Public and Administrative Law

Chen Palmer provides a full range of public law services in law and policy reform, expert opinions, litigation and using the public law toolbox.

Chen Palmer’s reputation for excellence is built on our record of successful problem solving and 28 years of experience advising clients.  In addition to public law litigation, we provide expert advice on public law issues including law and policy reform, reviewing 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.

Chen Palmer also specialise in white collar fraud and regulatory defence.

Our previous work includes:

  •  E R Bellas Limited v Karikari Charitable Trust Incorporated [2020] NZHC 2517
  • Bus and Coach Association (New Zealand) Incorporated v Attorney-General [2020] NZHC 1474
  • Department of Internal Affairs v Qian Duoduo Limited [2018] NZHC 1887.
  • Attorney-General v Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand [2016] NZCA 609.
  • New Zealand College of Midwives Inc v Attorney-General CIV-2015-485-685.
  • New Zealand Motor Caravan Association v Thames-Coromandel District Council [2014] NZHC 2016.
  • Board of Trustees of Phillipstown School v Minister of Education [2013] NZHC 2641.
  • Exide Technologies Ltd v Attorney-General [2011] NZCA 651.
  • Unison Networks Ltd v Commerce Commission [2008] 1 NZLR 42.
  • Whangamata Marina Society Inc v Attorney-General [2007] I NZLR 252.
  • Attorney-General v Unitec Institute of Technology [2006] NZCA 317.

Administrative Law

Chen Palmer advises on government decision-making and whether or not such decision-making is lawful. The team is able to give litigation advice as well as provide non-litigation options for the resolution of administrative law problems with the government.

Charities Law

Chen Palmer has significant expertise in advising charities on a range of public law issues. We can assist charitable entities with all aspects of their operations including registration, funding applications, working with Internal Affairs who oversee charities and the Inland Revenue Department.

Many of the issues facing charitable entities back directly into our specialist public law expertise, including our expertise in working with government departments, and our expertise in working with public entities in the health sector, which purchase services from charitable entities.


Mai Chen:

Anthony Hill:

Leo Donnelly:

Antonia Di Maio: