Suzanne Robertson QC

Contact

Telephone: +64 9-307-8778

[email protected]

Post: PO Box 854, Shortland Street, Auckland, New Zealand 1140.

Suzanne Robertson QC provides legal advice, advocacy and dispute resolution services in commercial and civil disputes with a focus on competition law, contract law (including leases and agreements for sale and purchase) shareholder/director disputes and claims concerning trusts and estates.

Suzanne brings both a legal and commercial approach to her practice to reach a positive resolution for her clients effectively and efficiently.

Suzanne also has experience in relationship property cases involving family trusts, companies and high value properties.

Suzanne has appeared at all levels of the New Zealand Courts, including the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, District and High Courts, the Copyright Tribunal and the Family Court.  Suzanne also represents clients in arbitrations and mediations.

Recent and Notable Cases

Suzanne’s recent experience includes:

  • Acting for the husband in complex relationship property appeals in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. This case is a leading authority on:
    • Valuation of businesses for the purpose of division of relationship property.
    • The appropriateness and amount of compensation to be paid under s 15 Property (Relationships) Act 1976, which provides for compensation for different economic positions on separation caused by the division of functions in the marriage.
    • The principles to be applied in decisions about what should happen to the family home when parties separate.
  • Acting in arbitrations for parties to disputes arising under commercial agreements (e.g. manufacturing agreements/exclusive supply agreements).
  • Acting for Mrs Spencer, the mother of an adult disabled child, seeking compensation for the Ministry of Health’s discriminatory policy of not paying parents who provide support for their adult disabled children. This case involved appearing in the High Court (three times) and the Court of Appeal.  This was the first case concerning a claim against the Government for compensation under the Human Rights Act 1993.
  • Acting for one party to a joint venture in a dispute arising under the joint venture agreements including appearing in the Supreme Court on the leading case concerning claims for interest on sums of money that had yet to be ascertained under the Judicature Act 1908.
  • Together with James Farmer QC, acting for Air New Zealand Limited in the first challenge made to the Commerce Commission input methodology determination made under the Commerce Act 1986.
  • Acting for shareholders and/or directors in shareholder/director disputes and/or claims for breach of shareholder agreements.
  • Acting for plaintiff beneficiaries and defendant trustees in applications to remove trustees or claims of breach of duty against trustees.
  • Acting for a number of estates and beneficiaries of estates in claims under the Family Protection Act 1980 and/or Law Reform (Testamentary Promises) Act 1949.

Qualifications and Career

Degrees:

  • B.Com/LL.B (Hons (1990)
  • LL.M (First Class Honours) (2006)
  • Commercial Applications of Equity Masters Paper (2016) Melbourne Law School

Career:

  • 2007 – present: Barrister Sole, Bankside Chambers
  • 2001 – 2006: Maternity Leave/LL.M (First Class Honours)
  • 1999 – 2000: Visiting Lecturer, University of Wolverhamptom, UK
  • 1997 – 1999: Barrister Sole, 151 Queen Street Chambers, Auckland
  • 1996 – 1997: In-house Counsel, Angel Train Contracts Limited, UK
  • 1994 – 1996: Senior Solicitor, Gaze Burt, Auckland (Commercial Litigation/Employment)
  • 1990 – 1993: Solicitor, Chapman Tripp, Auckland (Litigation)

Publications and Seminars:

  • Chairperson, Litigation Skills Masterclass, Legalwise Seminars, November 2015
  • Co-presented the NZBA webinar, High Court List Appearances, with Associate Judge Bell, 2015
  • Presented at the Lexis Nexis Family Law Update 2013 conference, Claims for Compensation Under s 15
  • X v X – Calculating the Quantum of Economic Disparity, New Zealand Law Journal, November 2010
  • The Repeal of Gift Duty – A Tale of Trust Betrayed, New Zealand Herald, November 2010
  • Contributor to Company and Securities Law Bulletin
  • Co-authored and co-presented the NZLS seminar Litigation Strategy with Lang J and Hon Robert Fisher QC, 2005
  • Freelance contributor to Lexis Nexis Company and Securities Law Bulletin

Affiliations

  • Council member, Auckland Branch of the NZ Law Society as the NZBA’s representative.
  • New Zealand Bar Association’s Law Reform Committee
  • New Zealand Law Society
  • New Zealand Bar Association

Previous positions:

  • Chairperson of the Board of Bankside Chambers (2011 – 2013)
  • Council member of the New Zealand Bar Association (2012 – 2014)