption to his clients is minimised. Where timing is critical, he is experienced with obtaining and resisting urgent injunctive relief. His confident and measured approach means he engages persuasively with both decision-makers and opponents.

Prior to joining MinterEllisonRuddWatts in 2021, Alex worked in the Dispute Resolution department at Linklaters in London for more than five years. He previously worked at another leading New Zealand law firm during which time he completed a secondment to one of New Zealand’s largest telecommunication companies. This range of local, international, and inhouse experience gives Alex a valuable perspective about what is truly important to clients when approaching contentious matters.

Career highlights

Acting for an agriculture business in arbitral proceedings to defend claims brought by numerous suppliers, including working with the parties to agree an expedited timetable due to significant implications for future capital and operating expenditure.

Acting for a retail bank defending High Court proceedings brought by a supplier in relation to the rights and obligations arising under a services agreement and out of the agency relationship.

Acting for an energy infrastructure company in High Court proceedings against entities within New Zealand and abroad. The multi-million-dollar claim was caused by a product failure which led to the shutdown of critical plant.

Acting for the defendant entities in a High Court claim about the proper interpretation and rectification of an aquaculture supply agreement. The dispute includes issues about the interests in a new entity that had been established by the parties.

Advising a health and wellness company in a dispute over commission allegedly payable to an offshore entity. This included advice on the interaction with and strategic ramifications for related claims in other jurisdictions.

Advising a not-for-profit organisation on the potential fraud and misconduct by a former board member and others. Included advice as to legal culpability and the development of an appropriate strategy to respond to concerns within the organisation and properly progress the matter toward resolution.

Acting for multiple defendants from the real estate industry in resisting interim injunctions relating to restraint of trade and misuse of confidential information.

Achievements and recognition
  • Tier 1 team, Dispute Resolution, The Legal 500 Asia-Pacific
  • Rising Star, NZ Lawyer, 2023