Litigation and advice

Kristy is a senior King’s Counsel who has litigation experience spanning 40 years. Kristy began her career as a Crown prosecutor in 1981 and has been involved since then in a wide range of public, civil and criminal litigation.

As well as her litigation experience Kristy has been involved (either as investigator or as counsel) in many inquiries and investigations covering a range of areas including workplace conduct, procurement and financial management.

Kristy has frequently conducted complex settlement negotiations and is a qualified mediator.

Kristy is an experienced legal adviser and has extensive trial and advocacy experience.  She also regularly provides advice on legal, strategic and governance matters and has been involved in a range of sensitive litigation for a number of clients including the Crown, corporate entities and individuals which, in addition to legal advice, has required detailed assessment of strategic and political implications, and often difficult negotiation. 

Kristy is practical and strategic in the advice she provides. She is a strong and direct advocate and is effective in negotiation and management of difficult and sensitive legal situations.  

Civil and advisory
  • Provides advice and undertakes inquiries for corporate, educational, and Crown entities.
  • Represented the Crown over many years in a number of significant civil trials including 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 complex civil proceedings 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.
  • In 2003, travelled 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 extensively in the health and safety area, representing both  corporate clients in defence of prosecutions and acting for Worksafe in a number of matters including the recent Whakaari/ White Island health and safety prosecution. .
  • Acted as amicus curiae in a number of cases.
  • Acted on behalf of the Health and Disability Commissioner, the Medical, Nursing and Dental Councils, the Psychologists’ Board and the NZ Law Society.
  • Defended professional disciplinary charges for practitioners in a number of professional contexts.
  • 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, prosecuted numerous serious criminal trials across the country.
  • 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)).
  • Led the criminal health and safety prosecution into the Whakaari- White Island matter in 2023-2024 brought by Worksafe which was the largest health and safety prosecutions in New Zealand and one of the largest criminal trials.