LLB, BCom, Partner
Jared Ormsby

Jared is a Partner in the firm's national Dispute Resolution Team. He is an expert in complex litigation and in appellate work. He litigates for a number of New Zealand’s largest organisations and has appeared as counsel in the Privy Council and the Supreme Court of New Zealand on four occasions. He regularly appears in all Courts and was a presenter at the 2011 and 2013 NZLS Trusts Conference.

Jared also presents the NZLS Trusts for Company and Commercial Lawyers seminars and lectures at the University of Canterbury. Jared is a member of the Canterbury-Westland Trust Committee. He was appointed by the Minister of Justice as one of the experts on the Trust Law Reform reference group. Jared has a strong track record in providing strategic advice on all aspects of competition law including in relation to mergers, joint ventures and anti-competitive behaviour.

He was an external legal adviser to CERA (Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority) and CEAG (Chief Executives Advisory Group) which comprises CEOs from what was CERA, Canterbury Regional Council, Ngai Tahu, Christchurch City Council, Selwyn District Council, and Waimakariri District Council.

Jared has been selected as 2017 NZ Law Awards' Crowe Horwath Managing Partner of the Year  for his ongoing commitment and contributions to the firm, maintaining Wynn Williams’ success in the New Zealand market. 

He is recognised by The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2017 and also the 2018, 2017 and 2016 Chambers and Partners Asia Pacific Directory as a Leader in his field: "Christchurch based Jared Ormsby of Wynn Williams is characterised by peers as "a very experienced, pragmatic and wise litigation practitioner." His practice includes advising local government agencies on contentious insurance matters and acting for private companies in insolvency disputes.  He is also applauded for his "polished" courtroom manner."


"I like having the opportunity to add value to a client’s business - by working together to develop a winning strategy in litigation, and achieving a pragmatic solution to their legal issues. I also enjoy working with some of the brightest legal talent in the country."
Wynn Williams (Christchurch)
Level 5, Wynn Williams House,
47 Hereford Street,
Christchurch 8013,
New Zealand.


Recent Projects

  • Advice on competition law issues including to a major public entity regarding a joint venture proposal, and to a logistics conglomerate regarding a merger proposal.
  • Acting in the High Court on a major relationship property appeal involving property exceeding $28 million and complex business and trust arrangements.
  • Acting as Senior Counsel in the Supreme Court for Allied concrete on the interpretation of the Companies Act insolvent transaction provisions in an appeal. We were granted leave to appeal direct from the High Court to Supreme Court.
  • Advising on the Lyttelton Port Recovery Plan.
  • Acting for Canterbury Regional Council, Selwyn District Council, Waimakariri District Council and Christchurch City Council in the High Court and Court of Appeal in litigation brought by property developers to challenge a decision of the Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery.
  • Acting or advising CERA in relation to earthquake recovery matters.
  • Successfully acting as Senior Counsel for the Anglican Church in the Court of Appeal and High Court in relation to the de-construction of Christchurch Cathedral and successfully opposing leave before the Supreme Court.
  • Successfully acting against the Statutory Management of Aorangi Securities Limited for a US investor for $6,000,000.
  • Being appointed by the High Court to act as counsel for Canterbury Policy Holders in the liquidation of Western Pacific Insurance Limited (In Liq) to seek payment of moneys from reinsurers for the benefit of those who suffered loss in the Canterbury Earthquakes.
  • Acting as counsel in the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal in New Zealand's leading trust case, Kain & Ors v Hutton & Ors [2008] 3 NZLR 589 (SC), [2007] 3 NZLR349.
  • Acting for a major North Island Iwi in a claim against the Crown for breach of fiduciary duty and the unlawful taking of Maori land.
  • Successfully representing a director in the investigation of security claims related to Hanover Finance Limited and acting in the defence of civil proceedings.
  • Representing the Anglican Church in relation to the use of insurance funds for the Transitional Cathedral.
  • Acting as counsel in multiple negligent valuer and negligent solicitor cases including the defence of prominent North and South Island firms on behalf of insurers.
  • Acting for a major policy holder in Re ACS before the High Court concerning approval of New Zealand's first solvent scheme of arrangement under the Companies Act 1993.
  • Acting as counsel for Save Our Arts Centre in the highly publicized litigation Save Our Arts Centre v The Arts Centre of Christchurch Trust Board, the University of Canterbury, and the Christchurch City Council.
  • Successful representation of Te Rununga o Ngai Tahu before the Privy Council in the case of Ngati Apa Ki Te Waipounamu Trust v The Attorney General and Ors [2006] UK PC 49.
  • Acting as counsel in the Supreme Court in the leading case on fiduciary obligations, Chirnside v Fay [2007] 1 NZLR 433.
  • Acting as counsel in the decision of ANZ National Bank v Macpherson Properties Ltd CIV 2008 409 561 on rectification and transfer fraud.
  • Acting as counsel in Celibriala v Inwood CIV 2008 409 120 to restrain a sale of land for failure to comply with a right of first refusal.
  • Acting as counsel for specialist medical practitioners against an errant director for breach of fiduciary obligations in a joint venture.

Recent Articles


Proposed changes to voidable transactions: feedback sought

The Government's Insolvency Working Group has this week issued its second report, which includes its recommendations on changes to the voidable transactions regime. Two key changes are proposed.

Keep reading...


Clayton v Clayton: Trust Busting

The Court of Appeal's recent decision in Clayton v Clayton has been described as redrawing the landscape on trusts and divorce. In this article I discuss the more controversial aspect of the judgment - the Court's finding that the settlor's power of appointment is relationship property. Although the context of the decision is a relationship property dispute, the Court's reasoning could be applied in other contexts, such as bankruptcy.

Keep reading...


Clayton v Clayton: Nipping the "Illusory Trust" in the Bud

Introduction The Court of Appeal's recent decision in Clayton v Clayton has been described as redrawing the landscape on trusts and divorce. The decision has already generated discussion within the legal community because the Court decided that a settlor's power of appointment could be relationship property. The Court went on to determine that the value of the appointment was the net value of the trust's assets. The decision is also important because it is the first New Zealand case where the concept of an "illusory trust", as distinct from a "sham trust", has been considered. It is this aspect of the decision which I intend to discuss in this article.

Keep reading...


Certainty at last for Creditors and Liquidators in voidable transaction claims

The Supreme Court has ruled that new value is not required for creditors to rely on the section 296 defence to voidable transactions under the Companies Act 1993. This means that creditors unfortunate enough to find themselves a party to a voidable transaction that a liquidator is attempting claw back are in a much better position to resist the liquidators claim. The Supreme Court heard three appeals in March 2014. The appeals concerned the operation of the voidable transaction regime under the Companies Act 1993, particularly section 296(3). A voidable transaction is a transaction made by an insolvent company to a creditor which results in that creditor receiving more than they would have in the liquidation of the company. Liquidators have the ability to 'claw back' voidable transactions paid to creditors up to two years prior to their appointment. The appellants in the Supreme Court were creditors of companies in liquidation and the respondents were the liquidators. Wynn Williams acted for Allied Concrete Limited who was a creditor in the appeal.

Keep reading...


Can I claim for a reduction in the value of my claim?

If someone (person A) reduces the value of a claim you have against someone else (person B), can you recover the loss in the value of the claim from A?

Keep reading...


Directors' Duties and Specialisation

Recent litigation surrounding collapsed finance companies has brought into question the legal standard of the care, diligence, and skill expected of company directors.  In particular the cases have grappled is the extent to which specialisation within a board of directors is permitted. 

Keep reading...


More than leases bargained for

In the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquakes many building owners, tenants, developers, and even lawyers have turned to their leases in an attempt to figure out exactly what they happens in a disaster.

Keep reading...


A Contextual Approach to the Application of Bias

Howe v Keown has been one of the most controversial cases to pass through the Christchurch Courts this year.  The case concerned an injunction application to prevent the defendant, Christchurch City Councillor Aaron Keown, from participating in the Council process to appoint a new chief exectuive.  The plaintiff, a concerned ratepayer, sought the injunction principally on the grounds that the defendant illegitimately favoured the incumbent Council chief executive and had made public statements to that effect.  Fogarty J refused to award the injunction and in so doing severally curtailed the application of the law of bias to elected members in public office.

Keep reading...


Lending to Trusts

New Zealand has a large number of family trusts per capita. Lending to trustees and taking guarantees and securities from trustees is becoming very common. Unfortunately, a trust can mean big problems for lenders wishing to enforce their rights. To see why this is we'll look at how trusts work and then look at how this impacts on unsecured lenders and secured lenders.

Keep reading...


Trustees Indemnity - Litigation Costs

A trustee is not always entitled to recoup his or her litigation expenses from the trust fund. Often a
trustee will have to await the outcome of litigation before he or she can exercise any right of indemnity. There
are now over 300,000 trusts in New Zealand and an increasing number of trust disputes are being brought before the courts (Wear “QCsaysNZneeds specialist trust bar”Lawtalk, 18 February 2008). However, it is still common for trustees to be advised that they are entitled to have their litigation expenses met out of the trust fund. This is not always the case.

Keep reading...

Reported Decisions

  • Ngāti Te Ata v New Zealand Steel Mining Ltd [2016] NZAR 38
  • Powell v Powell [2015] NZAR 1886
  • OM Hardware Ltd v Body Corporate 303662 (2015) 15 NZCPR 921
  • Canterbury Regional Council v Peacocke [2015] NZCCLR 17
  • Greig v Hutchison [2015] NZFLR 587
  • Allied Concrete Limited v Meltzer and Hayward as liq of Window Holdings Limited [2015] 10 NZBLC 99-717
  • Lake Hayes Property Holdings Ltd v Petherbridge [2014] 15 NZCPR 590
  • Independent Fisheries Ltd v Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery [2013] 2 NZLR 397
  • Church Property Trustees v Attorney-General [2013] 2 NZLR 428
  • Great Christchurch Buildings Trust v Church Property Trustees [2013] 3 NZLR 597
  • Great Christchurch Buildings Trust v Church Property Trustees [2013] 2 NZLR 230
  • Independent Fisheries Ltd v Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery [2012] NZAR 785
  • Ruscoe v Canterbury Policy Holders [2012] 2 NZLR 438; (2011) 9 NZBLC 103,483
  • Tui Trust Mining Ltd v Minister of Energy (2011) 16 ELRNZ 505; [2012] NZRMA 25
  • GP 96 Ltd v FM Custodians Ltd [2011] 12 NZCPR 489
  • F M Custodians Ltd v Pinot Rouge New Zealand Ltdv [2011] 12 NZCPR 155
  • Reynolds v Peter [2010] 20 PRNZ 774
  • Williams v Cazemier [2009] 11 NZCPR 79
  • Kain v Hutton [2008] 3 NZLR 589
  • Chirnside v Fay [2007] 1 NZLR 433
  • Ngati Apa Ki Te Waipounamu Trust v Attorney General of New Zealand and others [2007] 2 NZLR 80
  • Kain v Hutton [2007] 3 NZLR 349
  • Wilfred v Chief Executive of the Department of Labour [2007] NZAR 237
  • Penny v Penny [2006] NZFLR 477
  • Chirnside v Fay (No 2) [2005] 3 NZLR 689
  • P v P [2005] NZFLR 689
  • Penny v Penny (No 4) [2005] 25 FRNZ 320
  • Aoraki Water Trust v Meridian Energy Ltd [2005] 2 NZLR 268
  • Shepherd v Disputes Tribunal [2004] NZAR 319
  • Chirnside & Rattray Properties Ltd v Fay, Supreme Court [2004] 3 NZLR 637, [2005] 3 NZLR 689) (CA)


  • 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
  • Member of the Disciplinary Committee of Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners
  • Member and Deputy Convenor Canterbury District Law Society Litigation Committee 2009-2015

Speaking Engagements

  • Presenter: Removal of Trustees and Dishonest Assistance, July 2010, ICANZ Trusts Special Interest Group
  • Presenter: New Zealand Law Society Trusts for Company and Commercial Lawyers
  • Presenter: New Zealand Law Society, 2011, 2013 Trusts Conference
  • Presenter: Auckland District Law Society Cradle to Grave Trusts Conference 2012
  • Presenter at 2013 New Zealand Law Society Cradle to Grave conference


  • "Whither Dishonest Assistance?" [2004] NZLR 454
  • Trustees Indemnity: Litigation Costs [2008] NZLJ 468
  • Contributing author Equity and Trusts in New Zealand, Butler (ed), Brookers 2009
  • Author (with J Moses) Trusts for Company and Commercial Lawyers (2015) NZLS

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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 25, Vero Centre, 48 Shortland Street, Auckland 1010, New Zealand.
PO Box 2401, Shortland Street, Auckland 1140.
+64 9 300 2600
+64 9 300 2609

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