Maria is an experienced litigator specialising in employment law. She acts as counsel for both employers and senior employees in a wide range of cases including urgent injunctions and search orders, disciplinary investigations, grievance actions, privacy and health and safety matters. Maria also has a strong reputation as an Independent Investigator in complex and sensitive employment investigations, both in the public and private sector, typically involving senior executives. Maria currently serves as the Convenor of the New Zealand Law Society Employment Law Committee, assisting in submissions on employment law reform. In 2017, she was elected to the Council of the New Zealand Bar Association.
In addition to her employment law practice, Maria acts as counsel in a range of civil litigation before the courts and tribunals most recently in historical abuse claims, insurance and lawyers professional misconduct matters. Since 2013, Maria has been the Deputy Chair of the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal. In 2014, she was appointed to the Panel of Experts for the Domain Names Commission, determining domain name disputes. Maria is also a LEADR and AMINZ certified mediator and in 2014 was awarded the New Zealand Law Awards “Mediator of the Year”.
Recent and notable cases
- In the past 18 months (2017 – 2016), appointed as Independent Investigator to conduct employment investigations for Waikato and Auckland DHBs, Auckland University, Ministry of Justice and New Zealand Fire Service;
- A v Commissioner of Police, AEA 5640257, September 2016 – counsel for senior female officer in a claim of discrimination and disadvantage.
- TexOnsite v Hill  NZERA, Auckland 25 and Hill v TexOnsite  NZEmpC 73 – counsel for employer in urgent summons action to recover and search computers and claim for damages for breaches of confidentiality and restraint of trade;
- X v Attorney-General & YFT  NZCA 475 and Anderson & Ors v Hawke & A Facility Owner  NZHC 1541, Heath J. – counsel with Paul Wicks QC for the second defendants in two separate state care historical abuse claims;
- Y v Marsh Ltd, CIV 2016-404-149, Auckland High Court – counsel acting for Y in claim against broker for alleged negligence in failure to arrange appropriate insurance cover.
- Fox v T & T Fashions Ltd , ERA 552506, April 2015, – counsel for plaintiff in Equal Pay Act and discrimination claim in retail sector. Matter resolved confidentiality immediately after hearing;
- Government Inquiry into escape of Philip Smith from Department of Corrections 2015, Hon. J Priestly QC , Chair – appearing as counsel for senior health professional employed with Corrections during period of escape and for same employee in A v Chief Executive of Department of Corrections, ERA 5563736, June 2015 – claim for reinstatement and unjustified dismissal.
- Brook v Macown & Ors,  NZEmpC 79 – counsel for plaintiff claiming employment in the voluntary sector and unjustified dismissal as Registrar of Dance Sport Council;
- Ponia v Southpac Trust Ltd, Cook Islands High Court, Plt 10/2013, 16 July 2013, Williams J – acting for plaintiff solicitor in employment and restraint of trade proceeding;
- Matamata Industrial Machinery Imports Ltd v McAllister  NZ EmpC 131 and 139 – acting for employer on interim injunction and search order against former employee;
- Acting for Intervener, LEADR NZ Inc. in a Supreme Court proceeding relating to mediation confidentiality, Specialized Bicycles v Sheppard Industries, SC 91/2011, February 2012. Matter resolved in week prior to hearing.
*”A” – used where name of client redacted for privacy in cases resolved prior to substantive hearing.
Qualifications and Career
Qualifications and Career
Maria is a graduate of the University of Otago (LLB 1987) and the University of Victoria (LLM 1999).
- Employment Law Update 2017, Maria Dew and Stephen Langton, NZLS Seminar, November 2017;
- Litigation Strategies, Michael Ring QC, Maria Dew and Damian Chesterman, NZ Bar Association, Webinar, November 2016;
- Restraints of Trade in commercial and employment contexts, Greg Blanchard and Maria Dew, ADLS Seminar, December 2015;
- A new era for the Cook Islands: Employment Relations Act 2012, Maria Dew and Tim Arnold, Cook Islands Law Society Seminar, September 2015;
- The rise and rise of Independent Investigations, Maria Dew, Legalwise Seminar, November 2014;
- Getting the information you need to win your case, Maria Dew and Susan Hornsby–Geluk, Seminar NZLS Employment Law Conference 2012, Seminar and Webinar, March 2013.
- Settling Disputes, Maria Dew, ADLS Employment Law Conference June 2011;
- Restraints of Trade and High Court Rules Update, Andrew Schirnack and Maria Dew, ADLS Employment Law Conference, June 2009;
- Top Employment Law Tips, Maria Dew and Michael O’Brien, ADLS Employment Law Conference, February 2007;
- Do we have a consistent approach? Sexual experience and reputation evidence in civil sexual harassment claims, Maria Dew and Christina Laing, NZ LawTalk, November 2017,
- Equal Pay; Where is it at? Maria Dew, New Zealand Law Talk, March 2017.
- International commercial mediation under the spotlight at UNICTRAL; Maria Dew and Nina Khouri,
- NZ Law Journal, September 2016 (Part1) and February 2017 (Part2).
- Confidentiality and privilege have been tested again before the Courts”, Maria Dew, NZ Lawyer issue 154 (25 February 2011).
- Employment Law Chapter, Maria Dew, ADLS Legal Practice Manual, 5th Edition, 2010.
Prior to becoming a barrister in June 2000, Maria worked in litigation roles in New Zealand and London, including:
- Morrison Kent, Solicitors, Wellington, Senior Associate;
- Bank of New Zealand, Wellington; Employment Law Team;
- United Kingdom Financial Services Regulator (FIMBRA), London, Prosecutor;
- Richard Butler, Solicitors, London, Construction Litigation;
- Young Hunter & Co, Solicitors, Christchurch, Law Clerk and Solicitor.
- Convenor, New Zealand Law Society Employment Law Committee;
- Council Member, New Zealand Bar Association;
- Deputy Chair, Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal;
- Expert, Domain Names Commission Disputes Panel;
- Member of the Auckland Employment Court Pro Bono Service;
- Member of AMINZ (Arbitrators and Mediators Institute of New Zealand);
- Member of AMINZ Complaints Committee;
- Member of Auckland Standards Committee No 3 New Zealand Law Society (2011-2013);
- Trustee, Remuera Primary School Development Trust (2010-2015);
- Board of Directors, Bankside Chambers (2008 – 2009);
- Member of Auckland District Law Society Inc, Employment Law Committee (2006 – 2013).