My professional services
As specialist in media law, I offer advice and representation on issues affecting speech, and in a particular:
- what the law says about what can and can’t be published or broadcast or said;
- how to construct stories, advertisements and other material so as to minimise the possibility of legal action;
- what remedies are available to people who have been harmed by a publication or broadcast or statement, or who want to prevent such publication or broadcast;
- what defences are available to those whose publications or broadcasts are challenged;
- how to obtain information (particularly that held by the government).
Areas of law
- Breach of confidence
- Broadcasting Standards
- Press Council
- Advertising Standards Authority
- Contempt of Court
- Official Information legislation
- Privacy Act
- Name suppression
- NZ Bill of Rights Act issues concerning freedom of expression
I am available to present seminars on media law topics. I have twelve years’ teaching experience, lecturing in media law and privacy at Victoria University, and have given seminars and presentations for the New Zealand Journalists Training Organisation, the New Zealand Law Society, the Public Relations Institute of New Zealand, Lexis Nexis Media Law and Information Law symposia, and various news organisations and journalism and publishing classes.
In the past, topics have included:
- how to make the most of the Official Information Act
- defamation law
- trends in broadcasting standards
- a media law refresher and update
Media law experience
After graduating from Victoria University with a first-class honours degree in law, I was a staff solicitor at Wellington law firm Kensington Swan for about three years. Much of my work there was for TVNZ consumer watchdog Fair Go, including broadcasting standards, contempt of court, defamation, and privacy. I also worked on Official Information Act and censorship issues.
I vetted Nicky Hager’s last three books, Seeds of Distrust, The Hollow Men, and Other People’s Wars and represented him during the injunction proceedings that delayed the release of The Hollow Men.
I acted for Anne Hunt in her successful appeal against a decision of the High Court to destroy her book, Broken Silence, for breach of confidence and contempt of Court.
I have acted for complainants in a number of leading Broadcasting Standards cases, including a successful complaint for the Ministry of Health against a Qantas award winning documentary.
I have provided advice to clients on a range of media law issues including defamation, privacy, contempt, official information, copyright, and breach of confidence.
My book, Media Minefield, is the culmination of several years’ research into the Broadcasting Standards Authority, the Press Council and other laws affecting the media.
Phone: 04 463 6336 (work)
Mobile: 022 026 2997
Fax: 04 463 6365
School of Law
Victoria University of Wellington
PO Box 600
Note that as a barrister sole, I can only be instructed through a solicitor.