Public Law Litigation

Chen Palmer's Litigation Practice

In addition to our role as New Zealand’s leading judicial review specialists, Chen Palmer delivers specialist public, employment and civil litigation services throughout all stages of the litigation process and at all levels from specialist tribunals to the Supreme Court.  Our expertise includes:

  • Judicial review and other public law litigation;
  • General commercial civil litigation and disputes resolution;
  • Regulatory and professional disciplinary litigation; and
  • Employment litigation.

Mai Chen, Founding Partner (Auckland)

Mai is a founding partner of Chen Palmer, which she co-founded in 1994 and has led for the last 19 years. Mai was admitted to the bar in 1986, and this is her 28th year as a lawyer. She is an experienced public and employment law problem solver with a particular gift in settling public and employment disputes. Mai has particular experience in advising Chief executives and boards on strategic employment law issues, on public sector restructuring, on inquiries, reviews and audits, on conflicts of interest issues, on machinery of Government issues, on issues concerning the employer and ministers and on human rights and discrimination issues.

 Nick Russell, Partner (Wellington)

Nick Russell has practised law since 1997 and has a LLB(Hons) from the University of Auckland. He is an experienced public law litigator who has appeared as counsel in a range of key cases at the High Court, Court of Appeal and in the Supreme Court and Privy Council, as well as in various alternative dispute resolution forums including mediation and arbitration. His areas of practice are: public law; commercial litigation; judicial review; competition law; telecommunications; health; insurance; privacy and media law.


 Anthony Russell, Principal (Auckland)

Anthony is an experienced employment law practitioner. Anthony specialises in providing expert employment law advice, and has provided quality advice across a range of sectors. Anthony has been practicising law since 1991 and has represented a wide range of employment law clients, particularly in the health, education and infrastructure industries. Anthony regularly appears before the Employment Relations Authority and the Employment Court.  He has also acted as counsel in a range of cases before the District Court, High Court and Court of Appeal.

James Dunne, Partner

James Dunne graduated from Victoria University of Wellington in 2008 and has practised law at Chen Palmer since then. James specialises in Parliament and law reform, and has assisted with litigation both at Court and Tribunal level, including at the Psychoactive Substances Appeals Committee and the Electricity Workers Registration Board.

Claire English, Senior Associate

Claire English graduated from the University of Waikato with an LLB/BA in 2002 and was admitted to the bar in the same year. Claire specalises in employment law and has experience in advising clients on a range of employment law issues and opportunities.



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