Partner - Dispute Resolution and Litigation
Sean is an experienced commercial litigation lawyer and leader of the firm’s dispute resolution division. His practice spans a broad range of commercial and contract disputes. Particular areas of expertise include banking and financial services litigation, product liability, corporate and shareholder disputes, claims against directors and other fiduciaries, property and trusts litigation, cross-border issues and maritime law.
Sean has appeared as counsel at all levels of the courts system and before various arbitral and other tribunals. He has also completed the Oxford Programme of Negotiation and regularly engages in mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution.
In addition to his commercial litigation practice, Sean is a leading receivership, insolvency and restructuring lawyer. Significant transactions he has acted on include Central North Island Forest Partnership, Crafar Farms, Kawarau Falls, Reef Shipping, Solid Energy, Yarrows Bakers, Torchlight LP, and Dick Smith. He advises secured and unsecured creditors, lending syndicates, insolvency practitioners, boards and other stakeholders, and regularly acts for banks and all major insolvency advisory firms.
Dick Smith voluntary administration
Advising New Zealand voluntary administrators, and subsequently liquidators, of Dick Smith electronics products retail chain.
Acting for receivers appointed to investment limited partnership, including in relation to investigations into the transfer of assets to a related Caymans entity.
Advising lending syndicate
Advised a syndicate of banks in relation to the management of their exposure to a substantial corporate borrower
Advising The Treasury on behalf of the Crown in relation to the Part 14 Companies Act restructuring and subsequent voluntary administration of state-owned enterprise Solid Energy New Zealand.
Acted for receivers appointed to the then largest privately owned dairy farming operation in New Zealand, including in high profile proceedings in the High Court and Court of Appeal regarding competing claims to approximately 6,000 dairy cows.
Shadow director claim against financial institution
Acted for major trading bank in successfully defending a claim in High Court proceedings that the bank’s management of a distressed corporate debtor rendered it liable as a shadow director.
- 1992, New Zealand
- Oxford Programme of Negotiation Said Business School University of Oxford
- MComLaw (Hons) University of Auckland
- LLB (Hons), BA, University of Auckland
- Member, RITANZ (the New Zealand chapter of INSOL)
- Member, Banking and Financial Services Law Association
- Member, IBA
- Insolvency and restructuring
- Cross-border insolvency
- Enforcement of foreign judgments
- Banking and financial services litigation
- Commercial, contract and corporate disputes
- Property and trusts claims
- Product liability claims
- Claims against directors and other fiduciaries
- Security enforcement and priority disputes
- Maritime law claims
- Emergency relief
- Ranked as a leading Insolvency and Restructuring lawyer, Chambers Asia Pacific
- Ranked as a leading Insolvency and Restructuring lawyer, The Legal 500 Asia Pacific
- Ranked as a leading Insolvency and Restructuring lawyer, IFLR1000
- Recognised by Best Lawyers for Insolvency and Reorganisation Law