John has over 30 years of major construction and infrastructure development experience, focused on effective project delivery and dispute avoidance.


  • LLB – Victoria University of Wellington, 1983
  • LLM – University of Auckland, 2012


John Walton is an international arbitrator and construction and infrastructure law specialist.

He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb), a Pioneer Fellow of the Asian Institute of Alternative Dispute Resolution (AIADR), a Member of the Society of Construction Arbitrators (UK), and Honorary Life member of the Society of Construction Law (NZ) and a Fellow and former President of the Arbitrators’ and Mediators’ Institute of New Zealand.

John has practised, and is admitted, in London and Hong Kong (where he advised the Government on the Chek Lap Kok new airport development and transport infrastructure). Since returning to New Zealand, John has advised on, and arbitrated disputes in relation to, major infrastructure projects in the energy, water and wastewater, transport and technology sectors.

Case Highlights

Hong Kong's Port and airport development

Advising the Government of Hong Kong on its new airport development at Chek Lap Kok, including drafting contracts and advising on contract administration for USD $20 billion of infrastructure development.

Custom Street Hotel v Plus Construction

Win in the Court of Appeal on the interpretation of the termination provisions of NZS3910.

AMINZ Arbitration Rules

Drafting the new AMINZ Arbitration Rules, based on current international best practise, and the AMINZ Guide to Awarding Costs in Arbitration.

ICCA Sydney Congress

Co-Vice Chair of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration Congress in Sydney 2018.

Watercare’s Hobson Bay Tunnel

Using a one-off, tailor made contract, Watercare Services completed a new tunnel under Hobson Bay in Auckland using an earth-pressure-balance tunnel boring machine on time and within budget – a first for NZ.

Society of Construction Law NZ

Being made an Honorary Life Member of the NZ branch of the SCL in recognition of services to the construction community.

Society of Construction Arbitrators

Being invited to join the Society as an overseas member in 2019.

Who's who legal - Construction

Identified as a Global Leader in construction since 2016.

What Others Say

Raymond Huo MP, Chair of the Justice and Electoral Select Committee, on the Third Reading of the Arbitration Amendment Act 2019, Hansard (Parliamentary Debates) 1 May 2019, “I acknowledge members of the Arbitrators' and Mediators' Institute of New Zealand and renowned arbiters such as Sir David Williams QC and Mr John Walton.”


  • LawTalk – Arbitration Paradox
  • LawTalk – Arbitration after lockdown
  • IBA – NZ Arbitration Update
  • LawTalk – Construction, no easy answers or free lunches
  • Marine Industry Association – Marine Design Copyright
  • LawTalk – Appointing your Arbitrator
  • NZLS CLE – Construction Law Update
  • LawPoints – Arbitrating Trust Disputes
  • CIArb – Arbitration – Costs and Access to Internation Arbitration


  • International Bar Association (Construction and Arbitration Committees)
  • Internation Council for Commercial Arbitration
  • AMINZ (Fellow) (President 2015-2018) (Council Member 2012-2015)
  • CIArb (Fellow)
  • AIADR (Fellow)
  • International Academy of Mediators (Fellow)
  • Society of Construction Arbitrators (Overseas Member)
  • Society of Construction Law NZ (Honorary Life Member)