Areas of expertise
Disputes, Employment, Health & Safety, Insurance, Litigation
Stephen specialises in health and safety investigations and prosecutions, professional liability, employment law, insurance, and civil and commercial litigation. He has over 20 years’ experience and holds BCom and LLB degrees and a post-graduate LLM (Honours). Stephen is also a long-established Partner in Brookfields’ Litigation and Insurance Team and heads the Firm’s Employment Law Team.
Stephen frequently assists companies and individuals who are subject to WorkSafe investigations and prosecutions under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, and has successfully assisted defendants to have charges withdrawn, including in the case of fatalities, and to obtain good sentencing outcomes where defence of charge(s) is not possible. He has extensive experience in the Health & Safety space and regularly acts for, and assists organisations with WorkSafe matters, including providing sound workplace advice, liaising with regulatory authorities, attending interviews with clients and guiding them through the investigation process.
Stephen also has extensive experience acting on behalf of insurance companies and clients on employment disputes. He is regularly engaged by private clients and acts for both employers and employees in disputes, including personal grievances, gives advice and guidance regarding workplace issues, including restructures, redundancies, performance management issues, misconduct investigations and workplace policies. Stephen also frequently provides advice on the Health and Safety at Work Act and the Privacy Act 2020, including information requests and complaints before the Privacy Commissioner.
Stephen frequently appears with, and for, clients at mediations, in matters before the Employment Relations Authority and has appeared in the Employment Court on a range of employment issues. These issues have included unjustified dismissal and disadvantage grievances, allegations of breaches of good faith, breach of contract claims, breaches of restraints, solicitation, misuse of confidential information, bullying and mental health claims, wage arrears actions and allegations against directors regarding personal liability for breaches of employment agreements and the Employment Relations Act 2000.
Stephen also defends professional liability claims against the likes of architects, lawyers, engineers and accountants in respect of District Court and High Court claims and complaints brought before disciplinary and regulatory bodies. He also defends companies against regulatory prosecutions including the Resource Management Act and Building Act, and has a significant commercial and construction disputes practice, including in respect of dealing with leaky building claims and non-weathertightness disputes. Stephen has appeared in the District and High Courts and the Court of Appeal. His recent experience in this field also includes acting for one of several defendants on a multi-party weathertightness High Court claim, successfully resolving a multi-million-dollar construction dispute and appearing at mediation and settling a professional indemnity/regulatory complaint.