Since 1974 Alan Sorrell has acted in a wide range of contract, partnership and shareholder disputes, securities regulation issues, and real property, trust and estate matters. He has appeared in most courts and tribunals with a particular emphasis on the High Court. After many years as a litigation partner in Auckland firms he joined the independent bar in 1992 as a founding Member of what is now known as Bankside Chambers.
An adjunct has been a governance career including nine years as a Member of the New Zealand Film Commission and as Chair for six of those years. He also chaired the Arts Board of Creative New Zealand and is on the Board of Auckland Film Studios Limited.
Alan has substantial experience in mediations and arbitrations and is available to sit as mediator and arbitrator. The breadth and depth of his experience often enables disputes to be resolved against the background of informed assessment of litigation outcomes and a willingness to go to Court if suitable terms cannot be agreed.
An example is the long running shareholders dispute involving value and ownership of QPAM Limited (which controls the Vector arena) in which some 36 judgements have been delivered. Another is a continuing dispute between Terminals New Zealand Limited and the Customs Department over excise duty on fuel. This dispute was described by Customs as one of their largest. Recently he settled litigation involving a major start up with capital raising, shareholder rights and directors duties issues. Alan was part of the team that favourably resolved issues raised by unions in relation to the making of the Hobbit films. Further examples are available on request.
Qualifications and Career
He has spoken at numerous conferences, including the annual conferences of the International Bar Association and the Audio Visual Law conference in Cannes France. In 2005 he attended Wolfson College at Cambridge University, England, as a Visiting Fellow. He Chairs the Appeal Committees of Auckland and New Zealand Tennis. He has been the Director of the New Zealand Law SocietyExpert Witness Course, and has been a regular faculty member in its Advanced Litigation Skills Courses. Last year Alan was appointed by the World Intellectual Property Organisation to its Panel for Mediation and Expedited Arbitration for Film and Media.