Civil and Commercial Litigation, Companies and Securities Law, Criminal Law, Employment Law, Equity and Trusts, Insolvency Law, Insurance Law, Public and Administrative Law, Tax Law, Wills and Estates


+64 7 839 3290

+64 27 453 0031


Chris Gudsell is an experienced King's Counsel based in Hamilton, with a door tenancy at Stout Street Chambers. He has a broad field of practice, specialising in civil and commercial litigation.

Chris works throughout New Zealand, regularly appearing as Senior Counsel in a wide range of forums, from Tribunals to the Supreme Court.

For the past 25 years, Chris has focused primarily on civil and commercial litigation.

Chris's background, prior to going to the independent bar in 1995, was with the Crown Law Office, and the Crown Solicitor's office in Hamilton. Chris has had extensive experience in criminal prosecution and appellate work. Post going to the independent Bar, Chris had considerable experience in prosecuting fraud cases for Health Benefits Ltd and HealthPAC (divisions of the Ministry of Health). Chris continues to undertake work in the criminal field, mainly in fraud.

Chris has been appointed amicus curiae on several occasions, including by the Supreme Court. He has acted for the Official Assignee, Public Trust, Local Government bodies and the NZ Law Society. He has been instructed by the Ministry of Justice and has appeared as Counsel Assisting the Coroner in many Coronial inquests.

Chris has had a long involvement with the NZ Bar Association, serving as a Council member for many years, and formerly holding office as Vice President.

Chris has a special interest in advocacy training. He has been the director of several advocacy workshops run by the NZ Bar Association and has been on the faculty of advocacy courses run in NZ, Australia, Malaysia and England.

Areas in which Chris has experience include:

  • Estate litigation, including claims pursuant to the Family Protection Act 1955 and Law Reform (Testamentary Promises) Act 1949, undue influence and probate issues
  • Tort claims, including professional negligence
  • Contractual disputes
  • Fair Trading Act claims
  • Relationship property
  • Trust disputes, including removal of trustees and claims by beneficiaries
  • Companies litigation, including shareholder disputes and claims against directors
  • Corporate and personal insolvency
  • Employment law disputes, including restraints of trade and disciplinary matters (both in employment context and by and professional bodies)
  • Tax litigation
  • Judicial review
  • General corporate and commercial litigation
  • Applications for interim relief, including injunctions and freezing orders
  • Mediation and other forms of ADR
  • Commercial arbitrations
  • Coronial inquests
  • Local Government, including prosecutions
  • Prosecution and defence of criminal fraud


  • LLB, Victoria University of Wellington (1982)


  • 2007 Appointed King's Counsel
  • 1995 Barrister sole
  • 1992-1995 Partner, Almao, McKellen & Kellaway, Hamilton
  • 1989-1992 Solicitor, Almao, McKellen & Kellaway, Hamilton
  • 1985 – 1988 Crown Law Office
  • 1979-1985 Ministry of Transport

Appointments / Memberships

  • Associate member of AMINZ
  • Chair of the NE Taskforce (a joint treatment injury project established by ACC in conjunction with the Health and Disability Commission, Health Quality and Safety Commission and Ministry of Health)
  • Chair of the NZ Bar Association's Training Committee