Litigation and advice

Kristy began her career as a Crown prosecutor in 1980 and has been involved since then in a wide range of public/administrative law, and civil and criminal litigation.

Kristy has frequently conducted complex settlement negotiations and appeared in the landmark Treaty cases of New Zealand Māori Council v Attorney General (“Lands”) [1987] 1 NZLR 641; and New Zealand Māori Council v Attorney General (Broadcasting Assets) [1992] 2 NZLR 576 (CA) [1994] 1 NZLR 513 (PC).

She has appeared in numerous administrative and public law cases and has represented a range of clients in judicial review proceedings.

Her particular strengths are trial advocacy, the provision of strategic legal advice and negotiation.

In recent years Kristy has been involved in sensitive litigation which, in addition to legal advice, has required detailed assessment of strategic implications, and often difficult negotiation.

Kristy is a LEADR-qualified mediator.

She is experienced in Ministerial briefings and in advising senior executives and corporate clients in relation to their appearances at Inquiries and Select Committee hearings.

Kristy has been a member of the Crown Prosecution Panel in Wellington and of the Serious Fraud Office Prosecution Panel for many years.

Civil and advisory
  • From 2016 to the present, represented the Crown in a number of significant civil abuse trials involving wide ranging allegations of systematic negligence and Bill of Rights issues.
  • Represented the Crown in the civil proceeding brought by Kim Dotcom from 2015 to 2017 in the High Court and Court of Appeal.
  • Represented the Minister of Justice in the Judicial Review proceedings issued by David Bain.
  • Provided independent oversight to the criminal investigation into the GCSB.
  • Engaged for the Financial Markets Authority in a complex civil proceeding arising from the collapse of Hanover Finance Limited (and related proceedings).
  • In 2007, successfully represented the Crown in a complex historic civil abuse case involving allegations of abuse in boys’ homes in the 1950s and 60s.
  • Engaged by Office of Auditor General in relation to a range of civil matters.
  • Acted as Counsel for the Contraception, Sterilisation and Abortion Committee and appeared in a Case Stated by the CSA Committee to seek a Declaratory Judgment on a significant matter of public importance relating to the legality of the administration of drugs to induce abortion.
  • In 2003, traveled to Mexico City to represent a company and to conduct negotiations with the Mexican Government (Trade/Customs and Excise Service) in relation to difficulties over export and international tariff issues.
  • Appeared in the Privy Council in a civil proceeding (B v Attorney General [1999] 2 NZLR 296: [2003] UKPC 61 (PC), negligence/damages claim).
  • Represented a Judge of the High Court involved in civil litigation.
  • Provided advice to TVNZ and the Minister of Finance in relation to the restructuring of TVNZ as a Crown Company.
  • Led the Crown defence of longstanding and complex damages litigation initiated by a group of former Police undercover agents; that litigation was successfully resolved. Arising out of that litigation appeared for the Crown in the Court of Appeal in Attorney General v B [2002] NZAR 809 a decision dealing with the availability of compensation for psychological injury.
  • Appeared in a malicious prosecution civil trial (Withey v Attorney-General, CP10/95, 19/8/1998) and subsequent successful appeal to the Court of Appeal (Attorney-General v Withey CA 211/98 20/7/1999) involving serious allegations against the Police.
  • Represented the Chair of Waitangi Tribunal in Judicial Review proceedings issued by Ngai Tahu. That case involved significant public law and constitutional issues.
  • Appeared in the landmark case of New Zealand Māori Council v Attorney General (“Lands”) [1987] 1 NZLR 641; and in the Privy Council with the Solicitor-General in New Zealand Māori Council v Attorney General (Broadcasting Assets) [1992] 2 NZLR 576 (CA) [1994] 1 NZLR 513 (PC).
  • Acted in the health and safety area, and represented a corporate client in health and safety litigation arising from an industrial fatality.
  • Acted as amicus curiae in a number of cases.
  • Acted on behalf of the Medical, Nursing and Dental Councils, the Psychologists’ Board and the Law Society.
  • Acted as a Legal Assessor for numerous professional bodies, including as the Medical Council Legal Assessor for the Bonham and Green disciplinary hearings (following the National Women’s Hospital Inquiry), the civil and disciplinary proceedings arising after a death caused by a recently discharged psychiatric patient.
Criminal, fraud and securities
  • From 1980 to the present, conducted many criminal trials.
  • Prosecuted a number of murder and serious rape trials.
  • Prosecuted serious criminal trials after the arrest of Rastafarian gang members from Ruatoria.
  • Involved in the third R v Barlow murder trial in Wellington.
  • Counsel at the inquest into the fatal shooting of Steven Wallace.
  • Instructed as counsel in serious fraud trials, including the long running Student Loan fraud trial, the Bradley Ponzi scheme criminal trial and the Ross Asset Management trial for the Serious Fraud Office and the Financial Markets Authority.
  • Represented the Serious Fraud Office in the Court of Appeal in relation to search warrant and Bill of Rights issues (A Firm of Solicitors v District Court at Auckland [2006] 1 NZLR, 586 (CA)).