LLB (Hons, First Class), University of Otago; BCL (Distinction), University of Oxford
2006, New Zealand; 2015, England & Wales
Nicola is a partner in our Litigation & Dispute Resolution team and leads the firm's international law practice. She has particular expertise in international arbitration, commercial dispute resolution, public international law, public law and judicial review, business and human rights and climate risk.
Recognised for building excellent rapport with clients, and for developing effective case and advocacy strategy, Nicola has broad experience before international arbitral tribunals and in domestic courts. Nicola regularly advises on disputes with an international element and those which incorporate both public and commercial law. Nicola is an arbitration specialist, with an active civil litigation practice, advising clients on corporate and commercial disputes including in the energy and financial services sectors. Nicola also leads Chapman Tripp’s sanctions and international trade practices.
Nicola is a member of our Consulting advisory team and is recognised for her expertise in climate change risk management and disclosure. Partnering with boards, CEOs and executive teams, she helps manage non-financial risks − particularly ESG and climate risks.
Nicola regularly speaks on climate risk management and disclosure, and ESG management in business. She has co-authored two major legal opinions for the Aotearoa Circle on director, fund manager, and trustee responsibility to manage climate risk, as well as our Directors' Tool Kit on climate risk management.
Nicola was recognised as a rising star by Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2022, an up and coming lawyer by Chambers Asia Pacific 2022, and a future leader by Who’s Who Legal: Arbitration 2022. She was also named as one of New Zealand’s most influential lawyers by NZ Lawyer in 2021 and made The Legal 500 Arbitration Powerlist for the Australasia region in 2022.
- Acting for Fonterra and Z Energy on climate change related tort claims filed against multiple New Zealand defendants.
- Acting for L&M Coal Holdings Limited in one of the most significant recent contractual disputes before the New Zealand Supreme Court.
- Acting on the first recognition proceedings of an international investment (ICSID) award before the New Zealand courts.
- Acting on a major international arbitration for an Asia-based entity involving satellite litigation in Singapore and Australia.
- Advising New Zealand banks, fund managers, listed entities and government entities on climate change financial risk and disclosure.
- Acting for multiple clients on modern slavery and broader ESG and human rights risk and reporting.
- Acted for a publicly-listed mining company and its subsidiaries in a multi-billion dollar arbitration against an African government seated in London under the UNCITRAL Rules (UK).
- Acted for British Caribbean Bank in successfully defending anti-arbitration injunction proceedings brought by the Government of Belize to avoid arbitration under a bilateral investment treaty in the courts of Belize and the Caribbean Court of Justice (UK).
- Acted for various international clients on foreign-seated commercial arbitrations in M&A under the ICC, LCIA and UNCITRAL rules of arbitration.
- Advised an international NGO on a global litigation strategy regarding claims before UN human rights treaty monitoring bodies across multiple Latin American states.
- Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (FCIARB).
- Fellow of the Arbitrators’ and Mediators’ Institute of New Zealand (FAMINZ).
- Member of the International Bar Associations Arbitration Committee on Environmental, Social and Governance Issues.
- Member of the International Chamber of Commerce’s Working Group on Business and Human Rights.
- Active contributor to the Aotearoa Circle’s workstream on development of fiduciary duty and ESG.
- Advisor to Legal Response International (providing pro bono support to developing country state parties to the UNFCCC and Paris Agreement).
- (Immediate past) Member of the International Chamber of Commerce Commission on Arbitration Task Force on Climate Change Related Disputes.
- Founding board member of the Young Public International Law Group (London).