Victoria leads complex litigation, with a particular focus on public law.


I lead complex litigation, with a particular focus on public law. I have worked across a range of sectors including energy, construction, finance, health and disability, local government and central government agencies.

I joined the independent bar in 2012, becoming a QC in 2016. I have previously worked as Crown Counsel with the Crown Law Office’s Tax & Commercial and Human Rights Teams, and with Bell Gully (Auckland and Wellington offices), Meredith Connell (Auckland) and Sly and Weigall (Canberra).

Recent judgments

  • Ryan v Health and Disability Commissioner [2023] NZSC 42, on appeal from [2021] NZCA 347 and [2020] NZHC 373 (vicarious liability of GP practice under the Health and Disability Commissioner Act) and [2020] NZHC 360 (name suppression)
  • Van Silfhout v Pathirannehelage [2023] NZCA 5 on appeal from [2021] NZHC 2268 (counsel assisting the Court, Prisoners and Victims Claims Act 2005)
  • Te Rūnunga O Ngāi Tahu v Te Ohu Kai Moana Trustee Ltd [2023] NZHC 302 (declining stay of judicial review application relating to proposed changes to distribution model)
  • Lawyers for Climate Action NZ Inc v Climate Change Commission [2022] NZHC 3064 (representing Commission in successful opposition to judicial review of emissions budgets advice)
  • Wallace v Chief Executive of Dept of Corrections [2022] NZHC 2464 (representing sentenced women seeking injunction to stop mass transfers of sentenced women away from Arohata and closure of Drug Treatment Unit)
  • Stafford v Attorney General [2022] NZCA 165 (representing Kāinga Ora in judicial review relating to Ministers’ powers to direct Crown Entities, fiduciary claims for historical Treaty breaches). Also Stafford v Attorney-General [2021] NZHC 335 and 1466
  • WorkSafe v National Emergency Management Agency [2022] NZDC 8020 (successful application to dismiss charges in relation to Whakaari eruption)
  • K v Complaints Assessment Committee [2022] NZHC 307 (scope of functus officio in disciplinary investigative process)
  • Trans-Tasman Resources Ltd v Taranaki-Whanganui Conservation Board [2021] NZSC 127, [2021] 1 NZLR 801 (representing the EPA in an appeal against a consent for off-shore iron sands mining under the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Act 2012 (first and second appeals at [2020] NZCA 86 and [2018] NZHC 2217)
  • Environmental Protection Authority v BWO Offshore Singapore Ptd Ltd [2021] NZHC 2577 (correct approach to costs against a regulator in the Environment Court)
  • Jonathon Livingston Engineering Co Ltd v Commissioner of Patents [2021] NZHC 2542 (counsel assisting the Court, patent appeal)
  • Van Silfhout v Pathirannehelage [2021] NZHC 2268 (counsel assisting the Court, Prisoners and Victims Claims Act 2005)
  • Peters v Attorney-General [2021] NZCA 355, and Peters v Bennett [2020] NZHC 761 and 1734 (tort of privacy claim by Rt Hon Winston Peters against State Services Commissioner, former CE MSD and former Ministers)
  • Ryan v Health and Disability Commissioner [2021] NZCA 347 (vicarious liability of GP practice under the Health and Disability Commissioner Act, on appeal from [2020] NZHC 373 and [2020] NZHC 360 (name suppression))
  • New Zealand Post Primary Teachers Assoc v Secretary for Education [2021] NZEmpC 87 (claim that collective agreement discriminated against part time secondary school teachers on the basis of sex)
  • Registrar of Real Estate Agents Authority v Cavanagh [2021] NZHC 680 (fit and proper person test for registration)
  • New Zealand Professional Firefighters Union Inc v Fire and Emergency New Zealand [2021] NZCA 60 (successful opposition to leave to appeal on restructuring provisions in governing legislation)
  • Greymouth Gas Turangi Ltd v Minister of Energy and Resources [2020] NZHC 2712 (judicial review, offshore petroleum exploration permits and the government announcement of the ban on future off-shore exploration)
  • Borrowdale v Director-General of Health [2020] NZHC 2090 (challenge to the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown and subsequent Level 3 response)
  • Hospice New Zealand v Attorney-General [2020] NZHC 1379 (rights of conscientious objection for institutions under proposed End of Life Choice Act)
  • Taylor v Chief Executive of Dept of Corrections [2020] NZHC 383 (meaning of personal information under the Privacy Act)
  • Dotcom v Attorney-General [2020] NZCA 551 and High Court, [2019] 2 NZLR 277, (first and second appeals from Human Rights Review Tribunal decision, privacy and damages)
  • Mercury NZ Ltd v Commissioner of Inland Revenue [2019] NZHC 1524 (depreciation, whether geothermal powerhouses are a ‘building’)
  • Greymouth Petroleum Mining Group Ltd v Minister of Energy & Resources [2019] NZHC 1222 (judicial review, petroleum mining permit)
  • Director of Proceedings v Brooks [2019] NZHRRT 33 (name suppression)
  • Commerce Commission v Euro Corporation Ltd [2019] NZDC 1025, [2020] NZDC 13297 (steel mesh prosecution under the Fair Trading Act 1986)
  • Reekie v Claimaint A [2018] NZHC 2434, [2019] NZCA 398 (counsel assisting the Court, Prisoners and Victims Claims Act 2005)
  • Rewiti v Maori Women’s Welfare League [2018] NZHC 2713 (judicial review of changes to the League’s constitution)
  • Heinz Watties Ltd v Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment [2018] NZHC 2309 (judicial review, anti-dumping duties)
  • McGoughan v DePuy International Ltd and ACC [2018] 2 NZLR 916 (CA) and [2016] 2 NZLR 119 (HC) (challenge to the ACC regime statutory bar on litigation seeking compensatory damages)
  • Attorney-General v Taylor [2017] NZCA 215, [2017] 3 NZLR 24 (appearing for the Speaker of the House of Representatives as intervener on issues of Parliamentary privilege)
  • Foundation for Anti-Aging Research v Charities Registration Board [2016] NZHC 2328, (2016) 27 NZTC 22-074 (charitable status of scientific research, cryogenics)
  • Chief Executive of the Dept of Corrections v Ranui [2016] NZHC 1174 (amicus, extended supervision orders)

Other matters

  • Independent review of the detention of asylum seekers in New Zealand, 23 March 2022
  • Independent investigation on instructions from the High Performance Sport NZ Independent Complaints Service, 2021
  • Independent Review of processes and proceedings for making refugee protection status determinations under Part 5 of the Immigration Act 2009, Report 2019
  • Assistant Commissioner of Patents, Trade Marks and Plant Designs, 2015 – 2018
  • Panel member litigation strategy review of government agency (2018)
  • Independent peer review of investigation into serious complaints against a senior executive (2018)
  • Chair of the Minimum Taste Standard Committee appointed by the New Zealand Kiwifruit Board inquiring into a complaint against Zespri (2017)
  • Represented Hastings District Council in Stage 2 of the Government Inquiry into Havelock North Drinking Water (2017)
  • Appointed counsel assisting the Government Inquiry by the Hon Lester Chisholm into allegations regarding the Hon Judith Collins and a former Director of the Serious Fraud Office (2014)

Seminars and publications

  • Climate Change Litigation (Crown Law Office) March 2023
  • Prison Panorama panel discussion Wellington Branch NZLS Parole Law Committee March 2022
  • Emergency Powers and the Role of the Advocate NZ Bar Association Conference 2022
  • Judicial Review: recent cases and trends Legalwise Government Law Conference September 2022
  • Duncan Cotterill Public Sector Forum Personal information November 2019
  • Member planning group for Human Rights Law – New Frontiers NZLS CLE Intensive May 2019
  • Discovery in Judicial Review (presentation to the Crown Law Office) November 2018
  • Panel speaker The Rule of Law NZ Bar Association Conference September 2018
  • Public Law Claims NZCLE In Short seminar August 2018
  • Employment Court Workshop August 2018
  • Seminars on Parliamentary Privilege in the context of litigation, July – August 2017, NZCLE February 2018
  • NZCLE Public Sector Governance Intensive: When things go wrong – responding to external investigations 26 October 2017
  • Government Legal Network Health Law: Collisions between science, social policy, economics and ethics 22 March 2017
  • Judicial Review 2016 in review Legalwise seminar 2 March 2017
  • Judicial Review in practice (presentation to the Crown Law Office) September 2016
  • Administrative Law 2015 in review Legalwise seminar 25 February 2016
  • Victoria University cross-campus human rights symposium paper: ‘The right to die’ and ‘rational suicide’: respecting human rights for all or a claim for privilege by the strong? The case for the status quo’ 10 December 2015, paper published [2015] HRR 10
  • Gathering and disposing of information under the Inquiries Act 2013 NZLS Public Law Intensive 8 October 2015
  • The Legal Framework for Administrative Decision Making, Legalwise seminar 8 September 2015
  • Recent cases and developments in administrative law, Legalwise seminar, 24 February 2015
  • Article on the use of electronic bundles in the High Court, LawTalk, 7 June 2013
  • Judicial Review seminars for Visiting Justices (Royal Federation of Justices) and Hearing Adjudicators (Dept of Corrections), 2008 to 2010
  • Paper on the extraterritorial effect of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990, presented to a joint seminar of Government lawyers and members of the Refugee Status Appeals Authority, 2009

Community and Professional

  • Council member, New Zealand Bar Association
  • Honorary Legal Advisor, Wellington Justices of the Peace Association Incorporated


Degrees: BSc, LLB
Admission to High Court: 1988


Level 2 Solnet House
70 The Terrace
Wellington 6011
PO Box 5621
Wellington 6140

Phone: +64 4 212 4679
Mobile: +64 21 0299 5428

Areas of practice

Commercial, Competition, Dispute resolution, Energy, Environment and resource management, Human rights, Mediation, Privacy, Public law, Regulatory 

Languages spoken