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Shortland Chambers

Dispute Resolution

16 ranked barristersBand 1New ZealandAsia-Pacific 2022 View ranking table

Chambers Review

Chambers Research is conducted by 200 Research Analysts, across 200 jurisdictions and provides nearly 6,000 rankings tables. Annually we collect hundreds of thousands of responses from clients, the majority via in-depth interview. Learn more about our methodology.

Shortland Chambers is widely identified by interviewees as "one of the largest and longest-established sets in Auckland" and is spoken of by one source as "New Zealand's premier set of commercial chambers," while another calls it "without doubt, New Zealand's leading chambers by some distance." It is also characterised as "the deepest set of commercial barristers in New Zealand" by a commentator who opines: "There are very capable individuals at other chambers, but Shortland would potentially have as many as the rest of the country combined." An interviewee who observes that "Shortland has a good reputation for everything" also emphasises the notably high proportion of senior counsel in its ranks, while another source speaks of "a group of leading QCs, supported by a group of top junior barristers." Alison Van Wyk is the chambers manager and first point of contact.

Adam Ross QC brings three decades of litigation experience to an extremely varied civil and commercial practice which incorporates a strong regulatory component. An interviewee who calls him "just fabulous" also notes that he is "an incredibly effective and persuasive advocate," while other sources speak of his "very sound tactical and commercial judgement" and "elegant writing style."

Alan Galbraith QC is a veteran barrister of over 40 years' standing and experience across the broadest range of civil and commercial issues, with noted strengths in the competition, financial services and insurance spaces. Interviewees are quick to include him on their lists of New Zealand's most distinguished barristers, one commenting: "He continues to be fantastic," while another decisively maintains: "Alan Galbraith would be at the top; that is obvious and nobody with any real credentials would query it."

Bob Hollyman QC focuses closely, within the context of a company and commercial practice, on contractual, insolvency and tort-related issues, being particularly noted for his expertise in the law of misrepresentation and breach of contract. "Bob is fantastic," says one interviewee, who adds that he is "very effective in court, particularly with regard to the way judges respond to his arguments," while another characterises him as "an excellent younger senior counsel who gets the whole package and has many of the qualities of the most experienced trial advocate," adding: "He is very, very popular - and with good reason - among lots of clients."

Bruce Gray QC operates across a broad range of civil and public law issues, attracting particularly high praise for his work on insurance, media law and tort-related mandates. He is further noted for his highly accomplished advocacy and reassuring manner with clients.

Clive Elliott QC is identified by several interviewees as one of New Zealand's pre-eminent IP silks and is regularly noted for displaying particular flair when it comes to handling especially complex matters, those involving trans-Tasman elements, or those arising from the IT sector. Speaking of his assured handling of a novel and "conceptually difficult" case, one source reports: "Clive is great: extremely hard-working, very thorough and extremely easy to work with," adding: "Some QCs take a 10,000-foot view and aren't into the detail; Clive is not like that."

Daniel McLellan QC is instructed across a broad range of commercial litigation mandates, winning particular praise for his expert handling of defamation and insurance issues. Commentators respect him as "a very savvy operator" who can be relied upon to be "clear-headed, insightful and unflappable in even the most difficult situations."

David Cooper focuses on complex, business-related litigation, acting frequently on disputes arising out of contractual provisions, takeovers, securities-related questions and regulatory investigations. Valued by one source as a barrister who is both "very effective" and "easy to deal with," he is described as "really, really good" by another, while a third maintains: "David Cooper is a phenomenal litigator, perhaps, intellectually, the most impressive litigator in New Zealand."

Jane Anderson QC is active across the commercial spectrum, her versatile range embracing both litigation and arbitration and incorporating particularly noted strengths where contract, insurance and property-related issues are concerned. Interviewees concur widely in their assessment of her capabilities, one calling her "incredibly good" and another "absolutely first-rate."

Jenny Cooper QC is a versatile commercial litigator with particularly strong suits where competition, insolvency and regulatory issues are concerned and an increasingly noted capability in the public interest litigation sphere. Described by one interviewee as a "highly capable senior counsel with very good judgement" and acclaimed by another as "an up-and-coming star," she also wins high marks for her "excellently subtle style of cross-examination" and "her ability to come to grips with complex areas very quickly and to retain and cycle through facts rapidly."

John Billington QC combines broad commercial and regulatory litigation experience with a noted criminal practice and a similarly strong track record in the handling of health and safety-related cases.

John Dixon QC combines commercial and criminal litigation expertise and experience, the latter including prosecutorial assignments in both New Zealand and the USA. Often acting on behalf of such bodies as the Commerce Commission, FMA and SFO, but also active in defence roles, he is described as "a very respected silk" by one source and as "an excellent litigator" by another.

Kevin Glover is widely acknowledged for his intellectual property expertise, being both a published authority in the field and a much sought-after advocate who covers the full spectrum of copyright, patent, trade mark and associated issues. The fact that he is "very level-headed and very calm under pressure," stressed by one source, is seen by another as just one characteristic of "an agile and flexible thinker" who, like "a quiet assassin," consistently "looks for alternative angles." The same interviewee adds: "He’s increasingly in demand, so, if you want to engage him, you need to move quickly."

Sarah Armstrong is a relatively recent recruit to the independent Bar but enjoys an established reputation as a highly effective litigator, developed in over 25 years of private practice. Active across an impressively broad range of, among others, company, financial services and securities-related disputes, she is described by one interviewee as "one of the top strategic litigators in New Zealand," noted not only for "a good analytical brain and real strategic insight," but also for being "prepared to get stuck into the hard work." Another source emphasises her "extremely valuable ability to identify quickly the absolutely key issues in a lot of detail and noise and then outline an effective strategy and pathway to the best possible outcome for the client."

Stephen Hunter QC continues to attract high praise for his management of a broad corporate and commercial caseload within which high-stakes business disputes and financial services-related matters feature particularly prominently. One commentator, who calls him "an effective, pragmatic advocate with sound judgement and outstanding oral and written communication skills," adds: "He is increasingly emerging as the top choice for large and complex civil litigation matters." Another source says: "Fiercely intelligent but without losing sight of the practicalities, he is one of the few lawyers I would use if I needed one."

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Ranked Barristers

Chambers Research is conducted by 200 Research Analysts, across 200 jurisdictions and provides nearly 6,000 rankings tables. Annually we collect hundreds of thousands of responses from clients, the majority via in-depth interview. Learn more about our methodology.

Silks (QC)

New Zealand

Dispute Resolution: The Bar


Adam Ross QC
Band 2
Alan R Galbraith QC
Band 1
Bob Hollyman QC
Band 3
Bruce Gray QC
Band 2
Daniel McLellan QC
Band 3
Jane Anderson QC
Band 2

6 of 16 results