Class actions

Class action proceedings are a relatively new feature on the New Zealand legal landscape and have the potential to expose companies, directors, executives and even advisers to new types of litigation and risk.

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​​​​​​​​​​​​Bell Gully has extensive experience acting in class action proceedings and several of our partners are recognised as pioneers in this growing field.

We have acted in a number of significant class actions that have been before the New Zealand courts, including the claim by customers of all of the major trading banks that they have paid too much in fees and the claim against Southern Response Earthquake Services brought by earthquake affected Canterbury homeowners. We also acted for the former directors Feltex Carpets in defence of a class action brought by a group of investors. 

Our team is adept at navigating the complexity of the procedural issues raised by class actions both in relation to the funding arrangements that are invariably put in place and in issues arising from the makeup of a class. Combined with the firm's overall strength in commercial litigation we are uniquely placed to assist clients in developing strategies for handling class action proceedings.​

​View Tim Smith’s​​​​ interview on Newsroom below.​​

Bell Gully partner Tim Smith spoke to Newsroom about how the landmark High Court decision to hold the Ministry for Primary Industries responsible for approving the imports that led to the kiwifruit disease PSA taking hold in New Zealand has significant implications for the Government.

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Southern Response Earthquake Services class action
Successfully represented Southern Response in opposing an application by insureds for High Court approval to proceed as a representative class action. The customers alleged that Southern Response misrepresented its obligations under insurance policies, unreasonably delayed in processing and settling claims, and understated the true costs of rebuilds and repairs. ​

Defence of prospectus liability claim
Acted for the former directors of Feltex Carpets in the defence of a class action brought by a group of investors. This was the largest prospectus liability claim ever brought in New Zealand.

Bank fees proceedings
Acted for ANZ in defence of class action proceedings brought by customers over the ​charging of certain account and credit card fees.

Provenco Cadmus employees' class action
Acted for the receivers of the Provenco Cadmus group of companies in defence of a class action claim brought by former employees alleging joint employment. The receivers were successful in both the Employment Relations Authority and the Employment Court and the employees' claims were dismissed.

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  • Jenny Stevens

    Partner Wellington
  • Sophie East

    Partner Auckland
  • David Friar

    Partner Auckland