James Heard

Senior Associate | LLB

James has a wide range of experience assisting clients in the effective resolution of civil disputes. He has advised and represented clients from the Tenancy Tribunal through to the New Zealand Supreme Court.

While James is very effective in the court room, he also has significant experience in alternative dispute resolution. He has a keen appreciation of the often significant benefit to clients in resolving disputes before they reach the courts.

Winning the top prizes for Legal Systems and Criminal Justice at Law School, James is interested in the evolution of policy and the role of evidence as key in policy formation.

When not at work James enjoys indulging his passion for music playing the guitar and practicing martial arts, particularly Jujitsu and kickboxing. He’s also a keen hiker and cyclist and completed both the Christchurch – Akaroa and Rotorua – Taupo road-bike races.

Principal areas of practice:

  • Professional Indemnity – real estate agents, engineers, accountants, liquidators, lawyers
  • Directors and Officers
  • General Liability – fires, construction, product recall
  • Material Damage – earthquake policy response issues
  • Regulatory and Health and Safety – Work Safe investigations and prosecutions
  • Total or Partial Disability – policy response issues


  • Effective court room advocacy
  • Skilled in alternative dispute resolution
  • Delivers effective advice on risk, strategy and resolution of claims
  • Effective guidance for clients through the dispute process

Recent trial involvement / outcomes:

  • Junior counsel in successfully defended week-long construction arbitration claim
  • Junior counsel in successful High Court construction defects claim
  • Lead counsel in High Court summary judgment proceedings
  • Lead counsel in successful Body Corporate claim following a three day trial in the District Court
  • Lead counsel in the Court of Appeal arguing issues of jurisdiction
  • Junior counsel in a successful appeal in the Court of Appeal striking out a claim
  • Junior counsel in a successful appeal to the Supreme Court on statutory interpretation
  • Successfully negotiated the resolution of leaky building claims, lawyer negligence claims, liquidation proceedings, and contractual disputes.