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Grant heads our health and safety team, which is the largest specialist practice of its type in New Zealand. He also has extensive experience in insurance and commercial litigation.

As a passionate participant in the health and safety community, Grant encourages clients to move past compliance and deliver outstanding health and safety outcomes. Grant also helps clients deal with the aftermath of workplace accidents when things go wrong. This includes providing crisis management on the day of the incident and assisting clients as they work with regulators such as WorkSafe New Zealand.  

Grant advises clients in industries where risks are high and workplace accidents are common, such as agriculture, forestry, infrastructure and manufacturing. They include private-sector companies and government agencies with large infrastructure programmes. He works closely with senior management, legal staff, general managers and health and safety managers.

Grant’s insurance practice includes 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. 

As a commercial litigator, 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.

Admission date: 1994

EXPERIENCE

Grant has advised: 

  • St John on the need for double crewing of all ambulances to improve patient and staff safety and legal compliance. This work supported St John to provide a compelling case for change to the Government’s Ambulance funding review and subsequently will allow St John to commit, with the Government’s increased funding, to the implementation of double crewing of ambulances throughout New Zealand.
  • An international building product supplier on how to deal with the discovery of asbestos at one of its sites, including the need for sensitive communication with affected workers and contractors and co-ordination of remedial efforts to remove the asbestos. Workers were engaged and supported while work was completed.
  • Auckland Transport on updating its contract templates with third parties to ensure that health and safety risk was being appropriately allocated and managed. Auckland Transport gained comfort that development works were being handled safely.
  • Oji Fibre Solutions on interactions with the High Hazards Unit of WorkSafe New Zealand following audit inspections at the Kinleith and Tasman Pulp and Paper Mills. Oji Fibre Solutions preserved a co-operative relationship with WorkSafe New Zealand, focused on ensuring the safety of all workers.
  • A major property development partnership on health and safety management and the relationship between the public-private partnership owning the development with the property managers overseeing and the building contractors acquiring particular blocks and building new homes.  We helped bring clarity to the relationship and enhanced accountability between the participants.
  • An international winemaker on its health and safety compliance activities, including Board reporting and gap analysis for additional interaction with workers and contractors.
  • PlaceMakers through an investigation and prosecution by WorkSafe New Zealand after a workplace accident. The Court was persuaded to limit reparations to the victim and impose a reasonable fine, while also making positive statements about the pro-active manner of PlaceMakers’ response to the accident.
  • Broadspectrum on one of the first principled considerations of legal liability for future economic loss when assessing reparation at sentencing after a workplace fatality.  The Court agreed that reparation should not be awarded in the way WorkSafe New Zealand suggested.
  • Fletcher Concrete and Infrastructure Limited on an investigation and prosecution by WorkSafe New Zealand after a collision between a forklift and an employee at a concrete plant.  The Court ordered a fair fine.
  • Ebert Construction Limited on an investigation and prosecution by WorkSafe New Zealand after a truck crashed during delivery activities.  The Court was persuaded to apportion liability between defendants and recognised good safety practices by Ebert.
  • McConnell Dowell on regulatory investigations by the Police, Coroner, Department of Labour and a Royal Commission of Inquiry after the Pike River Mine Disaster. Unlike others working in the mine, McConnell Dowell was not criticized or prosecuted. 
  • A Crown entity in the education sector on an indemnity dispute with its insurers.
  • An international insurer on claims against a major travel tour provider, following an accident in Asia where a tour participant was killed. 
  • Herrick Corporation, a US steel fabricator, on claims of inducing a breach of contract and misleading and deceptive conduct in relation to the NZ International Convention Centre and Commercial Bay property developments in Auckland.
  • Fonterra on negligence claims against a contractor and its insurer after a manufacturing plant explosion. 

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