Stephen Hunter QC

Profile

My practice is focused on commercial, regulatory and public law cases in the High Court. I have over 20 years’ litigation experience, including eight years as a partner at Gilbert Walker and five years as a barrister sole. I was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2019. Earlier in my career I worked at the Court of Appeal as Judge's Clerk to the late Sir Ivor Richardson, at Russell McVeagh, and for four years in the litigation team at Herbert Smith in London.

In the past few years I have acted at trial and on appeal in the bank swaps litigation, the Green trust litigation and the Torchlight penalty fee litigation; in Metlifecare’s takeover dispute; in the ongoing Fuji Xerox accounting proceedings and the Ross Asset Management class action; and in other matters for ANZ Bank, Calibre Partners, the Commerce Commission, Kiwi Property, Precinct, Vector and Vero Liability. Please see the case history section below for further details.

I hold a BA/LLB (Hons) from the University of Auckland and an LLM from Harvard University, which I attended as a Fulbright Scholar. I was admitted to the bar in New Zealand in 1998, in New York in 2003, and as a solicitor in England & Wales in 2003. I have been recognised as a leading individual in Who’s Who Legal, the Legal 500 and Chambers.

I have contributed to legal education and the profession as a lecturer in public law at the University of Auckland, as a regular faculty member on the Litigation Skills course, and as a Law Society Standards Committee member. I currently sit on the New Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal and on the steering committee for a law school scholarships programme.

Profile

My practice is focused on commercial, regulatory and public law cases in the High Court. I have over 20 years’ litigation experience, including eight years as a partner at Gilbert Walker and five years as a barrister sole. I was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2019. Earlier in my career I worked at the Court of Appeal as Judge's Clerk to the late Sir Ivor Richardson, at Russell McVeagh, and for four years in the litigation team at Herbert Smith in London.

In the past few years I have acted at trial and on appeal in the bank swaps litigation, the Green trust litigation and the Torchlight penalty fee litigation; in Metlifecare’s takeover dispute; in the ongoing Fuji Xerox accounting proceedings and the Ross Asset Management class action; and in other matters for ANZ Bank, Calibre Partners, the Commerce Commission, Kiwi Property, Precinct, Vector and Vero Liability. Please see the case history section below for further details.

I hold a BA/LLB (Hons) from the University of Auckland and an LLM from Harvard University, which I attended as a Fulbright Scholar. I was admitted to the bar in New Zealand in 1998, in New York in 2003, and as a solicitor in England & Wales in 2003. I have been recognised as a leading individual in Who’s Who Legal, the Legal 500 and Chambers.

I have contributed to legal education and the profession as a lecturer in public law at the University of Auckland, as a regular faculty member on the Litigation Skills course, and as a Law Society Standards Committee member. I currently sit on the New Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal and on the steering committee for a law school scholarships programme.

Profile

My practice is focused on commercial, regulatory and public law cases in the High Court. I have over 20 years’ litigation experience, including eight years as a partner at Gilbert Walker and five years as a barrister sole. I was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2019. Earlier in my career I worked at the Court of Appeal as Judge's Clerk to the late Sir Ivor Richardson, at Russell McVeagh, and for four years in the litigation team at Herbert Smith in London.

In the past few years I have acted at trial and on appeal in the bank swaps litigation, the Green trust litigation and the Torchlight penalty fee litigation; in Metlifecare’s takeover dispute; in the ongoing Fuji Xerox accounting proceedings and the Ross Asset Management class action; and in other matters for ANZ Bank, Calibre Partners, the Commerce Commission, Kiwi Property, Precinct, Vector and Vero Liability. Please see the case history section below for further details.

I hold a BA/LLB (Hons) from the University of Auckland and an LLM from Harvard University, which I attended as a Fulbright Scholar. I was admitted to the bar in New Zealand in 1998, in New York in 2003, and as a solicitor in England & Wales in 2003. I have been recognised as a leading individual in Who’s Who Legal, the Legal 500 and Chambers.

I have contributed to legal education and the profession as a lecturer in public law at the University of Auckland, as a regular faculty member on the Litigation Skills course, and as a Law Society Standards Committee member. I currently sit on the New Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal and on the steering committee for a law school scholarships programme.

Additional information

Case History

I have appeared as counsel in over 100 matters with published decisions as well as in many arbitrations and mediations that led to confidential awards or settlements. I have listed some of my recent engagements below, by subject area.

Banking & Financial Services – I was lead counsel for ANZ in Bushline v ANZ [2017] NZHC 2520, [2019] NZCA 245, [2020] NZSC 71 and Cygnet Farms v ANZ [2017] 2 NZLR 538 (both concerning interest rate swaps and the former including a successful appeal to the Supreme Court). I appeared for the Commerce Commission in Commerce Commission v Home Direct [2019] 3 NZLR 904 (the first case concerning the unfair contract terms provisions of the Fair Trading Act); for Torchlight in Wilaci v Torchlight [2015] NZHC 2559, [2017] NZCA 152 (loan agreements, law of penalties); and as Counsel Assisting the Court in Diners Club v District Court [2017] NZHC 2616 (consumer credit). I am currently lead counsel for ANZ in the Ross Asset Management class action. Earlier in my career, at Herbert Smith, I spent two years working on a case in Italy concerning the use of financial instruments by Parmalat.

Company & Securities – I was recently lead counsel for Metlifecare in its high profile takeover dispute with EQT. The case concerned a MAC clause allegedly triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic; procedural issues were addressed in Metlifecare v Asia Pacific Village Group [2020] NZHC 1184 and the broader dispute settled. I am currently lead counsel for a defendant in the ongoing Fuji Xerox accounting litigation and for the receivers in a claim relating to the sale of the Claymark business. I provided advice to numerous listed companies in connection with capital raisings and other urgent legal issues arising during New Zealand’s Covid-19 lockdown.

Injunctive Relief – I have acted many times for parties seeking or resisting urgent injunctive relief, including recently as lead counsel for Calibre Partners in Clayton v Jackson [2020] NZHC 2666 (receivers’ duties); for Vector in the High Court and the Court of Appeal in Intellihub v Genesis & Vector [2020] NZHC 807, [2020] NZCA 344 (economic torts); and for Mad Butcher in Mad Butcher Holdings v Standard 730 [2019] NZHC 589 (restraint of trade).

Insurance – I have acted for many of New Zealand’s major insurers, including regularly over the past 15 years for Vero Liability. I have advised on a huge range of indemnity and policy-interpretation issues, including in matters arising from the Canterbury earthquakes, the Convention Centre fire and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Negligence & Professional Liability – I have acted for many of New Zealand’s largest law and accounting firms in professional liability matters. Most of these claims settle, but recent public matters include Mason v Dodd [2020] NZHC 1508 (accountant liability), Deliu v New Zealand Police [2018] NZHC 2004 (counsel recusal) and Easton v Larsen [2016] NZHC 2234, [2017] NZCA 258 (trustee liability). Some older cases in this category, all as lead or sole counsel at trial, include Tompkins v Wensley [2012] NZHC 1863 (misrepresentation), Motorworld v Turners [2010] NZCCLR 30 (conversion, auctioneers’ duties) and Securities Registry v Gomes [2008] BCL 69, [2008] NZCA 567, [2009] NZSC 37 (accountant liability, misrepresentation).

Regulatory & Public Law – I appeared as lead counsel for RITANZ in Grant v RITANZ [2020] NZHC 2876 (judicial review, professional licensing); for the Commerce Commission in the Home Direct case referred to above; as Counsel Assisting the Court in Xiao v Dept of Internal Affairs [2019] 3 NZLR 622 (CA) (money laundering); for ANZ (with Alan Galbraith QC) in the High Court and the Court of Appeal in ANZ v Financial Markets Authority [2018] 3 NZLR 377, [2018] NZCA 590 (judicial review, disclosure of documents); and for Vector in the High Court and the Court of Appeal (with Jim Farmer QC) in Vector v Electricity Authority [2017] NZHC 1774, [2018] NZCA 543, [2019] NZCA 49 (judicial review). I have acted in investigations and prosecutions by the Commerce Commission, the Financial Markets Authority and the Serious Fraud Office. At Herbert Smith, I acted for the United States Securities and Exchange Commission in major asset recovery proceedings in the Isle of Man.

Trusts – I was lead counsel for a beneficiary in a five-week trial and on appeal in one of New Zealand’s most significant trust cases: Green v Green [2015] NZHC 1218, [2016] NZCA 486, [2017] 2 NZLR 321.

Documents

I have appeared as counsel in over 100 matters with published decisions as well as in many arbitrations and mediations that led to confidential awards or settlements. I have listed some of my recent engagements below, by subject area.

Banking & Financial Services – I was lead counsel for ANZ in Bushline v ANZ [2017] NZHC 2520, [2019] NZCA 245, [2020] NZSC 71 and Cygnet Farms v ANZ [2017] 2 NZLR 538 (both concerning interest rate swaps and the former including a successful appeal to the Supreme Court). I appeared for the Commerce Commission in Commerce Commission v Home Direct [2019] 3 NZLR 904 (the first case concerning the unfair contract terms provisions of the Fair Trading Act); for Torchlight in Wilaci v Torchlight [2015] NZHC 2559, [2017] NZCA 152 (loan agreements, law of penalties); and as Counsel Assisting the Court in Diners Club v District Court [2017] NZHC 2616 (consumer credit). I am currently lead counsel for ANZ in the Ross Asset Management class action. Earlier in my career, at Herbert Smith, I spent two years working on a case in Italy concerning the use of financial instruments by Parmalat.

Company & Securities – I was recently lead counsel for Metlifecare in its high profile takeover dispute with EQT. The case concerned a MAC clause allegedly triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic; procedural issues were addressed in Metlifecare v Asia Pacific Village Group [2020] NZHC 1184 and the broader dispute settled. I am currently lead counsel for a defendant in the ongoing Fuji Xerox accounting litigation and for the receivers in a claim relating to the sale of the Claymark business. I provided advice to numerous listed companies in connection with capital raisings and other urgent legal issues arising during New Zealand’s Covid-19 lockdown.

Injunctive Relief – I have acted many times for parties seeking or resisting urgent injunctive relief, including recently as lead counsel for Calibre Partners in Clayton v Jackson [2020] NZHC 2666 (receivers’ duties); for Vector in the High Court and the Court of Appeal in Intellihub v Genesis & Vector [2020] NZHC 807, [2020] NZCA 344 (economic torts); and for Mad Butcher in Mad Butcher Holdings v Standard 730 [2019] NZHC 589 (restraint of trade).

Insurance – I have acted for many of New Zealand’s major insurers, including regularly over the past 15 years for Vero Liability. I have advised on a huge range of indemnity and policy-interpretation issues, including in matters arising from the Canterbury earthquakes, the Convention Centre fire and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Negligence & Professional Liability – I have acted for many of New Zealand’s largest law and accounting firms in professional liability matters. Most of these claims settle, but recent public matters include Mason v Dodd [2020] NZHC 1508 (accountant liability), Deliu v New Zealand Police [2018] NZHC 2004 (counsel recusal) and Easton v Larsen [2016] NZHC 2234, [2017] NZCA 258 (trustee liability). Some older cases in this category, all as lead or sole counsel at trial, include Tompkins v Wensley [2012] NZHC 1863 (misrepresentation), Motorworld v Turners [2010] NZCCLR 30 (conversion, auctioneers’ duties) and Securities Registry v Gomes [2008] BCL 69, [2008] NZCA 567, [2009] NZSC 37 (accountant liability, misrepresentation).

Regulatory & Public Law – I appeared as lead counsel for RITANZ in Grant v RITANZ [2020] NZHC 2876 (judicial review, professional licensing); for the Commerce Commission in the Home Direct case referred to above; as Counsel Assisting the Court in Xiao v Dept of Internal Affairs [2019] 3 NZLR 622 (CA) (money laundering); for ANZ (with Alan Galbraith QC) in the High Court and the Court of Appeal in ANZ v Financial Markets Authority [2018] 3 NZLR 377, [2018] NZCA 590 (judicial review, disclosure of documents); and for Vector in the High Court and the Court of Appeal (with Jim Farmer QC) in Vector v Electricity Authority [2017] NZHC 1774, [2018] NZCA 543, [2019] NZCA 49 (judicial review). I have acted in investigations and prosecutions by the Commerce Commission, the Financial Markets Authority and the Serious Fraud Office. At Herbert Smith, I acted for the United States Securities and Exchange Commission in major asset recovery proceedings in the Isle of Man.

Trusts – I was lead counsel for a beneficiary in a five-week trial and on appeal in one of New Zealand’s most significant trust cases: Green v Green [2015] NZHC 1218, [2016] NZCA 486, [2017] 2 NZLR 321.

Qualifications

BA/LLB (Hons) (Auckland)

LLM (Harvard)

Admitted: 1998

Barrister Sole: 2016

Silk: 2019

Stephen
Hunter
smhunter@shortlandchambers.co.nz
+64 21 792 205
+64 9 306 2780
Shortland Chambers