Sam Lowery


Telephone: +64 9 200 1503

Mobile: +64 27 398 6497

[email protected]

Post: PO Box 141, Shortland Street, Auckland 1140

Sam Lowery acts in commercial, regulatory and criminal cases.  He has 15 years’ litigation experience in New Zealand and abroad, with particular expertise as trial counsel in complex and often high profile cases.

In New Zealand, Sam’s practice has focused on commercial and regulatory litigation.  He has prosecuted significant cases for the Commerce Commission, the Financial Markets Authority and Maritime New Zealand.  He has also acted for commercial clients in a range of litigation matters, with a particular focus on fraud and financial cases.  His commercial practice has been varied, and has included cases regarding theft of trade secrets, negligence, breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duties.  Sam is an experienced trial lawyer, having prosecuted a large number of jury trials as a Crown Prosecutor, and judge-alone trials on behalf of regulators.

Sam’s international experience spans both the commercial and criminal spheres.  For several years, Sam practised in New York at Cravath, Swaine & Moore, a premier U.S. law firm.  At Cravath, Sam acted in high stakes litigation matters for clients including JP Morgan Chase, Xerox Corporation and Qualcomm.  From 2011-2015, Sam served at the International Criminal Court in The Hague where he prosecuted war crimes and crimes against humanity.  Sam has co-taught a masters course in international criminal law at the University of Auckland.

The breadth of Sam’s experience equips him to achieve optimal client outcomes.  His commercial judgment helps clients avoid litigation where possible, and his courtroom expertise provides clients with a skilled advocate where litigation is necessary.

Recent and Notable Cases

Commercial cases

Acted for Fuji Xerox New Zealand in ongoing High Court proceedings against former executives regarding alleged improper accounting that resulted in a $300 million accounting restatement.

Acted for a technology company in High Court proceedings involving alleged misappropriation of trade secrets.

Air Products and Chemicals, Inc v Airgas, Inc 16 A.3d 48 (Del. Ch. 2011) (represented the bidding company at trial in a landmark “poison pill” case arising from a USD 5.7 Billion hostile takeover bid in Delaware, United States).

In re Xerox Securities Litigation 935 F.Supp.2d 448 (D. Conn. 2013) (successful defence of Xerox Corporation in a securities fraud class action in the United States).

JP Morgan Chase v Luxor Capital (represented JP Morgan in New York and Delaware litigation between members of a lending syndicate arising from the global financial crisis).


Regulatory cases

Acted for the Commerce Commission in numerous prosecutions under the Fair Trading Act, including:

  • Commerce Commission v Cavan Forde & Ors [2018] NZDC 26000 (a series of successful prosecutions for misleading representations regarding building products).
  • Commerce Commission v The 123 Mart [2017] NZDC 13915 (guilty verdicts obtained at trial for breaches of consumer safety standards).
  • Commerce Commission v Youi NZ [2016] NZDC 25857 (successful prosecution of insurance company for false and misleading sales practices).

Acted for the Commerce Commission in prosecutions of finance companies under the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act, including:

  • Commerce Commission v Alternate Finance & Crester Credit [2019] NZDC 5076 (successful prosecution of finance company for unlawful taking of security).
  • Commerce Commission v Aotea Finance (successful prosecution of finance company for unlawful taking of security, District Court, 2018).
  • Commerce Commission v Acute Finance [2017] NZDC 13866 (successful prosecution of finance company for charging unreasonable fees).

Acted for Maritime New Zealand in numerous health and safety and maritime prosecutions, including:

  • Ongoing health and safety prosecution of a logistics company and ship’s master in relation to a fatality in the Waitemata harbor.
  • Maritime New Zealand v Bawden (successful prosecution of a skipper in relation to a boat crash causing serious injuries, District Court 2018).
  • Maritime New Zealand v Fullers Group (successful prosecution of a transport company in relation to a passenger ferry crash, District Court 2017).

Acted for the Overseas Investment Office in enforcement proceedings arising from the unlawful acquisition of sensitive land in New Zealand.

Acted for Qualcomm in competition proceedings brought by the South Korean Fair Trade Commission in relation to alleged abuse of market dominance.

Criminal cases 

Acted as sole or lead counsel for the Crown in over 20 jury trials in the District and High Courts,  including cases involving sexual violence, drugs and financial crime.

Prosecutor v Uhuru Kenyatta ICC-01/09-02/11 (prosecution of the sitting President of Kenya for alleged crimes against humanity).

Prosecutor v Abdallah Banda ICC-02/05-03/09 (prosecution of militia leader for an attack on peacekeepers in Darfur, Sudan).

Qualifications and Career

Qualifications and career

LLM (Hons), Columbia University School of Law, New York, 2007
BA/LLB, University of Auckland, 2003

Awards and Scholarships

Columbia University School of Law, James Kent Scholar (Highest Honours), 2007
Russell McVeagh Law Scholarship, 2000-02
Prime Minister’s Scholarship for sports and academics, 2002

Professional background
Barrister, from April 2019

Litigator and Crown Prosecutor, Meredith Connell, Auckland, 2015-2019
Trial Lawyer and Legal Officer, International Criminal Court, The Hague, 2011-2015
Associate, Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, New York, 2007-2011
Assistant Legal Officer, United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, The Hague, 2004-2006
Graduate Solicitor, Russell McVeagh, Auckland, 2003



  • New Zealand Bar Association (2004)
  • New Zealand Law Society (2004)
  • New York State Bar (2008)
  • Southern District of New York Bar (2008)
  • Eastern District of New York Bar (2008)