AREAS OF EXPERTISE
Arbitration, Civil and Commercial Litigation, Companies and Securities Law, Competition Law, Conflict of Laws, Energy Law, Equity and Trusts, Insolvency Law, Insurance Law, Public and Administrative Law

YEAR OF ADMISSION TO THE BAR
1995

DIRECT DIAL
+64 4 917 1086

MOBILE
+64 21 720 920

EMAIL
tim.stephens@stoutstreet.co.nz

Tim has extensive experience in commercial, regulatory and public law matters, providing advice and advocacy for a wide range of public and private sector clients.  He has been in practice for over 20 years, including time working at a leading litigation firm in London.  Tim was a partner at Simpson Grierson from 2006 to 2016 and joined the independent bar at the start of 2017.

QUALIFICATIONS AND CAREER
  • Bachelor of Laws with first class honours, University of Canterbury, 1994
  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Canterbury, 1994
  • Bachelor of Civil Law, University of Oxford, 1999
RECENT AND NOTABLE CASES
  • Section 59 of the Financial Markets Authority Act 2011

Acting for the FMA in proceedings involving a judicial review application and breach of confidence claim brought by ANZ, in which ANZ challenged a decision by the FMA to disclose documents obtained from ANZ under compulsory powers.  

  • Solid Energy financial restructuring

Acting for Solid Energy in litigation brought by the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi challenging a compromise proposed by Solid Energy and adopted by the majority of its bank creditors. The matter was brought to trial in just over a month from the filing of proceedings. The case is the leading authority in New Zealand on the scope of Part 14 of the Companies Act 1993 and class composition in creditor compromises. It concerned novel issues regarding the use of Part 14 for a complex restructuring involving debt-for-equity swaps and the syndication of multiple bilateral facility agreements.

  • Pohokura production and offtake

Acting for OMV in litigation between the Pohokura joint venture partners about the governance of production and offtake at New Zealand's largest gas field. The High Court trial took place over three months, after nearly four years of interlocutory contests relating to interim relief, discovery and inspection, interrogatories, the admissibility of opinion evidence, and applications to recuse both a lay member and the trial judge. The case involved a range of contractual and Commerce Act claims and required complex engineering, market and economic evidence from international experts. An appeal was heard over seven days in the Court of Appeal.

  • North Island Grid Upgrade Project

Acting for Transpower in judicial review proceedings brought by a public interest group concerning the Electricity Commission's decision to approve construction by Transpower of its double-circuit 400 kV overhead transmission line from Whakamaru to Auckland. The claim concerned allegations of illegitimate intervention by the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Energy in the Commission's processes and various procedural and analytical failings on behalf of the Commission in arriving at the decision.

  • Royal Commission on the Pike River Coal Mine Tragedy

Acting for NZOG, which had interested party status before the Commission as a substantial shareholder and secured creditor of Pike River Coal Limited. NZOG filed a series of witness statements concerning the funding of Pike and supplied contextual material from the period prior to Pike's IPO in 2007, when Pike was a subsidiary of NZOG. NZOG appeared at Phase 3 of the hearings.

  • Petrobras

Acting for Petrobras in judicial review proceedings brought by Greenpeace and Te Whānau-ā-Apanui challenging the grant of a petroleum exploration permit to Petrobras by the Minister of Energy in the Raukumara Basin. The claim involved allegations that the Minister failed to take into account environmental concerns and failed to have regard to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi when deciding to issue the permit.

  • Kāpiti Coast Coastal Erosion

Acting for Kāpiti Coast District Council in judicial review proceedings brought by a landowner (with an associated public interest group also represented as intervenor) challenging the inclusion of coastal erosion hazard information on LIMs. The coastal hazard information derived from a coastal erosion report commissioned by the Council that had identified 50 year and 100 year hazard lines affecting 1,800 properties along the Kāpiti Coast.

  • Māori Television Service

Acting for Māori Television in interim injunction proceedings brought by the Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust, in which the Trust sought to prevent broadcast of a Native Affairs programme investigating the Trust's financial affairs.