BA, LLB (Hons) (Cant), LLM (Camb), FAMINZ (Arb), TEP, Partner
Jeremy Johnson
Jeremy is an accomplished litigator, specialising in commercial, equity and trust law. He has an ability to quickly grasp complex factual and legal situations and provides incisive, commercially realistic, advice at short notice. He regularly appears before all Courts and specialises in complex dispute resolution.

Jeremy was recently admitted as a Fellow of the Arbitrators' and Mediators' Institute of New Zealand; he is the youngest person to achieve this distinction. Jeremy also received the Sir Ronald Davison Award for excellence in award writing.

Jeremy is recommended and recognised by The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2017, the 2017 and 2016 Chambers Asia Pacific legal rankings, and the Chambers 2015 Global Directory as an "up and coming" practitioner in the field of Dispute Resolution. He is quoted as "an excellent young lawyer who has a sharp intellect, and is a good tactician and a very good communicator. His approach in court is courteous and disarming". The Global directory quotes that he is "fast acquiring an enviable reputation", with an impressed client enthusing that he is "probably the most outstanding young lawyer I have ever met."

Jeremy was also a finalist in the 2014 New Zealand Law Awards as a Young Private Practice Lawyer of the Year.

He received the Cleary Prize in 2009, for New Zealand’s most promising young legal practitioner; was the youngest counsel to appear before the Supreme Court (in 2008); and is regularly published in leading journals.

Jeremy is a member of the Legislation Advisory Committee, which reviews proposed legislation for the Attorney-General and Parliament. He is the Deputy Legal Advisor to the Archbishop of New Zealand and Chancellor (honorary legal advisor) of the Anglican Diocese of Christchurch. He has previously served as a member of the Legal Aid Review Panel and he served as President, and is a life member, of the New Zealand Schools’ Debating Council Inc.

Jeremy has a BA and LLB (Hons) from the University of Canterbury and an LLM, with first class honours, from the University of Cambridge. 

        

"Interaction with clients and the challenge of providing practical solutions to legal problems in an efficient manner are what keep me going into the office."
Contact
Wynn Williams (Christchurch)
Level 5, Wynn Williams House,
47 Hereford Street,
Christchurch 8013,
New Zealand.

Specialities

Recent Projects

  • Advising on IP issues related to Christchurch's Cardboard Cathedral
  • Providing advice to a significant seller of consumer goods regarding passing-off and Fair Trading Act claims
  • Acting for a vineyard on two trademark and passing-off disputes
  • Led concluding negotiations for a client for the settlement of an insurance claim in excess of $100m
  • Acted for the Anglican Diocese of Christchurch and the Church Property Trustees in relation to ChristChurch Cathedral.
  • Acted in the high profile dispute about the development of the Christchurch Arts Centre - Save Our Arts Centre v The Arts Centre of Christchurch Trust Board and Ors [2009] High Court.
  • Represented a member of one of New Zealand's wealthiest families in multi-proceeding litigation around family trusts.
  • In Walker v Collins [2009] High Court successfully acted in a dispute around a settlors' Memorandum of Wishes and an oral agreement between trustees and beneficiaries.
  • Represented a beneficiary under an estate in an application under the Wills Act 2007 to validate a draft will.
  • Acting as instructing solicitor on the high profile dispute involving the involvement of Cr. Aaron Keown in the appointment of the new Chief Executive for the Christchurch City Council
  • Acting successfully in New Zealand's leading case on the taking of evidence for use in a foreign country - Hagaman v Fairbank (2010) 20 PRNZ 68(CA)
  • Provided advice on intellectual property issues, including involving breach of copyright and passing off.
  • Provided advice on the Securities Act that led to a successful prosecution by the Securities Commission.
  • Successfully appearing in the Court of Appeal in leading insurance fraud case AMI v Devcich [2011] NZCA 266
  • Successfully appearing in the Supreme Court in leading trust case of Kain v Hutton [2008] NZSC 61
  • Successfully obtaining without notice injunctions freezing defendants' assets.

Recent Articles

16/06/2017

Arbitration of trust disputes: a new frontier

The Arbitration Act 1996 (Act) was enacted to facilitate the arbitration of commercial disputes and to enable international arbitration so that disputes decided here can be easily enforced in other jurisdictions. In principle, the incorporation of an arbitration clause should lead to the successful resolution of such disputes in a private, expeditious, and cost-effective way.

Keep reading...


26/01/2015

Arbitration clauses and summary judgment: what to do when you don't think there is a dispute

Introduction Arbitration clauses are increasingly used in commercial agreements and in leases. One question that often arises in situations where there is an arbitration clause is what claimants should be doing when they do not think the defendant has a defence? Usually the claimants have proceeded to Court under the summary judgment procedure; however the Supreme Court in Zurich Australian Insurance Limited t/a Zurich New Zealand v Cognition Education Limited has now closed off this option. The decision will have significant practical implications for parties. The summary jurisdiction is not often used in arbitrations and the reasons for that appear to be both principled and practical. Nevertheless there are good reasons – both in terms of principle and practicality - why clients might want to have access to a summary jurisdiction and there are ways that this can be achieved – namely by allowing for it in the arbitration clause itself.

Keep reading...


26/01/2015

Arbitration clauses and the summary jurisdication: the Supreme Court speaks [2015] NZLJ 82

Introduction The question of how to handle arbitration clauses in contracts where there is no clear dispute between the parties is one that has long bothered lawyers and clients. If the other party does not respond to demands for payment/remedy of contractual breaches is it appropriate to issue summary judgment proceedings? If the other party does respond but the alleged defence is not reasonably arguable must the parties proceed to arbitration anyway?

Keep reading...


11/06/2014

Supreme Court finds leaky home limitation periods are not water tight

Osborne & Anor v Auckland City Council & Anor [2014] NZSC 67 Introduction After over seven years of litigation the Supreme Court has yesterday held that John Anthony Osborne and his wife Helen Osborne are entitled to seek relief for a leaky home claim which began in February 2007. On 10 June 2014 the Supreme Court released a unanimous judgment concerning the limitation period for leaky homes claims under the Weathertight Homes Resolution Services Act 2006 (the "Act"). The effect of the decision is that the limitation period for claims under the Act will extend for 10 years from the date when building work which gives rise to the claim, including the issuing of code compliance certificates by a Council or territorial authority, is completed.

Keep reading...


24/02/2014

Wolf in sheep's clothing: failed finance company investors at risk?

Investors in Ross Asset Management Ltd (in liquidation) ("RAM") were understandably surprised when the liquidators announced that payments to investors made by the company two years prior to liquidations may be set aside.

Keep reading...


14/01/2014

Directors: Call Your Brokers [2014] NZLJ 126

Nearly a year to the day after the Court of Appeal, in Steigrad v BFSL 2007 Ltd [2012] NZCA 604, gave insured directors a Christmas present, the Supreme Court has played Scrooge for directors and Santa for liquidators and receivers of, and investors in, failed finance companies to recover losses by pursuing directors of those companies for breaches of their directors' duties and also for breaches of the Securities Act 1978.

Keep reading...


13/01/2014

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Lawsuit

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. But who has the right to benefit from the film depiction of that hobbit? This is the issue raised by the claim recently filed by Miramax LLC, and its managing directors Harvey and Robert Weinstein ("the Plaintiffs"), against Warner Brothers Entertainment Inc and New Line Cinema Corporation.

Keep reading...


4/10/2013

Arcadia Homes Ltd (In Liq) v More To This Life

For the first time in New Zealand, the issue of "subject to director's approval" clauses has come before the Courts. This raised the question of how such clauses would be interpreted. In particular, would the Courts approach the clauses as "conditions precedent" or "conditions subsequent"?

Keep reading...


26/08/2013

Passing Off As Rihanna?

In a recent case from the Chancery Court, Rihanna, a prominent pop star, successfully sued Topshop, a high street fashion retailer, for passing off.

Keep reading...


22/08/2013

Farewell to Hastings-Bass? [2013] NZLJ 249

The “rule in Hastings-Bass” (In re Hastings Bass [1975] Ch 25, [1974] 2 All ER 193 (CA)) is a misnomer and its application has been too liberal. So said Lord Walker in his swan song judgment for a unanimous United Kingdom Supreme Court in Futter v Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs [2013] UKSC 26, on appeal from a unanimous decision of the English Court of Appeal on two cases heard jointly (Pitt v Holt and Futter v Futter [2011] EWCA CIV 197, [2012] Ch 132, [2011] All ER 450)

Keep reading...


11/06/2013

Peer To Peer File Sharing [2013] NZLJ 172

The issues that confront governments dealing with peer-to-peer networks that infringe the rights of copyright holders highlight the challenges that modern technology poses to intellectual property law.  There is a need to balance the interests of different interests while also upholding the international obligations that states have entered into.  New Zealand has attempted to balance the interests involved by the Copyright (Infringing Filesharing) Amendment Act 2011, which introduces a graduated infringement system involving warnings of infringement to user, but which shops short of allowing the suspension of internet services.

Keep reading...


6/06/2013

Advertising Ethical and Socially Responsible Business

Last month Dole came under scrutiny for labelling its fruit products with stickers bearing the slogan “Ethical Choice”.  Dole’s justification for the labels was that it has a commitment to ethical conduct throughout its business operations by providing a "safe, healthy, fair, and productive environment" for its workforce.

Keep reading...


6/05/2013

When is hilarity defamatory?

The New Zealand law reports are replete with defamation cases brought by public figures.  One of the earliest was in 1911, where William Massey unsuccessfully sued the New Zealand Times for a cartoon that insinuated he was a liar and guilty of disreputable acts.  More recently, The Civilian, a previously niche satirical news website, was launched into the public spotlight by the threat of a defamation action from the leader of the Conservative Party, Colin Craig. 

Keep reading...


25/02/2013

Johnson v Auckland Council [2013] NZHC 165

On 11 February 2013 the High Court found that the purchasers of a leaky building had not taken reasonable steps to protect themselves against the risk that the house had weathertightness issues.  Because of this, the loss they suffered was substantially their own fault, and the Court reduced the damages which would otherwise be recoverable by 70%.

Keep reading...


14/01/2013

Steigrad v BFSL 2007 Ltd [2012] NZCA 604

On 20 December 2012, the Court of Appeal released its decision in Steigrad v BFSL 2007 Ltd [2012] NZCA 604.  The decision impacts negatively upon attempts by liquidators and receivers of, and investors in, failed finance companies to recover losses by pursuing directors of those companies for breaches of their directors' duties and also for breaches of the Securities Act 1978.

Keep reading...


20/11/2012

Cathedral Decision 15 November 2012 - What it Really Means

Outcome: the Judge ordered a stay of the CPT's decision on the basis that the CPT's decision was "incomplete".  The Judge found that the trust on which the Cathedral is held required a cathedral to exist on the site, rather than a cathedral in a specific design and form.  Importantly, the Judge declined to set the decision aside.

Keep reading...


27/08/2012

Plain Packaging for Tobacco [2012] NZLJ 246

On 19 April 2012 the Hon Tariana Turia announced that the government had agreed in principle to move towards the introduction of a plain packaging regime for tobacco in alignment with that in Australia, which is due to come into force in December this year. The issue is currently going out for public consultation.  The Australian regime introduces rigorous requirements that will homogenise the packaging for tobacco products so as to (so the tobacco companies say) make them indistinguishable.

Keep reading...


1/09/2011

Earthquakes, mortagees and lessees [2011] NZLJ 301

The Canterbury earthquakes have given rise to more than just seismic aftershocks. The legal consequences are only just beginning to be felt. Issues have been raised that have not been considered before and from which there are no easy answers.

Keep reading...


9/03/2010

Contract: Missed Opportunity? [2010] NZLJ 50

In Vector Gas Ltd v Bay of Plenty Energy Ltd [2010] NZSC 5 the Supreme Court confronted the questions of contractual interpretation, and of what extrinsic evidence may be adduced to prove the meaning of contractual terms. Throughout the 20th century the parol evidence rule, under which the admission of extrinsic evidence to assist in the interpretation of contracts was severely limited, was gradually worn down, primarily through the creation of numerous exceptions combinedwith a judicial re-examination of the principles of contractual interpretation. The result is an area of law that is over-complicated, which hampers the ability of practitioners to provide sound advice to clients.

Keep reading...


7/02/2010

Section 11 Contractual Remedies Act 1979 - Unintended Consequences?

In 1979 Parliament significantly changed the law of contract in New Zealand by enacting the Contractual Remedies Act 1979.  That Act arose from recommendations made by the Contracts and Commercial Law Reform Committee in its 1967 Report on Misrepresentation and Breach of Contract.  The Act both changed and codified the law relating to the cancellation of contracts, damages for breach of contract, and damages for misrepresentation which induced entry into a contract.

Keep reading...


31/01/2010

Save Our Arts Centre - Response to the Opinion of Crown Law

The decision that Crown Law has reached is open to challenge in two ways. First, for such a significant
decision for Christchurch it has come about through an inadequate process. Second, it has failed to
consider the issues properly. Unfortunately, Crown Law has formed its view on limited evidence.

Keep reading...


2/01/2009

The Anti-Smacking Law: Implications for Judicial Review

The debate about the amendment to Section 59 of the Crimes Act 1961 produced so much heat that it must have contributed to global warming.  However, the compromise agreed between National and Labour prior to the passing of the Amendment Bill introduced a new clause which has ramifications beyond the mere removal of the previous defence to assault on a child.

Keep reading...


Reported Decisions

  • Re Utterson-Kelson (No 2) [2015] NZAR 1488
  • Re Utterson-Kelson [2015] NZAR 922
  • Cunningham v Butterfield (2014) 22 PRNZ 521
  • J v J [2015] NZAR 861
  • Satterthwaite v Gough Holdings Ltd [2015] NZCCLR 15
  • Dalian Deepwater Developer Ltd v Dybdahl [2015] 3 NZLR 260
  • Holler v Osaki [2014] NZAR 1001
  • Holler v Osaki [2014] NZAR 1991
  • Holler v Osaki [2014] 3 NZLR 791
  • Great Christchurch Buildings Trust v Church Property Trustees [2014] 3 NZLR 236
  • Gough v Strahl [2013] 3 NZTR 23-019
  • Great Christchurch Buildings Trust v Church Property Trustees [2013] 2 NZLR 230
  • Great Christchurch Buildings Trust v Church Property Trustees [2013] 3 NZLR 597
  • Church Property Trustees v Attorney-General [2013] 2 NZLR 428
  • AMI Insurance Ltd v Devcich [2011] 16 ANZ Insurance Cases 61-895 (CA)
  • Howe v Keown [2011] NZAR 764
  • F M Custodians Ltd v Pinot Rouge New Zealand Ltd [2011] 12 NZCPR 155
  • Hagaman v Fairbank [2010] 20 PRNZ 68 (CA)
  • Kain v Hutton [2008] 3 NZLR 589 (SCNZ)

Memberships

  • Institute of Directors
  • Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP)
  • New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants Trusts Special Interest Group
  • New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants Insolvency Special Interest Group
  • Ecclesiastical Law Society
  • Legislation Advisory Committee
  • Vice Chancellor of the Anglican Diocese of Christchurch

Speaking Engagements

  • "Mediation of Trust Disputes: Risks for Trustees" - STEP Australasian Conference March 2016
  • "Construction Contracts Act: Trust Disputes" - AMINZ 2016 Conference: Dispute Resolution on the Edge.
  • "Trustee Liability" – Chartered Accounts Australia New Zealand Trust Special Interest Group 2015
  • "The supervisory jurisdiction of the Court" - NZLS Trusts Conference June 2015
  • "Contentious Estates" - NZLS Elder Law Conference May 2015
  • "Trusts and Relationship Property" - Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand Trust Special Interest Group 2015
  • "Trustees: Minimising Risk" NZLS Roadshow November 2014
  • Trust Arbitration STEP New Zealand Conference 2014
  • "Arbitration of Trust Disputes" – Arbitrators and Mediators' Institute of New Zealand Annual Conference 2014
  • "Corporate Trustees" - Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand Trust Special Interest Group 2014
  • "Role of the Trustees" NZLS Roadshow 2013

Publications

  • The Arbitration of Trust Disputes: Opportunities and Risks (The Arbitrator and Mediator December 2014)
  • Directors' and Officers' policies [2014] NZLJ 126
  • Farewell to Hastings-Bass [2013] NZLJ 249
  • Peer-to-peer filesharing [2013] NZLJ 172
  • Steigrad v BFSL 2007 Ltd [2012] NZCA 604
  • Plain packaging for tobacco [2012] NZLJ 246
  • Earthquakes, mortgagees and lessees [2011] NZLJ 301
  • Contract: missed opportunity? [2010] NZLJ 50
  • ‘Anti-smacking law’ and judicial review [2009] NZLJ 11(Link)



 Security code

Wynn Williams Christchurch
Level 5, Wynn Williams House, 47 Hereford Street, Christchurch 8013, New Zealand.
PO Box 4341, DX WX11179, Christchurch 8140.
+64 3 379 7622
+64 3 379 2467
Wynn Williams Auckland
Level 11, AIG Building, 41 Shortland Street, Auckland 1010, New Zealand.
PO Box 2401, Shortland Street, Auckland 1140.
+64 9 300 2600
+64 9 300 2609
Top

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with stylesheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so. The latest version of Firefox, Safari or Google Chrome will work best if you're after a new browser.