Richard Johnstone.

Barrister
LLB Hons (1985) University of Canterbury
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An introduction

I commenced practice as a Barrister sole in June 2017, upon my retirement as a partner of Wynn Williams, Christchurch after 32+ years in my first job.
 

My work is primarily civil litigation, professional conduct and liability, insurance and construction disputes.  
 

I appear regularly as lead counsel in District and High Courts, and Tribunals (including CEIT and WHRS), and have conducted appeals before the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. I do have a national profile in the insurance industry, from before the Canterbury Earthquakes, based on my technical knowledge, and established advocacy and negotiation skills.
 

My specialist areas :
  • Dispute resolution advocacy, including civil litigation and mediation

  • Building disputes and Construction Contracts Act claims

  • Insurance

    • General Insurance (non-earthquake) claims, negotiation and disputes

    • Unresolved earthquake insurance claims and repair/re-repair disputes

    • Professional, Product and General Liability claims, actions and defence

    • Property (including cyber) and liability insurance claims, presentation and negotiation

  • Professional conduct and liability

    • Lawyers’ professional conduct and discipline, ethics and negligence

    • Liability claims and complaint representation for Brokers, Financial Planners, Architects, Quantity Surveyors, Engineers and Builders

    • Partnership/director disputes and law practice leadership

    • Complaint and discipline determination and process advice for professional bodies

  • Mediation advocacy and appointment as mediator

  • Arbitrations and Determinations ( eg under REINZ/ADLS agreements for sale and purchase of land) advocacy and appointment to arbitral panel or as determiner

  • Intellectual property and invasion of privacy

  • Trusts, wills and estate litigation

  • Privacy and information access

  • Land, access and water disputes

  • Sports law including conduct and discipline process advice and decision-making, and Incorporated Societies’ Act reforms

 

I am available to assist lawyers and other disciplines with training and practice development.  Some recent/prospective presentations include :

  • NZIOB legal update webinar April 2022

  • NZIQS legal update May 2022

  • Compère for NZIOB/NAWIC panel discussion Construction Risk Allocation July 2022

  • NZIOB Christchurch branch – annual legal updates 2018-21

    • Health & Safety Developments

    • Insurance and Liability – recent topical building cases

  • Liability case law updates, various broking houses

 

Other relevant roles :

  • Member of NZ Bar Association and the NZ Law Society

  • Friends’ Panel of NZ Law Society including ‘Sensitive Matters’ panel

  • Associate member of Arbitrators’ and Mediators’ Institute of NZ (AMINZ)

  • Mentor for litigation teams and individual practitioners

  • Convenor (former) of NZLS Canterbury/Westland standards committees (9 years)

  • Life Member of New Zealand Insurance Law Association (NZILA) - former national committee member (22 years) and national president

  • Associate member of NZIOB


Engagement

I will accept engagement through your existing lawyer, or I am able to arrange a specific brief with another firm to be identified and agreed with you.

In some instances, I can take instructions directly, particularly for opinions, including arbitral or determination roles, and non-dispute advice.