Kelly Quinn


Telephone: +64 9 307 8773

Mobile: +64 29 222 0300

[email protected]

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

Kelly is a very experienced advocate with an extensive High Court practice.
Admitted to the bar in 1993, Kelly’s career included several years in the Construction and Energy team at Simpson Grierson, followed by a stint as a Crown Prosecutor during which he prosecuted over 50 criminal jury trials. He then practised in Hong Kong for nine years including five years in the litigation and arbitration team at Linklaters.

Commercial Litigation

Kelly’s general commercial litigation experience has included franchise disputes, shareholder and joint venture disputes,  intellectual property, contentious receiverships, disputes concerning the sale of property and businesses, lease disputes, insurance claims, leaky buildings and a wide variety of contractual disputes generally.

Construction Law

In the construction field, Kelly has acted in matters involving a very wide range of construction law issues including defects and warranty claims, wrongful termination of contracts, claims for liquidated damages, professional negligence claims against architects and engineers, claims for variations and/or extensions of time, claims arising from disruption and/or prolongation, and the enforcement/defence of claims under performance bonds. He is familiar with the main domestic and international standard form construction contracts and regularly represents clients bringing or defending claims under the Construction Contracts Act 2002. Kelly has represented clients in construction disputes involving projects in Hong Kong, India, Japan, China, Vietnam, Thailand and New Zealand.

Recent and Notable Cases

  • Johnson v Barry Park Investments Ltd [2019] NZHC 596 (Muir J): successful claim for orders compelling removal of neighbour’s large retaining wall encroaching on client’s property.
  • Mike Pero (New Zealand) Ltd v Krishna [2018] NZHC 40 (van Bohemen J): successful defence of contempt application for alleged breach of interim orders, including obtaining costs in Mr Krishna’s favour despite finding of technical breach of the orders.
  • Shabor Ltd v Graham and others [2017] NZHC 3146 (Christiansen AJ): successfully resisting defendants’ summary judgment application in claim for misrepresentation over valuable farm sale (ongoing)
  • Jarden v Lumley General Insurance (NZ) Ltd [2016] NZCA 193: partially successful appeal from High Court judgment concerning sums payable for a Christchurch Earthquake insurance claim.
  • Palmer v Box Living Ltd [2015] NZHC 2960 (Faire J): successfully resisting an application for leave to appeal an arbitral award concerning a construction dispute.
  • Overton Holdings Ltd v APN New Zealand Ltd [2015] NZCA 526 and  [2014] NZHC 1966 (Brown J) : successfully defending APN against claims arising out of the sale and leaseback of a property in the Hawkes Bay. Several buildings on the property turned out to be seismically unsound.
  • King v PFL Finance Ltd [2015] NZCA 517 and  [2014] NZHC 250 (Peters J): successfully defending the lender and receiver against wide-ranging claims brought by the plaintiffs (borrowers and guarantors) following the receivership of two farm properties in Marlborough.
  • Wholesale Distributors Ltd v Songle Supermarkets Ltd [2014] NZCA 565 and [2014] NZHC 2548 (Moore J): injunctive proceedings arising out of the sale and purchase of a franchised supermarket business in Pauanui.
  • BYOF Holdings PTY Ltd V Bencho Ltd [2014] NZHC 1560 (Gilbert J): declaratory judgment proceedings concerning enforceability of a restraint of trade granted in connection with the sale of a minority shareholding in a business.  A restraint of six years was upheld.
  • Angus v Ace Insurance Ltd [2014] NZHC 258 (Cooper J): Acting for the plaintiffs in a four week insurance case, arising out of the arson of a hotel.
  • City Asset Pty Ltd v 1 Solution Ltd [2012] NZHC 3162 (Woodhouse J) reported at [2013] 1 NZLR 722: successful application for orders pursuant to s67 of the Evidence Act 2006 disallowing a claim of privilege over an email sent by a solicitor to his client.
  • Austen v Polo Prince Manufacturing Ltd [2012] NZHC 1948 (Andrews J):  successfully obtaining summary judgment for rental arrears under a commercial lease despite wide-ranging defences advanced on six different grounds.
  • Skids Programme Management Ltd v McNeill [2012] NZCA 314 (Court of Appeal), reported at [2013] 1 NZLR 1:  partially successful defence of appeal brought by the losing plaintiff (see HC decision referred to below) in which the Court of Appeal upheld the finding below that the restraint of trade cause of action failed, but increased the award of additional damages payable under s121(2) of the Copyright Act 1994.  This is now the leading case on such additional damages, and on the proper approach to restraints of trade in franchise agreements.
  • Mandic v The Cornwall Park Trust Board [2011] NZSC 135 (Supreme Court):  appearing as junior counsel for the appellants on the question of the proper construction of a renewal clause in a perpetual ground lease granted in 1910.
  • Skids Programme Management Ltd v McNeill (CIV-2010-404-1696, Woodhouse J):  successful defence of claims for damages arising from alleged breaches of restraints of trade in franchise agreements, and alleged breaches of duties of confidence.  The plaintiffs obtained only a nominal award of damages ($3,000) for breach of copyright.
  • Cabletalk Ltd v Technology Junction Ltd (CIV-2005-404-789, Duffy J): successful interpleader action to recover a disputed fund of money, the case turning on a question of contractual interpretation.
  • Cherry v Hudson (CIV-2008-404-2767, Courtney J):  successful application for a freezing order over a substantial portfolio of Auckland residential and commercial properties, several luxury vehicles, and bank accounts.

Qualifications and Career


BA (Philosophy), LLB, LLM (First Class Hons)
Academic Awards:

2008 Gaze Burt Prize for Master of Laws (Commercial)
Professional background

Barrister (from mid 2007)
Partner, Sharp Tudhope, Tauranga (2006-2007)
Managing Associate, Linklaters, Hong Kong (2001-2005)
Solicitor, Coudert Brothers, Hong Kong (1999-2000)
Solicitor, Mallesons Stephen Jaques, Hong Kong (1997-1999)
Crown Prosecutor, Davys Burton, Rotorua (1995-1997)
Solicitor, Simpson Grierson, Auckland (1992-1994)