Robert Stewart

Profile

Recognised as one of New Zealand’s leading media and defamation lawyers, I have a proven record of excellence and success with over 30 years litigation and advocacy experience. I deliver solution-based outcomes for my clients that recognise both legal and commercial imperatives. I advise a number of New Zealand’s major digital, broadcast and print media entities – both public and commercial – and have led and appeared in a number of significant media law and defamation cases.

I also have extensive experience in the areas of dispute resolution, coronial and other inquiries, human rights (freedom of expression), copyright, privacy, contempt, suppression, insolvency and liquidation, judicial review, professional disciplinary tribunals, and trust and estate litigation. I also regularly provide advice to New Zealand and international film production and publishing companies.

Prior to moving to the independent bar at Shortland Chambers, I was a litigation partner for 20 years at the highly respected Wellington firm Izard Weston. My international legal experience in the areas of commercial transactions and insolvency involved working in the London offices of global law firms Reed Smith LLP (as Warner Cranston) and DLA Piper (as Dibb Lupton Broomhead).

I am a member of the New Zealand Bar Association, the New Zealand Law Society and a faculty member of the NZLS’s Litigation Skills Programme. I have also contributed to legal education as a presenter to a number of NZLS CLE Media Law seminars, and for the Auckland District Law Society on contempt and recusal.


Profile

Recognised as one of New Zealand’s leading media and defamation lawyers, I have a proven record of excellence and success with over 30 years litigation and advocacy experience. I deliver solution-based outcomes for my clients that recognise both legal and commercial imperatives. I advise a number of New Zealand’s major digital, broadcast and print media entities – both public and commercial – and have led and appeared in a number of significant media law and defamation cases.

I also have extensive experience in the areas of dispute resolution, coronial and other inquiries, human rights (freedom of expression), copyright, privacy, contempt, suppression, insolvency and liquidation, judicial review, professional disciplinary tribunals, and trust and estate litigation. I also regularly provide advice to New Zealand and international film production and publishing companies.

Prior to moving to the independent bar at Shortland Chambers, I was a litigation partner for 20 years at the highly respected Wellington firm Izard Weston. My international legal experience in the areas of commercial transactions and insolvency involved working in the London offices of global law firms Reed Smith LLP (as Warner Cranston) and DLA Piper (as Dibb Lupton Broomhead).

I am a member of the New Zealand Bar Association, the New Zealand Law Society and a faculty member of the NZLS’s Litigation Skills Programme. I have also contributed to legal education as a presenter to a number of NZLS CLE Media Law seminars, and for the Auckland District Law Society on contempt and recusal.


Profile

Recognised as one of New Zealand’s leading media and defamation lawyers, I have a proven record of excellence and success with over 30 years litigation and advocacy experience. I deliver solution-based outcomes for my clients that recognise both legal and commercial imperatives. I advise a number of New Zealand’s major digital, broadcast and print media entities – both public and commercial – and have led and appeared in a number of significant media law and defamation cases.

I also have extensive experience in the areas of dispute resolution, coronial and other inquiries, human rights (freedom of expression), copyright, privacy, contempt, suppression, insolvency and liquidation, judicial review, professional disciplinary tribunals, and trust and estate litigation. I also regularly provide advice to New Zealand and international film production and publishing companies.

Prior to moving to the independent bar at Shortland Chambers, I was a litigation partner for 20 years at the highly respected Wellington firm Izard Weston. My international legal experience in the areas of commercial transactions and insolvency involved working in the London offices of global law firms Reed Smith LLP (as Warner Cranston) and DLA Piper (as Dibb Lupton Broomhead).

I am a member of the New Zealand Bar Association, the New Zealand Law Society and a faculty member of the NZLS’s Litigation Skills Programme. I have also contributed to legal education as a presenter to a number of NZLS CLE Media Law seminars, and for the Auckland District Law Society on contempt and recusal.


Additional information

Case History
  • Kempson v R [2020] NZSC 158 – successfully opposed application for continued interim suppression of name pending disposition of appeals brought by Grace Millane’s killer.
  • Parker v R & Stuff Ltd [2020] NZCA 502 – successfully opposed application for permanent suppression of name by professional boxer Joseph Parker when the Crown alleged he was connected to serious criminal offending.
  • America’s Cup Event Ltd v NZME Publishing Ltd [2020] NZHC 1756 – acted for NZME in seeking to overturn injunction restraining publication of draft audit report critical of ACE and Team New Zealand in relation to the application of public funds.
  • PQW v Mallard [2020] NZHC 1749 – acted for the Speaker of the House in his defence of defamation proceedings.
  • X v R & Stuff Ltd [2020] NZHC 1345 – successfully opposed application for permanent suppression of name by high profile sporting figure allegedly connected to serious criminal offending.
  • Driver v RNZ & Ors  [2019] NZHC 3275 – successfully applied to strike out remaining causes of action in defamation on limitation and abuse of process grounds.
  • Ngaamo v NZ Police [2019] NZHC 3129 – successfully opposed application for permanent name suppression for high profile personality convicted of domestic abuse. 
  • Chiv v Stuff Limited [2019] NZHC 767 – successfully opposed application for injunction to require take down of allegedly defamatory online article.   
  • Arnold v Stuff Ltd & Shadbolt - successfully defended The Southland Times against a defamation claim brought by Cr Karen Arnold against the newspaper and Mayor Shadbolt (jury trial).  
  • Wall v Fairfax New Zealand Ltd  [2018] NZHC 104, [2018] 2 NZLR 471, (2018) 11 HRNZ 373 –successfully defended a claim that cartoons caused racial disharmony in breach of section 61 of the Human Rights Act 1993 with reference to the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act and freedom of expression issues.
  • Driver v Radio New Zealand & Ors [2017] NZHC 3188 – successfully opposed plaintiff’s application to extend primary limitation period and obtained security for costs for nine media defendants.
  • Noble v Aharoni  [2016] NZHC 1995, [2016] NZAR 1177 – successfully overturned an interim injunction restraining publication of a defamatory notice on pleading a truth defence.
  • R v Warren  [2016] NZHC 1728 – successfully overturned an interim suppression order suppressing the names of police officers injured during an armed siege.  
  • Arnold v Fairfax New Zealand Ltd [2016] NZHC 207 – successfully opposed an application to strike out an honest opinion defence.
  • CPA Australia Ltd v NZ Institute of Chartered Accountants  [2015] NZHC 1854, (2015) 14 TCLR 149 – successfully defended a defamation claim by one professional body against another (instructing solicitor / junior counsel).
  • Lyttelton v R  [2015] NZCA 279; [2016] 1 NZLR 21 – successfully opposed an appeal against a refusal to order take down of historic online articles prior to a criminal trial.
Documents
  • Kempson v R [2020] NZSC 158 – successfully opposed application for continued interim suppression of name pending disposition of appeals brought by Grace Millane’s killer.
  • Parker v R & Stuff Ltd [2020] NZCA 502 – successfully opposed application for permanent suppression of name by professional boxer Joseph Parker when the Crown alleged he was connected to serious criminal offending.
  • America’s Cup Event Ltd v NZME Publishing Ltd [2020] NZHC 1756 – acted for NZME in seeking to overturn injunction restraining publication of draft audit report critical of ACE and Team New Zealand in relation to the application of public funds.
  • PQW v Mallard [2020] NZHC 1749 – acted for the Speaker of the House in his defence of defamation proceedings.
  • X v R & Stuff Ltd [2020] NZHC 1345 – successfully opposed application for permanent suppression of name by high profile sporting figure allegedly connected to serious criminal offending.
  • Driver v RNZ & Ors  [2019] NZHC 3275 – successfully applied to strike out remaining causes of action in defamation on limitation and abuse of process grounds.
  • Ngaamo v NZ Police [2019] NZHC 3129 – successfully opposed application for permanent name suppression for high profile personality convicted of domestic abuse. 
  • Chiv v Stuff Limited [2019] NZHC 767 – successfully opposed application for injunction to require take down of allegedly defamatory online article.   
  • Arnold v Stuff Ltd & Shadbolt - successfully defended The Southland Times against a defamation claim brought by Cr Karen Arnold against the newspaper and Mayor Shadbolt (jury trial).  
  • Wall v Fairfax New Zealand Ltd  [2018] NZHC 104, [2018] 2 NZLR 471, (2018) 11 HRNZ 373 –successfully defended a claim that cartoons caused racial disharmony in breach of section 61 of the Human Rights Act 1993 with reference to the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act and freedom of expression issues.
  • Driver v Radio New Zealand & Ors [2017] NZHC 3188 – successfully opposed plaintiff’s application to extend primary limitation period and obtained security for costs for nine media defendants.
  • Noble v Aharoni  [2016] NZHC 1995, [2016] NZAR 1177 – successfully overturned an interim injunction restraining publication of a defamatory notice on pleading a truth defence.
  • R v Warren  [2016] NZHC 1728 – successfully overturned an interim suppression order suppressing the names of police officers injured during an armed siege.  
  • Arnold v Fairfax New Zealand Ltd [2016] NZHC 207 – successfully opposed an application to strike out an honest opinion defence.
  • CPA Australia Ltd v NZ Institute of Chartered Accountants  [2015] NZHC 1854, (2015) 14 TCLR 149 – successfully defended a defamation claim by one professional body against another (instructing solicitor / junior counsel).
  • Lyttelton v R  [2015] NZCA 279; [2016] 1 NZLR 21 – successfully opposed an appeal against a refusal to order take down of historic online articles prior to a criminal trial.
Professional Activities

Admitted to the Bar: 1991

Partner – Izard Weston: 1998 - 2018

Barrister Sole: 2018

Qualifications

BCom/LLB (Cant)

Year Admitted:  1991

Barrister Sole:  2018

Robert
Stewart
rkpstewart@shortlandchambers.co.nz
+64 21 868 679
+64 9 307 9803
Shortland Chambers