Rowan specialises in civil and regulatory litigation. He has been a member of Bankside Chambers since 2011.


  • LLB – University of Auckland, 2000


"Rowan is an experienced trial and appellate advocate, in both civil and criminal law.

In the civil sphere, Rowan has led and juniored in trials, arbitrations and appeals ranging across contract law, tort, property, company law and defamation. Rowan has a particular interest in professional negligence and fiduciary claims. Relatedly, the measure of damages and how they might be reduced or augmented is a topic relevant to almost all civil claims, which Rowan has had significant experience in arguing, and therefore advising on.

He has been engaged as Amicus on a number of occasions in High Court cases involving trust disputes, judicial review proceedings and a dispute between lessor and lessee under the Property Law Act. Rowan has appeared in numerous cases involving injunctive relief at both High Court and Court of Appeal level.

He has also appeared for executors, trustees and beneficiaries in trust and estate claims.

Rowan is an experienced criminal trial counsel, with a particular focus on fraud and financial crime. He has appeared in more than 60 jury trials, for both the Crown and defendants. He has appeared in multiple Judge Alone trials as prosecutor and defence counsel, notably in lengthy 'white collar' contexts.

He has appeared for the Crown in the High Court and Court of Appeal in relation to conviction and sentence appeals.

Rowan has also appeared for Government agencies and private clients in Coroner's Inquests. Recently, he appeared as Amicus in relation to an appeal to the High Court from orders made by the Coroner's Court.

Rowan has led seminars for the NZLS, ADLS and Legalwise on Costs in Civil Cases, Claims Against Lawyers and Contractual Disputes.

Outside advocacy, Rowan is a keen runner, tennis player, tree-planter and father of two.

Case Highlights

Detection Services Ltd & Ors v Pickering & Anor [2019] NZCA 575

Successful claim for the plaintiff involving breach of fiduciary obligations. The first trial in the High Court established breach, but relief was declined on the basis the claimant was found to have "unclean hands". Successful appeal to the Court of Appeal over-turned that finding, whereupon the proceedings were remitted back to the High Court for assessment of damages. Following determination of quantum, the defendant appealed damages to the Court of Appeal. The damages award was successfully upheld on appeal. ([2018] NZHC 3310; [2019] NZCA 575; [2020] NZSC 35 (application for leave only); [2020] NZHC 35 (quantum); and [2021] NZCA 382).

A v B

Lengthy construction arbitration before Hon R Hansen QC, acting for the principal in a 13-week hearing on issues of termination and defective building work.

GHL v Jet Trustees [2013] NZHC 1013

A shareholder's dispute under s174 of the Companies Act involving a 7-week High Court trial before Gilbert J.


R v Petricevic & Ors [2012] NZHC 665

Multi-week Judge Alone trial before Venning J related to breaches of the Securities Act and Crimes Act.

BFW v Shi

Successful application for summary judgment acting for the defendant in defamation proceedings. The application was brought first in the District Court and was subsequently upheld on appeal in the High Court ([2022] NZHC 2136).

Cato v Manaia Media Ltd & Ors

Successful damages award in a defamation claim in the High Court before a Judge and jury. The claim was made by a professional and involved the first attempt to run a defence on the basis the reportage was said to be in the public interest. The jury awarded compensatory damages of $225,000 plus exemplary damages of $15,000.

Sale 33 Ltd v MDDI [2016] NZCA 286

Successful opposition to an application for injunctive relief in both the High Court and Court of Appeal.

Officers C, D and E v Coroner's Court in Hamilton [2021] NZBC 749

Appearance as Amicus on an appeal relating to Notices issued by a Coroner under the Coroner's Act.

S v Auckland District Court [2019] NZGC 346

Appearance as Amicus in appeal from District Court and Disputes Tribunal involving a construction dispute.

What Others Say


  • ADLS Claims against lawyers, February 2018
  • NZLS Costs in Civil Litigation, July 2018


  • Member of New Zealand Bar Association