Graeme Christie is a Construction Lawyer with over 30 years’ experience in construction law advising on contracts and the many issues arising on construction projects, including 3 years with Linklaters in London. He was also named by Best Lawyers in New Zealand in their 2019 edition, as the top construction lawyer in New Zealand for 2020.
Graeme conducts arbitrations, and regularly appears in the High Court and Court of Appeal. He has also appeared in the Fijian Court of Appeal and the Court of Appeal in the Cook Islands. In 2011 Graeme appeared at Lausanne, Switzerland at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Graeme has been involved in many major construction projects both on and offshore and is well known in the construction industry. He is regularly listed amongst the leading practitioners in this field in New Zealand.
He has considerable experience of acting for principals, consultants, contractors, and subcontractors. He provides advice on a wide range of construction issues, including structuring and contract documentation, joint venture agreements (including for the iconic 7 star Burj Al Arah Hotel in Dubai –(https://www.jumeirah.com) alliancing, partnering, guaranteed maximum price contracts, and code compliance. He also assists clients to resolve construction disputes by means of negotiated settlements, mediation, arbitration, adjudication, and litigation. He has acted as arbitrator on an ICC international construction dispute sitting in London and as arbitrator in New Zealand. He has also been appointed adjudicator in a number of New Zealand adjudications.
Graeme is a sought after specialist in the New Zealand construction industry. He has spoken at many conferences due to his expertise in contract law both in New Zealand and abroad and for many years was a lecturer in construction law at the School of Architecture, University of Auckland.
In addition, Graeme has considerable experience with the Health and Safety at Work Act. He has successfully defended a number of prosecutions involving fatalities. He has also appeared in coroners’ hearings.
Examples of Work
- Rolls–Royce New Zealand – litigation concerning the Kinleith cogeneration project (New Zealand’s largest construction case to date)
- International consortium – refurbishment of Auckland’s waste–water treatment system (one of the largest civil engineering projects of its kind in the world)
- Canam Construction – landmark Court of Appeal case on adjudication and the Construction Contracts Act
- Major infrastructure projects, including Moa Point, Kupe Gas oilfield, and Pohakura
- Major construction projects, including Auckland Hospital A+ $350 million upgrade, University of Auckland Business School, Auckland Museum Stage II, Civic Theatre upgrade, and Auckland University of Technology building programme
- Westfield – successful defence of a substantial claim arising from a leasing dispute
- OceanaGold – decline contracts for the Frasers underground gold mine
- Ministry of Justice – large claim against contractor and architect concerning roof of Manukau court complex
- Major stadium projects, including Eden Park New North Stand, Westpac Stadium, Hamilton Stadium, and Jade Stadium
- Contractors, cladding suppliers, and timber suppliers – major “leaky building” claims
- Joint venture undertaking Kiwi Dairy upgrade – successful arbitration
- Aotearoa Kiwifruit Export – recovery of damages from the Zespri Group (a statutory single–desk kiwifruit marketer) for obstructing kiwifruit exports
- Dispute relating to completion and taking over of the Te Rapa cogeneration plant
Qualifications and Career
- Solicitor, England and Wales
- International Academy of Construction Lawyers – Fellow
- New Zealand Society of Construction Law – Founding council member
- Arbitrators and Mediators Institute of New Zealand – Member and presenter and commentator at seminars
- University of Auckland – former lecturer in School of Architecture and Planning, guest lecturer in Faculty of Engineering
- United Soccer 1 – Former Director
- Movember 2013 0- New Zealand’s Top Individual Mo – highest funds raise by an individual
- Active participant in the horse racing industry, including being an owner
- Foodie – ticking off the 1001, restaurants you must experience before you die
Associate Member of AMINZ
Member of New Zealand Bar Association