John Walton


Mobile: +64 21 473 656

[email protected]

Post: Bankside Chambers, Level 22, 88 Shortland Street, Auckland, New Zealand 1140.

John Walton is a technology, engineering and construction law specialist, domestic and international arbitrator, commercial mediator and adjudicator.

John was admitted to the New Zealand Bar in 1984, and has practised in Wellington, London, Hong Kong, and since 1995, Auckland.  John went to the bar in 2003.

John’s experience is in procurement of major technology, engineering and construction projects, and dispute resolution. He has advised all participants in all major industry sectors, including energy, water & wastewater, transportation, information and communications technology (ICT), health, local government development, property development, heavy engineering and the marine industry.

John is familiar with all forms of procurement contract, from standard forms (NZS3910, FIDIC, ICE, IChemE, NEC), through to more complex one-off forms used for ICT procurement, public-private-partnerships and alliance projects

John offers the following services:

  • advice on procurement, particularly for large infrastructure development and Government projects (risk allocation, contract selection, drafting, tendering, award, and contract administration)
  • probity auditing and peer reviewing major procurement projects
  • strategic commercial advice, as advisor to and member of boards of directors
  • arbitration for domestic and international disputes
  • commercial mediation
  • adjudication under the Construction Contracts Act 2002
  • disputes resolution boards for major projects
  • general commercial advice, when required

Recent and Notable Cases

  • Court of Appeal appearance in Custom Street Hotel v Plus Construction [2017] NZCA 36
  • Advised the Hong Kong Government on its new port and airport development strategy and Route 3 public private partnership (BOOT)
  • Advised Contact Energy on the Otahuhu B 394 MW, combined cycle power station development, and on the Te Rapa cogeneration plant
  • Advised the financiers for the Kinleith cogeneration plant and the Mokai and Rotokawa geothermal power station developments
  • Advised joint venture constructors Balfour Beattie and UGL Limited on issues concerning Transpower’s North Island Grid Upgrade Project, carried out under an alliance
  • Advised Watercare Services Limited on its Waikato River water treatment plant, Mangere wastewater treatment plant, Hobson Bay sewer tunnelling project, Hunua 4 watermain project, and central interceptor tunnelling project
  • Advised the owners on construction issues of a number of superyachts, notably – Aria (Sensation Yachts), Mea Culpa (Sensation Yachts & McMullen & Wing), Imagine II (Alloy Yachts), Big Fish (McMullen & Wing), and Star Fish (McMullen & Wing)
  • Advised Dutch constructor Vitters Shipyard BV on the construction of superyacht rigs (Southern Spars) and specialist winches (OnBoard Systems)

Major property development and ICT projects for local government bodies, notably:

  • Viaduct Harbour development for the Auckland Regional Services Trust
  • Henderson Hub and Library developments for Waitakere City Council
  • Waitakere broadband project for Waitakere City Council
  • Northland Events Centre at Okara Park, Whangarei for Northland Regional Council
  • IRIS online management system for a number of regional councils, lead by Northland Regional Council

Probity audited and peer reviewed Auckland City’s tendering of the rubbish collection and recycling contract for Waiheke Island, and Auckland Transport’s integrated fare system  Hop card and Auckland rail electrification projects.

Mediated, arbitrated and adjudicated for numerous major projects, including Fletcher Construction v Melview (Holiday Inn Hotel in Wellington) and Clearwater Construction v Chow (the Palace Hotel in Auckland).

Qualifications and Career

  • LLB, Victoria University of Wellington 1983
  • LLM, University of Auckland 2012
  • Admitted Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand 1984
  • Admitted solicitor England & Wales 1992
  • Admitted solicitor Hong Kong 1992
  • Partner Buddle Findlay, Auckland 1997
  • Went to the Bar as a commercial barrister 2003
  • Fellow of AMINZ
  • Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK),
  • Presidentof the Arbitrators’ and Mediators’ Institute
  • Honorary Life Member of the New Zealand Society of Construction Law
  • Overseas member Society of Construction Arbitrators
  • Member of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA)


In 2018, John was the co-Vice Chair of the Sydney ICCA congress (co-hosted by ACICA and AMINZ) and the host of the AMINZ-ICCA International Arbitration Day in Queenstown.

He is also a frequent contributor to the International Construction Projects Committee and a co-editor of its magazine CLINT.

John has delivered papers and published on construction law and private dispute resolution at a number of conferences here and overseas.


Copies of papers are freely available from John Walton’s website.