Profile

With over two decades of experience in New Zealand and overseas, Matthew provides advice and advocacy across most areas of commercial law. Recent directory comments have noted that he “impresses with the practical nature of his advice and the overall quality of any interaction” and that he is “a persuasive advocate on his feet and in correspondence”.

Matthew’s practice includes company and commercial, construction and property, and insurance and professional liability.

A partner at Gilbert Walker since 2007, Matthew regularly appears as lead counsel in first instance and appellate hearings, including against parties represented by Queen’s Counsel.

Previously, he was a senior litigation associate at Clifford Chance in London, and practised US law at Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C. and at Davis Polk in London.

Matthew is a member of the NZLS Litigation Skills Faculty and the NZLS Law Reform Committee.

Credentials

  • LLB (Hons) / BA (Auckland) LLM (NYU)

  • Admitted in New Zealand (1997), New York (2000), and England & Wales (2004)

Experience

  • acting for former directors of Feltex in the liability and loss phase of the $200m class action brought on behalf of more than 3,600 shareholder claimants arising from the Feltex IPO in 2004

  • advising a major listed issuer on numerous disputes arising out of a $450m construction project suffering significant delays and cost overruns

  • acting for liability insurers, including Vero Liability and IAG, on indemnity issues and defending claims against their insureds

  • acting for former directors of Feltex in the liability and loss phase of the $200m class action brought on behalf of more than 3,600 shareholder claimants arising from the Feltex IPO in 2004

  • advising a major listed issuer on numerous disputes arising out of a $450m construction project suffering significant delays and cost overruns

  • acting for a manufacturer enforcing contractual exclusion clauses in response to multiple claims arising out of an error in the manufacturing process

  • representing a fund manager resisting an application by a listed property fund to halt proposals to internalise the fund’s management function

  • acting for Nakedbus in a trademark dispute with InterCity over advertising using Google AdWords

  • advising a major listed issuer on numerous disputes arising out of a $450m construction project suffering significant delays and cost overruns

  • acting for developers, building owners, and design and construction professionals bringing or facing building defects claims

  • acting for former directors of Feltex in the liability and loss phase of the $200m class action brought on behalf of more than 3,600 shareholder claimants arising from the Feltex IPO in 2004

  • advising industry bodies and other clients on strategic and legal risk as the environment for class actions and litigation funding continues to evolve

  • acting for liability insurers, including Vero Liability and IAG, on indemnity issues across the full range of liability risks, including professional, statutory, public/product and directors’ and officers’ liability

  • acting for TOWER Insurance in a number of proceedings arising from the Canterbury earthquakes, including precedent-setting cases on the reinstatement of EQC cover, the effect of the residential ‘red zone’ on private insurers’ cover, and numerous other Court decisions

  • defending liability claims on instructions from insurers

  • acting for a surveyor in proceedings that raised issues about the operation of the Cadastral Survey Act 2002 and means of challenging it, which involved two dozen experts in highly technical disciplines

  • acting for a national law firm in having struck out a claim in relation to its conduct of the defence of a criminal prosecution

  • defended a firm of maritime lawyers against a substantial negligence claim arising from the sale of a fishing vessel

  • representing lawyers facing complaints to New Zealand Law Society Standards Committees and charges before the New Zealand Lawyers & Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal

  • acting for a leading accounting and professional advisory firm on regulatory inquiries, professional conduct and liability-related matters

  • representing a commercial tenant in a rent review arbitration against its landlord

  • acting for the owner of a commercial building in proceedings concerning whether a fire had rendered the premises untenantable and resulted in termination of the lease

  • advising and acting for body corporates and unit owners in relation to building defects claims and court-ordered remediation schemes under the Unit Titles Act

  • acting for the beneficiary of a high-value family trust in proceedings that raised issues of paternity and involved claims under the Family Protection Act and for breach of trust

  • advising the trustees of a public trust on claims threatened by beneficiaries in relation to investments made by trust-owned companies