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Sarah-Lee is Special Counsel in the health and safety team, which is the largest specialist practice of its type in New Zealand. She also has experience in insurance and commercial litigation.

Sarah-Lee is passionate about health and safety and helps clients to move past compliance and deliver outstanding health and safety outcomes. She enjoys working with clients to understand their business and working collaboratively with business leaders, senior management, and employees to ensure she is provides tailored and pragmatic advice. 

Sarah-Lee has a vast amount of experience dealing with WorkSafe New Zealand, assisting clients with workplace accidents, accident investigations and representing clients in prosecutions and coroners’ inquests. She has a wealth of experience advising clients (including boards and leadership teams) on health and safety compliance issues and best practice, leadership, culture issues, and governance issues in the safety space, as well as providing regular training on these and other topical health and safety issues.

Sarah-Lee advises a wide range of corporates, SMEs and other organisations on how to best achieve their health and safety goals. She also advises on compliance and workplace management and gives support through incident investigations and prosecutions clients in industries where risks are high and workplace accidents are common, such as construction, infrastructure and manufacturing.

Sarah-Lee is friendly and approachable, valuing open communication to ensure her client’s needs are always met.

In addition to her health and safety practice, Sarah-Lee is involved in a wide range of civil and commercial litigation issues, including construction disputes and insurance litigation. 

Admission date: 2004

EXPERIENCE

Sarah has advised: 

  • 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.
  • Ebert Construction Limited as co-defendant in 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.
  • Fonterra on negligence claims against a contractor and its insurer after a manufacturing plant explosion.

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