Graeme Christie

Service: Adjudication, Arbitration, Mediation

Area of Expertise: Residential Construction, Commercial and Industrial Construction, Infrastructure and Civil Works, Quantity Surveying, Engineering, Design

Graeme is a construction law partner in the commercial litigation group at Simpson Grierson. He acts for national and international clients on all forms of dispute resolution. He conducts arbitrations, and regularly appears in the High Court and Court of Appeal. He has also appeared in the Fijian Court of Appeal and the Court of Appeal for the Cook Islands.

In 2011 Graeme appeared at Lausanne, Switzerland at the Court of Arbitration for Sport. 2013 he was appointed as 1 of 3 arbitrators for a large ICC international roading arbitration to be heard in London in November 2014 and January 2015. The contract is based on Fidic conditions.

Graeme specialises in property and construction law. He has more than 30 years’ experience of acting for principals, consultants, contractors, and subcontractors. He provides advice on a wide range of construction issues, including structuring and contract documentation, joint venture agreements, alliancing, partnering, guaranteed maximum price contracts, and code compliance. He also assists clients to resolve construction disputes by means of negotiated settlements, mediation, arbitration, adjudication, and litigation.

He has been involved in assisting in many construction projects in the Pacific region including PNG, Fiji, Western and American Samoa, Cook Islands, Tuvalu, Noumea. These projects have included roading and airport runways.

In addition, Graeme has considerable experience with the Health and Safety in Employment Act. He has successfully defended a number of prosecutions involving fatalities, and appeared in coroners’ hearings.

Examples of work:
Assisting major institutional clients on the consequences of the Mainzeal receivership
Christchurch Rebuild, including Grand Chancellor Hotel demolition, EQC housing refurbishment
Rolls-Royce New Zealand – litigation concerning the Kinleith cogeneration project (New Zealand’s largest construction case to date) – Fidic conditions of contract
International consortium – refurbishment of Auckland’s waste-water treatment system (one of the largest civil engineering projects of its kind in the world)
Assisting Principals on ultra-fast broadband roll-out contracts and issues arising
Canam Construction – landmark Court of Appeal case on adjudication and the Construction Contracts Act
Contractors, cladding suppliers, and timber suppliers – major “leaky building” claims including Spencer on Byron, C-Vu Apartments, Chancery, Fox Street Apartments, and Queenstown’s Greenstone Apartments
Major infrastructure projects, including Moa Point, Kupe Gas oilfield, and Pohakura as well as Waikato River Bridge
Major construction projects, including Auckland Hospital A+ $350 million upgrade, University of Auckland Business School, Auckland Museum Stage II, Civic Theatre upgrade, Auckland University of Technology building programme, and Auckland Art Gallery
Westfield – successful defence of a substantial claim arising from a leasing dispute
OceanaGold – decline contracts for the Frasers underground gold mine
Ministry of Justice – large claim against contractor and architect concerning roof of Manukau court complex
Major stadium projects, including Eden Park New North Stand, Westpac Stadium, Hamilton Stadium, and Jade Stadium
Joint venture undertaking Kiwi Dairy upgrade – successful arbitration
Aotearoa Kiwifruit Export – recovery of damages from the Zespri Group (a statutory single-desk kiwifruit marketer) for obstructing kiwifruit exports
Dispute relating to completion and taking over of the Te Rapa cogeneration plant
Other CredentialsSolicitor, England and Wales
New Zealand Society of Construction Law – Founding council member and presenter
Arbitrators and Mediators Institute of New Zealand – Member and commentator at seminars
University of Auckland – former lecturer in School of Architecture and Planning, guest lecturer in Faculty of Engineering.