High Court Justice Sally Fitzgerald

Justice Fitzgerald, Sally 

Professional Data:

2014 Judge Survey Score (not listed)Justice Sally Fitzgerald

Postion & Titles:  Associate, Arbitrators’ and Mediators’ Institute of New Zealand Inc (AMINZ)
Vice President, AMINZ Appeals Tribunal
Member, New Zealand Law Society Disciplinary Tribunal
Judge of: High Court, since 2016 Auckland
Specializations and Professional Interests: Consumer and Marketing Law, Dairy Industry, Energy, Information Communications and Technology, International Trade and Investment, Investigations, Media and Entertainment, Tax Disputes, Telecommunications

“Recent Experiences” listed on Fitzgerald’s CV prior to her judicial appointment include:

  • Heart of the City Inc, in High Court proceedings in relation to high profile claims against its former CEO Alex Swney (and in respect of related IRD and SFO proceedings/investigations).
  • Acting for Telecom New Zealand, now Spark, in Chorus’ proceedings in the High Court and Court of Appeal in relation to the Commerce Commission’s setting of broadband pricing.
  • A trading bank, utilities entity and international retailer in (separate) major tax disputes (currently before the High Court and Court of Appeal).
  • ANZ Bank in a significant High Court claim brought against it (and BNZ/Westpac) arising out of a historic aircraft financing transaction.
  • Perpetual Trust Limited (PTL) in judicial review proceedings against the Financial Markets Authority, and related proceedings against PTL by its statutory supervisor (at High Court and Court of Appeal level).
  • Cavalier Bremworth in proceedings brought against it by Godfrey Hirst (in the High Court and Court of Appeal) under the Fair Trading Act 1986.
  • ANZ Bank on all aspects of a Commerce Commission investigation in relation to the ING DYF and RIF Funds, and related investor claims.
  • Spark on various advertising matters, proceedings against other telecommunication service providers, and related Commerce Commission matters.
  • Spark on all aspects of the Commerce Commission’s investigation into the Telecom product “UBA with SLES”.
  • Westfield (now Scentre Group) in a significant Land Valuation Tribunal matter, which gave rise to a number of novel and complex Rating Act issues.
  • Vector on a range of matters, including proceedings concerning line and pole ownership, and High Court proceedings arising out of gas pipe construction.
  • Fonterra in High Court proceedings concerning the interpretation of milk forecasting provisions.
  • A range of leading New Zealand entities in (confidential) arbitration proceedings.
  • In a health and safety prosecution in relation to the collapse of the Heathrow Express tunnel during its construction.
  • On a major statutory arbitration in the New Zealand dairy industry.
Professional Comments:  Author, ‘Arbitration’ chapters of Sims High Court Practice.
Background / Education: Fitzgerald graduated with an LLB (Senior Scholar) from Victoria University of Wellington in 1992.

In 1992 Justice Fitzgerald joined the Wellington office of Russell McVeagh as a solicitor before taking up a position in 1994 at Clifford Chance, London practising in the area of international dispute resolution.

She became a senior solicitor at Debevoise and Plimpton, London in 1998 before returning to Russell McVeagh in 2001. In 2003 Justice Fitzgerald joined the Australian law firm Mallesons Stephen Jaques. She returned to New Zealand at the end of 2006 and joined the partnership of Russell McVeagh where she is currently a member of the Board of Management.

Justice Fitzgerald has specialised in commercial dispute resolution, including regulatory investigations and proceedings, tax litigation, and arbitration law and practice.

Sally Fitzgerald was named the New Zealand Litigation Lawyer of the Year at the 2015 ILO Client Choice Awards and Australasian Women in Business Law Dispute Resolution Lawyer of the Year in 2013.

Degrees:  LLB, Victoria University of Wellington, 1992
Admitted to the Bar:  1992
Company Involvements: Matakana Olive Oil Co-Operative Limited (1866613) – Shareholder

Personal Data

Born: Sex: Female
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