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DLA Piper New Zealand

Work +64 9 303 2019
Fax +64 9 303 2311

Iain Thain

Work +64 9 300 3818
DLA Piper LLP (US)

Work Department

Partner, Dispute Resolution


Iain is a commercial litigator with a background in insurance claims work. He specialises in competition and regulatory matters, marketing and consumer law, and property law related matters including construction. Iain combines these areas of specialty with a broad practice in general commercial litigation, from insolvency matters and debt collection to complex contractual disputes. As well as being a skilled commercial negotiator, where appropriate, he works across the full range of formal dispute resolution procedures - from court litigation, to arbitration to alternative processes, including conciliations and mediations. In addition to resolving disputes and dealing with regulators' investigations, Iain works closely with the firm's transactional lawyers to help clients structure and document transactions to minimise the risk of disputes arising. For further information, please view:


Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand, 1990; Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales, 1997


New Zealand Law Society; Law Society of England and Wales; Competition Law & Policy Institute of New Zealand Inc; Society of Construction Law NZ Inc


LLB (Hons), University of Auckland, 1989; BCom, University of Auckland, 1989

New Zealand

Competition law

Within: Competition law

DLA Piper New Zealand is 'very good - it understands clients' business and meets or exceeds their expectations'. The firm handles market regulation issues, investigations, cartel allegations and merger clearances for local and multinational companies such as Foodstuffs North Island, Expedia, Mondelēz and General Mills. The practice is led from Auckland by 'highly regarded competition lawyer' Mark Williamson and litigator Iain Thain, who are 'equal to or better than any in this area'. Williamson advises on regulation, trade practices, antitrust matters and compliance strategies. Thain's contentious work includes cases in the courts and before the Commerce Commission. He works closely with special counsel Alicia Murray, who is on the board of the New Zealand Competition Law and Policy Institute. The practice frequently handles the local law aspects of international mergers and acquisitions, and it recently advised facilities management company OCS on a cross-border corporate disposal.

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Dispute resolution

Within: Dispute resolution

DLA Piper New Zealand 'understands our business and meets or exceeds our expectations', remarks a client. The firm provides 'a high level service due to its professionalism and expertise' in specialist areas such as insurance, as well as in general commercial litigation. The key partner in Auckland is Iain Thain, of whom one clients says, 'he is one of the best litigators in New Zealand - equal to, or better than, any in this area'. He counts Foodstuffs South Island and Foodstuffs North Island among his clients. He recently worked with insurance partner Caroline Laband to advise Tower Insurance and Insurance Australia Group in a High Court matter that raised questions about the transfer of policies to new owners of damaged properties. Special counsel Alicia Murray is also recommended, having advised China Construction Bank in a dispute over a performance bond. Adam Holloway left to join Wotton + Kearney.

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Legal Developments by:
DLA Piper LLP (US)

  • Sentencing guidelines for corporate manslaughter

    In February 2010 the Sentencing Guidelines Council (the SGC) issued definitive guidelines to courts on imposing appropriate sentences for corporate manslaughter and health and safety offences causing death. The SGC states that fines imposed on companies found guilty of corporate manslaughter should not fall below £500,000, while fines in respect of health and safety offences that are a significant cause of death should be at least £100,000. Crucially, the SGC declined to provide for a fixed link between the imposed fine and the turnover or profitability of the offending company.

    - DLA Piper UK LLP

Legal Developments in New Zealand

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