- Our expertise
- Working with Parliament
- Working with Government
- Administrative law
- Overseas investment
- Previous work
Chen Palmer’s reputation for excellence is built on our record of excellence and having 18 years of experience advising clients. In addition to public law litigation, we provide expert advice on public law issues including law and policy reform, decisions by Government or statutory bodies and inquiries and reviews.
Chen Palmer's main areas of specialist expertise are in solving legal, regulatory and policy problems with or within the Government and its various agencies, for example:
- Decisions by the Government or statutory bodies, either by public law litigation or by using the public law toolbox, including using and complaining under the Official Information Act 1982, the Ombudsmen Act 1975, the Privacy Act 1993, the Public Audit Act 2001, the Human Rights Act 1993, and the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990.
- Inquiries and reviews, including Royal Commissions, Commissions of Inquiry, Ministerial Inquiries, statutory inquiries, Select Committee Inquiries, and reviews and audits by the Auditor-General.
- Current or proposed legislation, including law reform and advocating for or against new law reform and advice on Bills currently being considered by Parliament.
- Government policy, including advocating for policy changes where that is a more efficient outcome than law reform or litigation, and advising on ongoing policy processes.
- Parliamentary procedure, including matters of privilege, natural justice and the Standing Orders, as well as the Regulations Review Committee and the Regulations (Disallowance) Act 1989.
Chen Palmer's Parliament team is co-led by James Dunne. The Parliament team can assist you and your business including:
- Legislation - providing advice on the legislative process, including where a Bill is up to, whether it will be enacted, and timeframes.
- Select committees - making submissions to select committees, taking part in select committee inquiries including appearance at hearings.
- Parliamentary processes such as parliamentary questions, including how they can be used to help you and your business and how to minimise the risks from such questions.
- Natural justice, including rights of reply to adverse statements in Parliament, bias on select committees and the exclusion of damaging evidence from select committees.
Chen Palmer's Government team is co-led by Marina Matthews (former advisor to four senior Ministers, including the then Deputy Prime Minister). The Government team has extensive experience in advising clients on a range of government processes including:
- Policy development and reform - advising on key policy processes and decision-makers, including Cabinet and its processes, to ensure our clients can effectively inform the development of policy.
- Working with government agencies - we have experience in advising clients on policies and processes across all types of government agencies including the Ministry of Economic Development, Ministry of Health, Tertiary Education Commission, Department of Conservation, Department of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Commerce Commission, Overseas Investment Office, Ministry of Justice, Treasury and State Services Commission.
Chen Palmer's administrative law team is led by Mai Chen. The team advises on government decision-making and whether or not such decision-making complies with public law obligations. The team is also able to give litigation advice as well as provide non-litigation options for the resolution of administrative law problems with the government.
The administrative law team peer reviews the work of the entire public law team.
Chen Palmer has expertise in providing businesses and high net worth individuals with advice on the requirements of the Overseas Investment Act 2005. Overseas investment advice is provided by Nick Russell and James Dunne.
We have assisted clients involved in potentially controversial overseas investment, such as investment in farm land. Our clients value the experience, expertise and discretion which we bring to overseas investment applications. As one of our clients recently told us after several successful applications for consent, "...it all seems so easy these days!" We can:
- Advise you whether you need Overseas Investment Office consent to carry out a transaction in which you or your business is involved. Where a transaction does require consent, we can prepare your application for consent and liaise with the Overseas Investment Office to ensure that your application is processed and approved as quickly as possible.
- Assist you in structuring your proposed transaction in a way which meets the needs of your business and ensures that it complies with the requirements of the Overseas Investment Act.
We have advised on most of the major policy and law reforms undertaken by governments over the last eighteen years. In recent years, Chen Palmer has been involved in some of the most interesting and high-profile public law work in New Zealand. A very small sample of the work we have undertaken includes:
- Appearing for Salisbury School in the High Court on judicial review of the Minister of Education's decision under the Education Act to merge the school.
- Appearing for Whangamata Marina Society in the High Court on the judicial review of the Minister's decision under the Resource Management Act 1991, overturning the Minister's decision and having the decision reconsidered with a successful consent granted for the Marina to be built.
- Acting for Dr Tony Bierre in his defamation proceeding against the Rt Hon Helen Clark, former Prime Minister of New Zealand, and the litigation was settled.
- Advising the Fonterra Shareholders Council on the "Trading Among Farmers" structural reform process.
- Appearing at the Supreme Court on the regulation of electricity lines businesses' Price Path Threshold by the Commerce Commission.