Brian was admitted as a barrister and solicitor in 1988 after graduating with a bachelor's degree in law from the University of Canterbury.
Brian practised as a barrister and solicitor between 1988 and 2004. In 2004 Brian became a barrister sole and is a founding member of Vulcan Building Chambers.
Brian has wide-ranging experience in civil and commercial court proceedings in trial and appellate courts, as well as in arbitration and mediation.
His practice has a primary focus on property and contract law relating to the sale of land, leases, unit titles and bodies corporate, torts such as negligence and nuisance, and insurance matters.
Brian has been a member of the Auckland District Law Society property disputes sub-committee for a number of years.
Ph: +64 9 300 1255
Fax: + 64 9 307 6504
Richard is an experienced commercial advocate with a focus on High Court litigation. He has a broad range of commercial litigation experience in the District and High Courts as well as in the Court of Appeal, with particular expertise in the following areas:
- commercial and residential property disputes including leaky buildings
- lease and boundary disputes
- contractual disputes
- Family Protection Act claims and will disputes
- trust disputes
- shareholder/director disputes
- liquidation and insolvency matters
- civil fraud
- urgent interim relief (eg injunctions and freezing orders)
- franchise disputes
- retirement village disputes
Richard is adept at mediating and negotiating practical outcomes for his clients. His skills are built on 14 years' practice as a barrister sole. From 2000-2004 he was engaged as junior counsel to many of the senior counsel at Shortland Chambers in Auckland. Prior to that he worked for Russell McVeagh and spent two years from 1994-1996 as junior counsel for Fay, Richwhite in the "Winebox" Inquiry.
Richard Thompson - Notable Cases
Richard is adept at mediating and negotiating practical outcomes for his clients. Whilst many cases typically are resolved by settlements rather than a full trial, cases that have proceeded to a full trial or hearing include:
- Bethell v Bethell (High Court 20 December 2013, Courtney J) successful claim for specific performance to subdivide and transfer land arising from a 1987 deed of family arrangement;
- Bethell v Rickard (Court of Appeal 22 March 2013) successful maintenance of a caveat based on equitable principles and centred on interpretation of a family deed and will;
- Jireh Holdings Ltd v Sotoishi (High Court 4 March 2011 Fogarty J) leading decision regarding unenforceability of real estate agent's claim for commission and inability to seek restitution in the absence of a written appointment;
- Verano Properties Ltd v Sever (Court of Appeal,20 August 2010) successful defence of a developer's claim to enforce an agreement for sale and purchase in circumstances where it had failed to register a prospectus and comply with Securities Act exemption notice requirements;
- Ryder v CSR Trustee Ltd (District Court 13 December 2013, Judge Hinton) successful enforcement of a negative easement requiring neighbor to remedy breaches and reimburse the applicant;
- Finlayson v Clapham (High Court 28 July 2004, Baragwanath J) successful appeal  for a neighbor who had pruned his neighbour's trees where the resulting damage was not permanent and therefore not actionable by the landlord plaintiff;
- Chappell v Morris Crock Ltd (High Court 5 February 2004, Master Faire) application granted in part granting one director leave to commence proceedings in the name of the company against the other director.
 As junior counsel to Julian Miles QC
Ph: +64 9 300 1254 | Mobile: +64 21 663 306 | Fax: + 64 9 307 6504 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Melissa graduated from the University of Auckland in 1999 with a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (Psychology).
She commenced practise as a barrister and solicitor at Minter Ellison Rudd Watts gaining experience in a wide range of civil litigation matters. In 2003 she became a Senior Associate in a boutique trust and estates firm, gaining considerable experience in disputes involving estates, wills and property matters. Melissa then went on to practise as a Senior Associate in an international insurance law firm specialising in negligence claims before commencing practise as a barrister sole.
Melissa regularly appears in the Family, District and High Courts, and has appeared in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. She has a high degree of expertise in complex family property matters and has been counsel in a number of reported judgments in this area of law. She also has extensive experience in alternative dispute resolution.
Melissa is available to take instructions in the following areas:
- Contractual disputes
- Estate matters
- Will interpretation / disputes
- Relationship Property
Ph: +64 9 300 1258
Fax: + 64 9 307 6504
Patrick graduated from Auckland University with a BA.LLB (Honours) degree in 1992. He started his career as a commercial litigator with Chapman Tripp and later moved to Shieff Angland before becoming a barrister sole in 2005. He completed a Masters in Commercial Law with first class honours in at Auckland University in 2002 and was the top graduate for that year, focusing on intellectual property and information technology law.
Patrick has over 20 years of experience providing litigation advice and advocacy of the highest quality in the following areas:
- High value cases;
- Leaky building litigation;
- Intellectual property disputes;
- Information technology;
- Employment disputes;
- Franchising matters;
- Negligence and other torts;
- Company and partnership disputes;
- Trade practices;
- Trusts, wills and estates;
Dr Tony Ellis
Dr Tony Ellis is one of New Zealand's leading Human Rights lawyers.
Tony's particular interests including human rights generally, Criminal trials and appeals, Judicial reviews, Habeas Corpus, Extradition, Constitutional Law, Intellectual Disability and Mental Health, and Preventive Detention cases as well as cases involving recusal (disqualification) of Judges, and civil claims generally against the Government.
He has predominately a public law and criminal practice. Tony takes criminal cases and judicial reviews, and compensation covering prisoners rights including deaths or other abuses in custody, and other breaches of human rights. He is the only New Zealand barrister regularly having international human rights law cases before the United Nations Human Rights Committee ("UNHRC").
He is the only New Zealand lawyer ever to have won any cases before the UNHRC. In 2014 he will lodge his first case before the UN Committee Against Torture, The UN Working Party against Arbitrary Detention, and a claim from Pitcairn to the UN Special Rapporteur on independence of judges and lawyers, as well as a shadow report to the UN Decolonization Committee.
Tony's approach to the law is international and comparative he holds law degrees from Australia, England and New Zealand.
For more information please refer to Tony's website
Penelope Stevenson LLB, LLM
Penelope Stevenson is a property law specialist. She provides legal advice and litigation services to clients dealing with disputes in the areas of relationship property, estates, and trusts. Penelope is a member of the NZ Law Society, NZLS Family Law Section, NZ Bar Association, and International Bar Association. She was admitted to the Bar in 1983.
Ph: +64 9 968 8589
Mb: +64 21 353 536
Fax: +64 9 307 6504
Gillian Chappell LLB (Hons) BA
Gill was admitted to the Bar in 1994 and commenced practice as a barrister sole in 2005.
With over 20 years experience in the area of resource management, planning and local government law, her areas of expertise include:
- district and regional plan development
- resource consent applications
- administrative law – declarations, judicial review and enforcement proceedings
- advising on all aspects of the Resource Management Act and related legislation
- advising on local government legislation, the Electricity Act and the Public Works Act
Gill has appeared in many Council and Court hearings and attended numerous mediations. She provides pragmatic, cost focussed, strategic advice, grounded in her commercial training as an in-house solicitor and at Russell McVeagh.
Gill has a LLB (Hons) and a BA from Auckland University.
Ph: +64 9 300 1259 | Mobile: +64 27 303 4757 | Fax: +64 9 307 6504 | Email: email@example.com