General Background

Daniel McLellan QC is a broad civil, commercial and media law barrister.  He specializes in trial and appellate advocacy and advice in most fields but particularly media, commercial, property and insurance law.

In the last few years he has appeared in numerous High Court trials including as counsel for a defendant in the long running Houghton v Saunders (Feltex) shareholders’ class action, the appeals from that matter to the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, and in all courts in Trust Power v Commissioner of Inland Revenue.

In 2018 he was counsel for one of the successful defendants in a competition case brought by the Commerce Commission against real estate agencies alleging price fixing (Commerce Commission v Lodge Real Estate Ltd).

He has been involved in many media cases involving most issues affecting old and new media including defamation, suppression, contempt, privacy and central government election issues.

Daniel accepts arbitral engagements as counsel and arbitrator and has represented parties in litigation in overseas jurisdictions including the Cook Islands and Tonga.

Daniel regularly advises professionals, businesses and their insurers in relation to professional negligence, insurance coverage, conflicts and other ethical issues.  He advises insurers and reinsurers on all areas of liability, general and life insurance, directors’ and officers’ liability and professional indemnity.  He accepts instructions from insureds and insurers.

He also takes instructions in relations to regulatory investigations including financial markets and competition, and criminal and civil proceedings arising out of such matters. 

Daniel is the 2018 Director of the New Zealand Law Society’s Litigation Skills Programme.

Selected Recent Cases

  • Counsel in defamation disputes acting for variety of parties including print and electronic media, producers and individuals
  • Regularly instructed for corporates and individuals in matters involving media and privacy issues including by way of injunctive relief
  • Regularly instructed in commercial and securities litigation, including regulatory investigation and prosecution including Financial Markets Authority and Commerce Commission (competition, misleading conduct etc) investigations/prosecutions
  • Acted in numerous matters involving finance company litigation including insurance and insolvency issues
  • Regularly appointed by insurers to defend parties in complex commercial litigation (including directors and officers liability), class actions and media litigation 
  • Regularly instructed by insurers and by insureds in relation to insurance policy coverage and related issues
  • Counsel for a defendant in long running representative shareholder proceedings following liquidation of Feltex Carpets Ltd
  • Acting in numerous professional negligence cases defending professionals including solicitors, patent attorneys, accountants, engineers, architects
  • Corporate fraud
  • Tax litigation

Professional Activities

  • Admitted to the Bar in 1988
  • Partner Heaney Jones 1993 to 1996
  • Partner Jones Fee 1996 to 2004
  • Practising as barrister-sole from 2004
  • Queen's Counsel 2013

Case History

  • Commissioner of Inland Revenue v Trustpower Ltd [2015] NZCA 253 (appeal on capital and revenue issues)
  • Houghton v Saunders [2015] 2 NZLR 74 (3 month trial of representative securities action by shareholders of public company)
  • Craig v MediaWorks Ltd [2014] NZHC 1875, [2014] NZAR 973 (application for injunction to restrain broadcaster from holding an electoral debate excluding a leader of a minor party)
  • TrustPower Ltd v Commissioner of Inland Revenue [2014] 2 NZLR 502
  • Ayers v LexisNexis NZ Ltd [2012] NZHC 3055, [2012] 21 PRNZ 313 (defamation, remedies)
  • The Baby Hammock Co Ltd v A J Park Law [2012] NZHC 1061 (professional negligence, fiduciary obligations)
  • Dorchester Finance Ltd v Christchurch Foodcourts Ltd High Court, Auckland, 3 September 2010 - commercial lending and guarantees/fair trading/contractual remedies
  • Houghton & anor v Saunders & ors [2009] NZCA 610 - representative orders/maintenance and champerty/fiduciary duties
  • Northern Dairylands Ltd v Maxted [2008] BCL 465 - contracting intention/certainty of contract terms
  • Wool Board Disestablishment Company Ltd v Saxmere Company Ltd [2007] NZCA 349 - public law/tort
  • Ransfield v Radio Network Limited [2005] 1 NZLR 233 (HC) - Bill of Rights issues concerning right of individuals to be given air-time
  • Gordon v Juken New Zealand Limited [2005] DCR 503 - defence of company charged under health and safety legislation
  • Stewart Re Price v Smith [2004] 1 NZLR 354 (CA) - appeal on limitation/equity issues
  • Mitchell v Sprott [2002] 1 NZLR 766 (CA) - honest opinion defence in defamation
  • Television New Zealand Ltd v Ah Koy [2002] 2 NZLR 616 (CA) - mitigation of damages in defamation
  • Interclean Industrial Services v Auckland Regional Council [2000] 3 NZLR 489 (HC) - appeal on costs in criminal cases
  • Juken Nissho Ltd v Northland Regional Council [2000] 2 NZLR 556 (CA) - criminal burden of proof in summary proceedings; resource management
  • New Zealand Forest Products Ltd v New Zealand Insurance Co Ltd [1996] 2 NZLR 20 (CA) - directors and officers insurance coverage; allocation of defence costs between covered and uncovered causes of action
  • Bolton v New Zealand Insurance [1995] 1 NZLR 224 (HC) - defence of insurer in marine insurance coverage case
  • Countrywide Banking Corporation Ltd v State Insurance (1997) 9 ANZ Insurance Cases 76,962; [1993] 3 NZLR 745 (HC) - appeal for insured in insurance coverage dispute
  • Benson v Ship Builders Ltd [1992] 3 NZLR 549 (CA) - neglience/bailment

Daniel McLellan QC

Contacts

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Qualifications

LLB (Cant) (1987)

Barrister Sole: 2004

Silk: 2013

Areas of Practice

Qualifications

LLB (Cant) (1987)

Barrister Sole: 2004

Silk: 2013

General Background

Daniel McLellan QC is a broad civil, commercial and media law barrister.  He specializes in trial and appellate advocacy and advice in most fields but particularly media, commercial, property and insurance law.

In the last few years he has appeared in numerous High Court trials including as counsel for a defendant in the long running Houghton v Saunders (Feltex) shareholders’ class action, the appeals from that matter to the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, and in all courts in Trust Power v Commissioner of Inland Revenue.

In 2018 he was counsel for one of the successful defendants in a competition case brought by the Commerce Commission against real estate agencies alleging price fixing (Commerce Commission v Lodge Real Estate Ltd).

He has been involved in many media cases involving most issues affecting old and new media including defamation, suppression, contempt, privacy and central government election issues.

Daniel accepts arbitral engagements as counsel and arbitrator and has represented parties in litigation in overseas jurisdictions including the Cook Islands and Tonga.

Daniel regularly advises professionals, businesses and their insurers in relation to professional negligence, insurance coverage, conflicts and other ethical issues.  He advises insurers and reinsurers on all areas of liability, general and life insurance, directors’ and officers’ liability and professional indemnity.  He accepts instructions from insureds and insurers.

He also takes instructions in relations to regulatory investigations including financial markets and competition, and criminal and civil proceedings arising out of such matters. 

Daniel is the 2018 Director of the New Zealand Law Society’s Litigation Skills Programme.

Selected Recent Cases

  • Counsel in defamation disputes acting for variety of parties including print and electronic media, producers and individuals
  • Regularly instructed for corporates and individuals in matters involving media and privacy issues including by way of injunctive relief
  • Regularly instructed in commercial and securities litigation, including regulatory investigation and prosecution including Financial Markets Authority and Commerce Commission (competition, misleading conduct etc) investigations/prosecutions
  • Acted in numerous matters involving finance company litigation including insurance and insolvency issues
  • Regularly appointed by insurers to defend parties in complex commercial litigation (including directors and officers liability), class actions and media litigation 
  • Regularly instructed by insurers and by insureds in relation to insurance policy coverage and related issues
  • Counsel for a defendant in long running representative shareholder proceedings following liquidation of Feltex Carpets Ltd
  • Acting in numerous professional negligence cases defending professionals including solicitors, patent attorneys, accountants, engineers, architects
  • Corporate fraud
  • Tax litigation

Professional Activities

  • Admitted to the Bar in 1988
  • Partner Heaney Jones 1993 to 1996
  • Partner Jones Fee 1996 to 2004
  • Practising as barrister-sole from 2004
  • Queen's Counsel 2013

Case History

  • Commissioner of Inland Revenue v Trustpower Ltd [2015] NZCA 253 (appeal on capital and revenue issues)
  • Houghton v Saunders [2015] 2 NZLR 74 (3 month trial of representative securities action by shareholders of public company)
  • Craig v MediaWorks Ltd [2014] NZHC 1875, [2014] NZAR 973 (application for injunction to restrain broadcaster from holding an electoral debate excluding a leader of a minor party)
  • TrustPower Ltd v Commissioner of Inland Revenue [2014] 2 NZLR 502
  • Ayers v LexisNexis NZ Ltd [2012] NZHC 3055, [2012] 21 PRNZ 313 (defamation, remedies)
  • The Baby Hammock Co Ltd v A J Park Law [2012] NZHC 1061 (professional negligence, fiduciary obligations)
  • Dorchester Finance Ltd v Christchurch Foodcourts Ltd High Court, Auckland, 3 September 2010 - commercial lending and guarantees/fair trading/contractual remedies
  • Houghton & anor v Saunders & ors [2009] NZCA 610 - representative orders/maintenance and champerty/fiduciary duties
  • Northern Dairylands Ltd v Maxted [2008] BCL 465 - contracting intention/certainty of contract terms
  • Wool Board Disestablishment Company Ltd v Saxmere Company Ltd [2007] NZCA 349 - public law/tort
  • Ransfield v Radio Network Limited [2005] 1 NZLR 233 (HC) - Bill of Rights issues concerning right of individuals to be given air-time
  • Gordon v Juken New Zealand Limited [2005] DCR 503 - defence of company charged under health and safety legislation
  • Stewart Re Price v Smith [2004] 1 NZLR 354 (CA) - appeal on limitation/equity issues
  • Mitchell v Sprott [2002] 1 NZLR 766 (CA) - honest opinion defence in defamation
  • Television New Zealand Ltd v Ah Koy [2002] 2 NZLR 616 (CA) - mitigation of damages in defamation
  • Interclean Industrial Services v Auckland Regional Council [2000] 3 NZLR 489 (HC) - appeal on costs in criminal cases
  • Juken Nissho Ltd v Northland Regional Council [2000] 2 NZLR 556 (CA) - criminal burden of proof in summary proceedings; resource management
  • New Zealand Forest Products Ltd v New Zealand Insurance Co Ltd [1996] 2 NZLR 20 (CA) - directors and officers insurance coverage; allocation of defence costs between covered and uncovered causes of action
  • Bolton v New Zealand Insurance [1995] 1 NZLR 224 (HC) - defence of insurer in marine insurance coverage case
  • Countrywide Banking Corporation Ltd v State Insurance (1997) 9 ANZ Insurance Cases 76,962; [1993] 3 NZLR 745 (HC) - appeal for insured in insurance coverage dispute
  • Benson v Ship Builders Ltd [1992] 3 NZLR 549 (CA) - neglience/bailment