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Civil Litigation involves disputes between individuals or companies. Turner Hopkins has an outstanding track record in dispute resolution as well as all manner of commercial litigation.

Should a dispute develop into Court proceedings, our team of experienced litigators are well qualified to competently and expertly represent our clients in whichever Court or Jurisdiction the case is held.

Why Choose Turner Hopkins

  • We have considerable experience in all Courts throughout New Zealand including the District Courts, High Courts and Appellate Courts.
  • Disputes can often arise unexpectedly and at the most inconvenient time. For these reasons we are conscious of the need to ensure that our advice and representation achieves the most cost effective outcome for our clients.
  • We are acutely conscious of the stress and sensitivity associated with disputes and becoming involved in legal proceedings. We take every measure available to ensure that the process is demystified and our clients are made to feel as comfortable as possible when engaged in the legal process.
  • Michael Robinson, the partner responsible for the civil litigation department, takes personal responsibility for the oversight of all files. He has in excess of 20 years experience in all manner of civil/commercial litigation.
  • We pride ourselves on our impeccable service and response to our clients' needs.

The Areas We Cover

Civil litigation

Litigation is the process by which disputes are resolved. There are a multitude of processes and procedures available to deal with disputes between individuals or companies.  The procedure will depend on the circumstances of the parties and the nature of the dispute. Identifying the correct process is the first step towards resolving an issue. No matter which procedure is adopted, the majority of disputes, at some stage, involve a form of negotiation, settlement discussion, mediation or (if subject to court proceedings) a judicial settlement conference. We have a wealth of experience in assisting clients navigate this complex and unfamiliar territory. Our clients have provided us with outstanding feedback and accolades on our performance in representing them. We are constantly humbled by our clients providing to us their very highest compliment – referring their family, friends and colleagues to us in times of need.

Commercial & Property

A large number of the disputes in which our clients become involved arise from commercial and/or property transactions. In such cases, prompt analysis of the issues and advice is usually required. We are acutely aware of the need for our clients to act proactively in order to protect their position.

Many property disputes involve disagreements arising from sale and purchase agreements, mortgages and securities and caveats. We have extensive experience in all these areas of practice.


We encourage our clients to contact us immediately should they become concerned about their contractual relationships. Prompt analysis of the issues and advice can often lead to a speedy, economic and advantageous result.

We also have a wealth of experience in advising clients involved in claims arising from negligence (including professional negligence), defamation, nuisance and other torts.

Consumer Law

The key to succeeding in consumer claims is to ensure that the claim is clearly detailed, evidence is properly recorded and precise remedies are sought. We have experts available in most areas. With proper advice and professional services, disputes can often be resolved or settled without unreasonable cost or stress.

Emergency Applications

We have enjoyed considerable success in assisting parties involved in injunction applications (now called emergency applications) and can advise and assist parties either seeking or opposing this urgent form of interim relief.

Conflicts of Law

A significant portion of our practice is dedicated to assisting overseas based clients. We have acted for a large number of clients in Australia, throughout Asia, North and South America, as well as Europe. Such clients often require assistance in dealing with legal difficulties where one of the parties involved in a dispute is located in New Zealand or where the contractual relationship requires the application of New Zealand law.

We frequently represent clients who are seeking to enforce overseas Judgments in New Zealand. This can be achieved either through the New Zealand Reciprocal Enforcements of Judgment Act or through common law remedies, depending on the circumstances. We have had considerable success in recovering debts owing to off-shore based clients by parties based in or with assets in New Zealand.

Over the last several years, Turner Hopkins has invested substantial resources in developing an extensive network of relationships with trusted legal advisers internationally. We have developed close relationships with specialists in various areas of practice throughout Australia and Turner Hopkins is also the sole New Zealand legal representative in the IPG network – an organisation of over 100 law firms and accountants situated throughout Asia, Europe, North and South America. These relationships mean that we have confidence in referring our clients' off-shore legal needs to legal professionals who are personally known to us and we are therefore able to ensure that our clients receive the very highest standard of service wherever that may be required.

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  • What is Civil Litigation?

    Civil litigation is the process by which disputes between private individuals, corporate entities or other legal personalities are resolved. It can involve court action or other forms of dispute resolution including settlement negotiations and/or mediation conferences. Procedures and processes may be available. For civil matters (mainly monetary claims) the normal processes involve either the courts or disputes tribunal. In particular types of disputes, specialist bodies have been established, for example the Employment Court for disputes between employers and employees and the Family Court for disputes between partners and a relationship or involving children.

  • What is a contract dispute?

    A contract dispute involves an argument between the parties to a contractual arrangement. Common examples may be agreements to purchase property, lease arrangements, commercial contracts and banking arrangements.

  • What does tort mean?

    Tort is the area of law involving obligations by one person or entity to another. An example is negligence where one party owes a duty of care to another. A tort arises when the party owing the duty of care breaches that obligation and damage is experienced by a party to whom they owned that duty.

  • What is the common legislation governing consumer law?

    Consumer law is generally governed by the Consumer Guarantees Act, the Fair Trading Act and the Sales of Goods Act. It may also include issues involving the Commerce Commission and Banking and Insurance Ombudsman.

  • What are emergency applications (injunctions)?

    Emergency applications (commonly called injunctions) are claims made by one party seeking to have another stopped from performing and act or taking steps on the basis that by doing so there will be irreparable damage which cannot be remedied by an award of costs in favour of the "victim". The party seeking to obtain the emergency order will need to establish that they have a sound claim "beyond the balance of probability" and undertake to pay any damages that are experienced by the other party if the claim is ultimately unsuccessful.

  • What are interlocutory orders?

    An interlocutory order is an order made in the process leading up to the substantive court hearing. Common examples involve the disclosure of documents "discovery orders", orders joining third or additional parties and orders directing the conduct of the proceeding in general.

View all Civil Litigation FAQs

Recent Reviews...

“I can't speak highly enough of Jenny. She got everything done in a timely manner and when my ex-husband threw a spanner in the works at the eleventh hour she got the required documentation to his lawyers and settlement back on track.” ~ Tracey
“John is very easy to talk to, he never makes you feel dumb, and never makes you feel like you are wasting his time for asking questions. He explains everything very clearly, every time. John's support staff are also very efficient and so easy to deal with. No detail is missed when dealing with them. My husband and I are fans of them all :)” ~ Jess
“Joy, we cannot thank you enough for your help with our purchase! You have been wonderful to deal with and so proactive (and patient with my numerous emails). We will be visiting NZ in April so will make sure we drop in to thank you in person.” ~ Mia
“To Michael Robinson – I wanted to thank you and your colleagues for many years of excellent service to the Bank. You have an outstanding business that has proved to be one of the most reliable and ethical businesses that Collections have dealt with in the almost 9 years I was with the Bank.” ~ Head of Collections