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Chapman Tripp

Work +64 9 357 9000
Fax +64 9 357 9099

John McKay

Work +64 9 357 9064
Chapman Tripp

Work Department

Dispute resolution, real estate and construction.




John is an established commercial litigator whose practice is centred on complex and high- value construction and insurance disputes.  He has over 25 years’ experience advising clients on a wide range of commercial disputes, including representing them in High Court litigation, arbitration proceedings and alternative dispute resolution procedures.  John appears as counsel and advises on complex and high value construction disputes (both in NZ and overseas), professional indemnity claims, defamation proceedings, rent review arbitrations, product liability litigation and commercial litigation.  John acts for clients from all sectors of the construction industry, including contractors, principals, engineers, financiers, suppliers and manufacturers.


John is a member of the Arbitrators’ and Mediators’ Association of New Zealand, the New Zealand Law Society and is a Committee member of the Construction Law Association of NZ Inc


LLB (Hons), Victoria University of Wellington; Admitted 1988

New Zealand

Dispute resolution

Within: Leading individuals

John McKay - Chapman Tripp

Within: Dispute resolution

Chapman Tripp advises on some of the most significant commercial disputes in the country and is experienced in matters before the High Court and the Supreme Court, as well as in complex, multi-jurisdictional proceedings. Clients are 'very impressed with the level of service - the team is well resourced and well structured to handle large-scale litigation and the advice is clear and considered'. In Auckland, Justin Graham leads the practice and clients describe him and 'extremely gifted litigator' Matt Sumpter, who handles IP, competition law and civil litigation, as 'impressive and strong on strategy with great attention to detail'. Key partner John McKay specialises in commercial litigation with a focus on construction, insurance and media law. He defended BlueScope Steel in a claim arising from an unsuccessful attempt by New Zealand Steel Industries to purchase the Taharoa Ironsands business. Senior litigator Bruce Scott handles commercial and public law litigation, both in the High Court and in private arbitrations. In Wellington, Daniel Kalderimis handles large commercial disputes and leads the firm's international law practice, which focuses on the Asia-Pacific region.

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Real estate and construction

Within: Real estate and construction

Chapman Tripp provides 'great service and knowledge - the advice is relevant and on time', according to one client. Another describes it as 'a "go-to" firm for any complex property matter'. Construction expert Brian Clayton and real estate specialist Matthew Carroll in Auckland lead the practice, which counts Foodstuffs North Island, Fletcher Residential and Todd Property Group among its clients. Mark Nicholson handles development, acquisitions, disposals, syndications, leasing and infrastructure matters. He advised Blackstone Group on the NZ$635m purchase of Goodman/GIC’s Viaduct Portfolio. Bill Sandston advises corporate and high-net-worth investors on the acquisition and management of their New Zealand property portfolios. Litigator John McKay is recommended for construction disputes. Newly promoted partner Hamish Bolland is a rising star. Greg Wise in Wellington has extensive experience in infrastructure, utilities and property matters, and counts the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment among his clients. He has 'fantastic industry knowledge and his advice is practical and tailored to the situation'.

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