AREAS OF EXPERTISE
Arbitration, Civil and Commercial Litigation, Conflict of Laws, International Law

YEAR OF ADMISSION TO THE BAR
2009

DIRECT DIAL
+64 4 917 1087

FAX
+64 4 472 9029

MOBILE
+64 21 034 2262

EMAIL
jack.wass@stoutstreet.co.nz

Jack practises civil litigation with an emphasis on commercial disputes, arbitration, and private and public international law. He has First Class degrees from Victoria University of Wellington and the University of Cambridge, and has practised as a barrister since 2009. He holds practising certificates in New Zealand and Victoria, Australia.

He has wide experience of complex commercial disputes, including contractual matters, company and insolvency law, property law and administrative law. He has appeared before the Courts at all levels, including the Supreme Court, acting for both small and large corporations, government agencies, and individuals. His experience includes telecommunications, energy, insurance, finance and real estate.

Jack has a particular focus on public and private international law and arbitration. He has acted as counsel in these matters before the New Zealand courts, and currently acts as Assistant to three international arbitral tribunals concerning major investment disputes. He has provided advice on domestic and international law to clients from New Zealand and overseas, including from the United Kingdom, United States, Australia, Singapore, France and Russia. Jack publishes frequently in his specialist areas, and is the co-author of a forthcoming text on The Conflict of Laws in New Zealand, to be published by LexisNexis, supported by a substantial grant from the New Zealand Law Foundation.

QUALIFICATIONS AND CAREER

Professional Career

  • 2009 to present - Barrister
  • 2009–2014 - Teaching Fellow, Victoria University of Wellington (except 2013)
  • 2007–2008 - Student Editor-in-Chief, Victoria University of Wellington Law Review
  • 2007–2008 - Summer Clerk, Minter Ellison Rudd Watts
  • 2006–2008 - Tutor, Victoria University of Wellington

Academic Qualifications

  • Master of Law (First Class) (University of Cambridge)
    • Winner of 3 Verulam Buildings Prize for top mark in International Commercial Litigation
    • Winner of Sir Emlyn Wade Prize for First in LLM at Gonville & Caius College
  • Bachelor of Laws (First Class Honours) (Victoria University of Wellington)
    • Quentin-Baxter Prize in Public and International Law (for LLM Research Paper "The Meaning of 'Manifest Excess of Powers' in the ICSID Convention")
  • Bachelor of Arts (major in English Literature; minor in Classical Studies) (VUW)
  • Other study
    • Hague Academy of International Law (Public International Law Session, Shell plc scholarship)
    • New Zealand Law Society Litigation Skills Course
RECENT AND NOTABLE CASES
  •  Public and private international law:
    • McGougan v DePuy International Ltd (High Court) - successfully established that earlier judgment of the English High Court gave rise to issue estoppel; defeated plaintiffs' claim concerning the territorial scope of the Accident Compensation Act
    • Schumacher v Summergrove Estates Ltd (Court of Appeal) — successful application to challenge jurisdiction over a dispute involving foreign land; included the question of applicable law for constructive trust claims
    • Alcatel-Lucent NZ Ltd v Juniper Networks Australia Pty Ltd (High Court) — injunction in aid of foreign proceedings; forum non conveniens dispute
    • Counsel for accused in a matter concerning questions of international humanitarian law, law of armed conflict and criminal law
    • Advice to a major United Kingdom-based charity on questions of public and international law

    Arbitration:

    • Carr v Gallaway Cook Allan (Supreme Court) — appeal against refusal to set aside arbitral award on the basis of invalid arbitration clause
    • Sole and junior counsel in multiple domestic arbitrations, including contractual and telecommunications disputes (details confidential)
    • Assistant to two arbitral tribunals under the auspices of the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes
    • Secretary of tribunal constituted under International Chamber of Commerce Rules in $100 million investment dispute

    Commercial and public litigation:

    • Fisk v McIntosh (Court of Appeal) — application of voidable preference provisions in the Property Law Act 2007 and Companies Act 1993 to Ponzi schemes
    • Service Painting & Building Co Pty Ltd v Pacific International Hotel Management School  (High Court) - dispute under painting contract
    • Prophecy Networks Ltd v Revera Ltd (High Court) — dispute over commission on sale of telecommunications business
    • McIntosh v Fisk (Court of Appeal) — name suppression in civil proceedings
    • Crystal Imports Ltd v Allianz NZ Ltd (Court of Appeal) — insurance coverage dispute
    • Jojaro Investments Ltd v ASB Bank Ltd (High Court) — complex negligence claim
    • TEA Custodians (Bluestone) Ltd v Barnett (High Court) — application for summary judgment and possession
    • Technix Group Ltd v Fitzroy Engineering Group Ltd  (Court of Appeal) —contractual and lease dispute

    Public law and other matters:

    • L v R (Supreme Court) — successful appeal to Supreme Court overturning conviction for historic offences
    • Chorus Ltd v Commerce Commission (Court of Appeal) — acting for Commission in appeal against its decision on the price for Chorus' regulated services
    • Wood v Financial Markets Authority (District Court) — acting for FMA in appeal against its decision to decline the appellant's application for approval as an Authorised Financial Adviser
    • Bell v Victoria University of Wellington (High Court) — application for judicial review of a university's decision to uphold a finding of plagiarism
PUBLICATIONS
  • Books and articles:
    • The Conflict of Laws in New Zealand (forthcoming, LexisNexis, 2018) (with Maria Hook).
    • "Jurisdiction by Estoppel and Acquiescence in International Courts and Tribunals" (2016) 86 British Yearbook of International Law.
    • "Interim relief in support of foreign arbitrations and judicial proceedings" [2017] New Zealand Law Journal 134
    • "The Employment Relations Act and its Effect on Contracts Governed by Foreign Law" [2017] New Zealand Law Journal 80 (with Maria Hook).
    • "Reform of Choice of Law Rules for Tort" [2017] New Zealand Law Journal 27 (with Maria Hook).
    • "The Situs of Insurance Debts" (2014) 20(4) New Zealand Business Law Quarterly221.
    • "Contribution between solvent and insolvent tortfeasors" [2014] New Zealand Law Journal 332.
    • “The Court’s In Personam Jurisdiction in Cases Involving Foreign Land” (2014) 63(1) International and Comparative Law Quarterly 103.
    • Butterworths Student Companion: Land Law (LexisNexis, Wellington, 2013).

    Law Reviews:

    • Student Editor-in-Chief of Special Symposium Issue on International Law and Democratic Theory (2007) 38(2) Victoria University of Wellington Law Review
    • Editorial Assistant, ICSID Review—Foreign Investment Law Journal