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John is a senior competition law specialist and commercial litigation barrister. He was formerly with Kensington Swan for 26 years, including 20 years as a partner.

Education

  • LLB (Hons- first class) - Victoria University of Wellington, 1986


Bio

John is a senior competition law specialist and commercial litigation barrister. He was formerly with Kensington Swan for 26 years, including 20 years as a partner.

John is particularly known for his expertise in competition law. He has been senior counsel in a number of major competition law cases including:

  • For the plaintiff retailers (including Progressive, Woolworths, Farmers, Noel Leeming, Dick Smith Electronics and Whitcoulls) in the major credit card interchange fees case against Visa, MasterCard and the major trading banks
  • For Gullivers Pacific in the High Court opposing the application by Qantas and Air New Zealand for authorisation of their airline alliance
  • For the New Zealand Rugby Union in the High Court proceedings relating to authorisation of their player transfer regulations
  • For a major airline in defending the air cargo cartel case brought by the Commerce Commission.


Competition and regulatory matters in which John has been involved cover a large number of industries including telecommunications, electricity transmission and distribution, ports, airlines, credit cards, manufacturing, sporting bodies and professional associations.


On an ongoing basis John also writes the column, Land on Competition Law, in the New Zealand Law Society publication, LawTalk.


A selection of his competition law conference presentations is as follows.

  • ‘Joint Ventures and the Collaborative Activity Exemption’ Competition Law and Policy Institute Workshop (August 2013).
  • ‘Commerce and the Regulators’ Bar Association seminar (June 2013).
  • ‘A difference of opinion: What the Metcash case means for mergers in New Zealand’ Brightstar’s 12th Annual Competition Law and Regulatory Review (May 2012).
  • ‘Competition Law Damages’ Competition Law and Policy Institute Workshop (August 2011).
  • ‘Misuse of Market Power Section 36: How the Telecom 0867 Case Has Clarified the Law’ Brightstar’s 11th Annual Competition Law and Regulatory Review (February 2011).
  • ‘Cartels & Price Fixing’ Brightstar’s 10th Annual Competition Law and Regulation Review (February 2010).


In 2012 John was a presenter of the New Zealand Law Society roadshow seminar on competition law, ‘Competition Law- The Must Knows”.John has had extensive experience in working with and briefing competition economists, and in 2011 attended a 5 day Melbourne University course on economics for competition lawyers.

Work Highlights

Woolworths, Dick Smith, Foodstuffs, Noel Leeming, Farmers, and Whitcoulls

Acting as senior counsel for agroup of major New Zealand retailers who brought substantial Commerce Act proceedings against Visa, MasterCard and the main trading banks, relating to the alleged price fixing of credit card interchange fees and the alleged anti-competitive effect of the Visa and Mastercard scheme rules. The proceedings were successfully settled in late 2009.


Malaysia Airlines

Acting as senior counsel in its defence of significant Commerce Act proceedings by the Commerce Commission relating to alleged price fixing of fuel and security surcharges.


Call Plus

Acting for CallPlus in Commerce Act proceedings, involving seeking and obtaining injunctive relief, against Telecom, then pursuing and subsequently settling a substantial Commerce Act claim.


Dymocks Booksellers

Acting as counsel for Dymocks in major litigation on the termination of franchise agreements, and defence of claims relating to misrepresentation, appearing in the High Court, Court of Appeal, and Privy Council. Dymocks was entirely successful in the litigation.


Gullivers Pacific

Acting for Gullivers Pacific in it successful High Court opposition to the proposed airline alliance between Qantas and Air New Zealand.


Eli Lilly: Acting as counsel for Eli Lilly in major patent litigation seeking revocation of a patent of a competitor (Pfizer), which related to use of certain forms of chemical compounds for medical purposes. Eli Lilly was entirely successful in the litigation with its opponent agreeing to all relief sought immediately prior to trial.


New Zealand Rugby Union

Acting as counsel for New Zealand Rugby Union in its applications to the Commerce Commission for authorisation of its player transfer regulations and salary cap arrangements.


What Others Say

Publications

  • Counterfactual Analysis in Merger Reviews (2012) 25 NZULR 103

  • Exemplary damages under the Commerce Act (2012) NZLJ 82

  • Leniency Applications (2010) NZLJ 187

  • The Meaning of Competition (2010) 24 NZULR 98

  • Trade Associations and the Commerce Act (2010) NZLJ 110

  • Sharing Price Information with Competitors (2009) NZLJ 272

  • Bundling: An overview of New Zealand and Australian Trade Practices Laws (2009) 6 MqJBL313

  • Franchises and competition law (2009) NZLJ 311

  • Predatory pricing (2002) NZLJ 183

  • The Commerce Amendment Act 2001(2001) 7 NZBLQ 217

  • Misuse of Market Power: Predatory Pricing after Carter Holt Harvey (2001) 7 NZBLQ 49

  • NZ Mergers and takeovers (1991) 6 TPLB 69

  • Market Definition and Maximum Retail Pricing (1989) 5 AMLB 14

  • Monopolisation: The practical implications of section 36 of the Commerce Act 1986(1988) 18 VUWLR 51

Memberships

  • Board member of the Competition Law and Policy Institute advisory board
  • Current faculty member for the New Zealand Law Society
  • New Zealand Bar Association
  • New Zealand Law Society ethics committee (member)
  • President of the Auckland Toastmasters club