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Grant is a highly regarded health and safety lawyer and commercial and insurance litigator.

He has worked for leading law firms in Auckland and London since 1994, joining Kensington Swan in 2004.

Grant has experience in a broad range of health and safety and hazardous substances matters. He helps clients with leadership and culture issues, health and safety management processes, serious incident investigations, and representation during interactions with regulators and the courts.

Grant also helps clients with disputes about contracts, joint venture and shareholder disputes, insolvency, negligence actions, disputes about property transactions and land, and regulatory proceedings. This regularly involves acting for local and international insurers and their insureds, including on indemnity and policy interpretation issues.

Grant is friendly and values open communication with no surprises. He gives focused and pragmatic commercial advice, ensuring clients get the support they need, when and where they need it.

Grant is named as a leading lawyer in the 2017 Chambers and Partners legal directory in which he is endorsed by peers as the "leading health and safety lawyer in New Zealand." Sources praised his ability to "give you that confidence in his advice and remain unflappable, calm and considered." Grant is also ranked by Legal 500 and Asia Law.

Read about my experience in:

Health and safety and regulatory matters

Grant regularly helps clients in the aftermath of emergencies and accidents. This includes on site support as incidents develop, participating in internal investigations, and liaising with regulators (including Worksafe New Zealand, the Police, the Civil Aviation Authority, Maritime New Zealand and the Energy Service). Grant also advises on leadership and culture issues, and on ensuring health and safety systems and processes meet best practice.

McConnell Dowell Constructors Limited

Grant advised McConnell Dowell, a contractor at the Pike River Coal Mine, on issues arising out of the 2010 mine explosions that killed 29 men. This high-profile work included managing the contractor's interactions with the Police, Department of Labour, Coroner, and Royal Commission of Inquiry. Ultimately, and unlike others, McConnell Dowell was exonerated and not prosecuted in relation to the Pike River Mine explosion.

A large New Zealand manufacturing and supply organisation

Grant has advised on several employee and contractor fatalities and numerous other serious harm incidents for this primary sector business, including emergency response, dealings with victims and/or their families, internal and external investigations and Coroners’ inquests. The client has only been prosecuted twice, and Grant successfully persuaded the court to impose acceptable penalties. The client's National Health and Safety Manager has said ‘Kensington Swan provided us with responsive advice on three fatal workplace incidents when urgency was critical. They mobilised to site and supported our onsite personnel and investigation team. Their experience in incident management was clearly demonstrated in their ability to urgently implement the right response to protect our staff and our brand.’

Mainzeal Property and Construction Limited

Grant advised on a Christchurch worksite fatality, successfully persuading MBIE that charges were not appropriate. He also represented Mainzeal in the subsequent Coroner’s inquest which made findings supportive of Mainzeal’s health and safety performance.

An energy State Owned Enterprise

Grant helped this State Owned Enterprise with training to promote health and safety leadership by senior managers.

Insurance Litigation

Grant leads our Insurance team, regularly advising on a range of statutory liability, professional indemnity and general liability insurance claims. He is respected and instructed by a range of leading New Zealand and international insurers, and is valued for providing both the insurer and the insured with excellent service, regular communication and sound strategic advice.

A large equipment supplier      

Grant defended a large equipment supplier in litigation seeking multi-million dollar damages after a customer blamed the insured’s equipment for an explosion and subsequent fire. This claim was settled for a nominal sum and proceedings discontinued.

A business and its insurer

Grant represented a client and its insurer in a claim against a security company. The security company failed to properly inspect premises and did not notice a slow burning fire that later escalated. This case settled on favourable terms.

An international construction company

Grant defended an international construction company and its insurer on a negligence claim relating to the repair and maintenance of water pipes. A Council water main failed during repairs, causing substantial flooding damage to a retail business. Grant obtained a successful settlement for the insured at mediation.

Commercial dispute resolution

Government organisations, businesses and individuals sometimes face commercial disputes. Grant regularly assists clients to resolve a broad range of disputes involving contracts for the supply or sale of goods and services. He also advises on distribution agreements, joint venture and shareholder disputes, and helps clients with insolvency issues, negligence claims (for faulty products and the delivery of professional services including by lawyers, valuers and accountants), regulatory proceedings and disputed property transactions. His experience includes obtaining, and successfully opposing, applications for injunctions, search orders, freezing orders and other urgent or interim relief.

An oil sector company

Grant advised on an arbitration seeking US$13 million in damages from a New York Stock Exchange listed entity for breach of contract after the sale of an oil industry technology business. A successful settlement was achieved part-way through the arbitration.

An international bank

Grant successfully pursued a claim of negligence against a firm of solicitors after a borrower defaulted on a multi-million dollar loan. Grant negotiated an excellent recovery without needing to commence legal proceedings. The bank was very pleased with the outcome.

Waitakere City Council (now Auckland Council)

Grant represented this territorial authority in defending High Court litigation arising from a $7 million property development transaction in West Auckland. Grant ensured all Council stakeholders were engaged and kept informed and that all available arguments were presented to the Court.

An international tobacco company

Grant advised on a multi-jurisdictional regulatory investigation into allegations including smuggling and duty evasion. Grant worked closely with in-house lawyers providing voluminous information and documentation to the regulator, and assisted the client’s senior management prepare for and attend lengthy interviews with the regulator. The client was exonerated and no action was taken against it.

Read about my other credentials:

Business and Professional

  • Member of New Zealand Institute of Safety Management Inc
  • Member of New Zealand Safety Council Inc
  • Member of Institution of Safety and Health (IOSH)
  • Member of Insolvency Practitioners Association of Australia
  • Member of the Safety Institute of Australia

In The Community

  • Advises the New Zealand Institute of Safety Management Inc on rules, amendments and governance issues.
  • Member of Auckland Branch Management Committee of New Zealand Institute of Safety Management.
  • Member of ADLS Inc Property Disputes Committee.

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