Detailed CV

Full Name:

John William Turner

Qualifications and Memberships:

New Zealand University Junior Scholarship 1972 (38th out of 123 awarded).

LLB (Hons), University of Auckland, New Zealand,1977.

Senior Prize in Law, University of Auckland 1976.

Auckland District Law Society Hugh Campbell Scholarship, 1978.

MJur (with distinction), University of Auckland, New Zealand, 1981 (thesis on law of marketing and product promotion).

LLM, Dalhousie University, Canada, 1987 – papers in civil procedure, insurance, corporate finance and oil and gas law, thesis on commercial insurance contracts (holder of Dalhousie Graduate Scholarship).

PhD, University of London, England, completed February 1998. Thesis entitled “Law and Economic Regulation in the United Kingdom” (holder of an ORS postgraduate research scholarship). I took two years’ leave of absence from September 1994 to September 1996 to undertake full time thesis research and writing in London, England. My PhD thesis dealt with optimal methods of imposing and enforcing industry regulation and corporate governance in the UK and EC by litigation means, with particular reference to the financial services, telecommunications and public utilities industries. During the course of writing my thesis I also undertook field work with the UK financial services regulatory bodies and with OFTEL.

Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand (3 February 1978); National Court of Papua New Guinea (15 February 1983); Supreme Court of Victoria in Australia (1 July 1985); High Court of Australia (2 July 1985); Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales (1 September 1986); Higher Courts Rights of Audience qualification in England and Wales (31 July 2006); Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of Fiji (22 September 2006); Legal practitioner of the DIFC Courts Dubai (6 June 2007, full rights of audience 14 June 2011); Barrister of the Supreme Court of Tonga (ad hoc admission, 7 February 2018); holder of current New Zealand practising certificate as a barrister in New Zealand and as a legal practitioner in Fiji.

Employment History:

1 July 2012 to present: practising as a barrister sole in Auckland specialising in civil and commercial litigation and arbitration, with a particular emphasis on banking and financial services disputes, general and marine construction disputes, insurance matters, competition law issues and commercial litigation in the Courts of Fiji and before the DIFC Courts, Dubai.

August 2008 – June 2012: senior legal consultant and counsel with LutfiCBP, advocates & legal consultants, of Dubai and Abu Dhabi (an association between the UAE law firm of Lutfi & Co and the Sydney law firm of Colin Biggers & Paisley), engaged primarily in litigation and international arbitration in relation to investment, property and construction matters, acting as UAE local counsel in relation to conflict of laws issues involving UAE law, acting as preferred local counsel for referrals by the Australian Trade Commission and the New Zealand Consulate.

January 2007 to July 2008: senior legal consultant with Hadefs, advocates and legal consultants, of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, engaged in international arbitration and litigation matters.

January 1989 to December 2006: partner and subsequently a senior litigation partner at Buddle Findlay, Auckland (with two year leave of absence from September 1994 to September 1996 to complete PhD studies at University College London); head of litigation department from 2004 to 2006, with specialist interests in the areas of banking and financial services, insurance, competition law, marine construction disputes relating to superyachts and commercial and tax litigation in Fiji.

October 1987 to 31 December 1988: Senior associate with Buddle Findlay, Auckland, New Zealand.

August 1986 - September 1987: Full time postgraduate study for 12 months at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Completed a Master of Laws degree with assistance from a Dalhousie Graduate Fellowship, including papers in civil procedure, insurance, corporate finance and oil and gas law and an LLM thesis on controlling the use of warranties and exclusions in commercial insurance policies.

September 1983 - July 1986: Principal Legal Officer (Commercial), State Solicitor's Office, Department of Justice, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea - responsible for advising the government of Papua New Guinea on all of the State’s commercial and arbitration matters, including responsibility for a large international investment dispute involving the Ok Tedi gold and copper mine, negotiating the State’s mineral resources concession agreements, advising on corporate governance issues affecting State enterprises, mergers and acquisitions of State owned businesses, assistance with the preparation of new legislation in relation to petroleum exploration, foreign investment, negotiation and documentation of project financing agreements for the Ok Tedi and Bougainville gold and copper mines, advice to the State on money laundering legislation and related matters, part time lecturer at the Legal Training Institute of Papua New Guinea for local law graduates seeking admission to the PNG bar.

June 1982 - August 1983: Assistant solicitor with the Auckland law firm of Malloy, Moody & Greville - engaged in commercial litigation matters.

December 1978 - June 1982: Corporate legal counsel to MSI Repco Corporation Limited, a public company based in Melbourne, Australia and engaged in the automotive and engineering fields - general inhouse legal work including company secretarial matters, management of corporate litigation, corporate finance work and advice, mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property matters and the negotiation of joint venture and distribution agreements with local and overseas parties.

January 1977 - December 1978: Law clerk and subsequently solicitor with Russell McVeagh McKenzie Bartleet & Co in Auckland – engaged in commercial litigation matters.

Professional and Academic Activities:

Member of NZLS Law Reform Committee (2013-2015).

Faculty Member on NZLS Litigation Skills Course (from 2013).

Member of the New Zealand Bar Association, The Northern Club.

Faculty Member on NZLS Advanced Litigation Skills course in Wellington in 2003, 2004 (course for Pacific Island lawyers) and 2005.

Part time lecturer, Faculty of Law, University of Auckland, New Zealand, 1989-1994 (commercial law, company law, banking and finance law); 1999-2006 (LLM seminar on Law and Economic Regulation).

Completed LEADR (Lawyers Engaged in Alternative Dispute Resolution) course for accredited mediator membership, 2003.

Contributor to New Zealand Law Review on civil procedure issues from 1989.

Junior counsel in three Privy Council appeals, Kuwait Asia Bank v National Mutual Life Nominees Limited [1991] 1 AC 187 (liability of nominee company directors); Deloitte Haskins and Sells v National Mutual Life Nominees Limited [1993] 2 All ER 1015 (liability of auditors of a corporate trustee company); Taiaroa v Minister of Justice (unreported, Privy Council, 13 June 1995) (application for special leave to appeal over challenge to MMP electoral regime).

Counsel in fifteen New Zealand Court of Appeal cases from 1989 onwards (ten reported).

Counsel in two cases before the Courts of the Dubai International Financial Centre.

Counsel in various cases before the High Court and Court of Appeal of the Cook Islands and the Income Tax Court of Review, VAT Tribunal, High Court and Court of Appeal of Fiji.

Presenter at various conferences on legal topics, including LexisNexis Electricity Industry Conference April 2001; Competition Law and Policy Institute Symposium 4 August 2001 (Judicial Review of Regulators); Fiji Law Society Annual Conference, 12-13 June 2004 (Conducting civil appeals in Fiji); Competition Law and Policy Institute Symposium 6 August 2005 (paper on the interaction between general competition law and industry-specific regulation).

Member of the New Zealand Law Society Subcommittee making submissions to Parliament on the Evidence Bill, 2005.

Member of the Public Issues Committee of the Auckland District Law Society, 1991-1992.

Part time tutor, Legal Accounting, Law Professionals course in Auckland, 1980, 1981 and 1982.

Examples of Significant Recent Legal Matters:

  • Acting as counsel in complex insolvency proceedings involving a winding up application on the grounds of alleged balance sheet insolvency.
  • Acted as counsel for a large corporate group in the accommodation and hospitality industry in a substantial damages claim against a New Zealand trading bank for alleged breach of contract and misrepresentation in relation to marketing of swap agreements (now settled).
  • Acting as counsel in two significant construction disputes arising out of Auckland commercial developments.
  • Acting as counsel in several substantial family trust disputes.
  • Acted for Auckland property development company in high profile dispute (see New Zealand Herald 8 February 2014) with a substantial commercial tenant in relation to alleged breaches of lease and acts of nuisance arising from restaurant activities.
  • Acting as counsel for a Maori land incorporation in proceedings in the Maori Land Court to secure the removal of a trustee.
  • Acting for major international telecommunications company in relation to significant sponsorship dispute (worth cF$ 40 m) in Fiji (interim applications in High Court of Fiji heard February 2014).
  • Acting as counsel from 2007 to 2014 for the Fiji branch of a large Australian trading bank in defending a substantial on-going claim (cF$25 million) against the bank in the High Court of Fiji by a property and investment group of companies based in Suva (proceedings now settled).
  • Acting as counsel in proceedings in the High Court of Fiji in relation to ownership dispute concerning Fiji resort property worth cF$20 million.
  • Acting as counsel in relation to substantial PI claim against a prominent Fiji law firm.
  • Acting as counsel in the DIFC Courts in Dubai in relation to enforcement of an ICC arbitration award from London.
  • Acted as counsel in several large arbitrations in the Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC) concerning failed Dubai property developments, 2009-2012.

Legal Publications and Seminars:

"Annual Review of Civil Procedure" [2017] NZ Law Review 681

"Annual Review of Civil Procedure" [2014] NZ Law Review 709

"Enforcing Foreign Judgments at Common Law in New Zealand: Is the Concept of Comity Still Relevant?” [2013] NZ Law Review 653

“Effective Contracting and Enforcing Legal Obligations” (Marcus Evans International Seminars, Abu Dhabi and Qatar, 22 May 2011, 25 September 2011 and 13 May 2012)

“Overview of Dubai Commercial Laws” (CBP publication, 2008)

“Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in New Zealand”, chapter in International Enforcement Strategies (Centre for International Legal Studies, Cambridge, England, 2006)

“International Arbitration in New Zealand” chapter in book, International Arbitration (Aspatore Books, Boston, 2006)

“Civil Procedure” chapter in New Zealand Law Review since 1989

“Cartels and Immunity in New Zealand”, Australian Legal Business, February 2006, p14

“Competition Law and Industry-Specific Regulation: Different Sides of the Same Coin?”, paper presented to the Sixteenth Annual Workshop of the Competition Law and Policy Institute of New Zealand Inc, Christchurch, 6 August 2005

“Costs Awards against Non-Parties” (2004) 19 N.C.D. Rev 37

“Conducting Civil Appeals – Practical Aspects” – paper presented to the Fiji Law Society Annual Conference, 12-13 June 2004

“Electricity industry developments in dispute resolution”, [2004] NZLJ 253

Chapter entitled “Statutory Discretions” in Brooker Thomson’s Law of Civil Remedies (Brooker Thomson, Wellington, November 2003), dealing with discretionary powers in the Fair Trading Act and commercial/contractual statutes

“Judge and Regulator: Degrees of Deference” – paper presented to the Twelfth Annual Workshop of the Competition Law and Policy Institute of New Zealand, Wellington, 4 August 2001

“Liabilities of Electricity Companies”, [2001] NZLJ 351

“Streamlining Litigation” – paper for New Zealand Law Society seminar, May 1994, presented by Dr Jim Farmer QC, John Wild QC and John Turner


English, reasonably fluent in French, some German and Arabic.

Outside Activities:

Travel, reading, collecting antiquarian law books.