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 appeared as lead counsel at all levels of the New Zealand courts and in numerous arbitrations. Tim has been in practice for 25 years, including time working at a leading litigation firm in London. He 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
  • Southern Response – Class actions

Acting for NZLS as intervenor in the Supreme Court in an appeal concerning whether or not representative proceedings can proceed on an opt-out basis in New Zealand. The appeal raised important questions of policy and principle about the way in which the representative action can provide a class action-type mechanism in the absence of a comprehensive legislative scheme.

  • Wai 2200 – Porirua ki Manawatū Inquiry

Acting for the Crown in the Ngāti Raukawa and affiliated groups phase of the Porirua ki Manawatū Inquiry. Wai 2200 is the last major historical claim before the Waitangi Tribunal. The claim involves a broad range of issues, including land loss, public works takings, environmental matters, the role of local government and the effect of rating legislation, the effect of education policies on te reo Māori, and economic disadvantage and stagnation.

  • Financial Markets Authority - ANZ - Ross Asset Management

Acting for the FMA in the High Court, Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court in judicial review proceedings brought by ANZ, in which ANZ challenged a decision by the FMA to disclose documents to investors in Ross Asset Management that had been obtained from ANZ under compulsory powers.  The disclosure decision arose in the context of an investigation by the FMA into ANZ’s potential accessorial liability in knowing receipt and dishonest assistance for RAM’s breach of trust – including consideration of whether the FMA should exercise investors’ rights of action under s 34 of the Financial Markets Authority Act 2011.

  • 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.

 

Without notice injunctions against foreign defendants: Part III (The Conflict of Laws in New Zealand News and Comment: blogs.otago.ac.nz/conflicts)

Injunctions and Other Emergency Relief (NZLS CLE, 2018) (co-author with Sarah Armstrong)

Arbitration in New Zealand (LexisPSL, United Kingdom, 2018)

Interim remedies in support of arbitration in New Zealand (LexisPSL, United Kingdom, 2018)

Recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards in New Zealand (LexisPSL, United Kingdom, 2018)

Secured Transactions in International Practice (Oceana Publications Inc, New York, 2003) (New Zealand chapter)

“Insurance against Knowing Conduct and Offences” in Webb & Rowe (eds) Insurance Law: Practice, Policy, & Principles (Centre for Commercial and Corporate Law, University of Canterbury, 2003)

BNZ Finance Ltd v Holland [1998] CSLB 55

Local Authority Liability for Defective Buildings in New Zealand [1996] Int ILR 285