Alastair Espie


Top expertise

Alastair is a specialist employment lawyer who excels in delivering solution-focused advice that gets results.

He works closely with employees and employers, including a number of New Zealand’s most significant private and public sector entities, and Alastair’s expertise covers all manner of workplace issues including:

  • Collective bargaining, strikes and lockouts
  • Independent investigations
  • Personal grievance and other employment claims
  • Restructuring, business closures and redundancy
  • Restraints of trade
  • Disciplinary and dismissal processes
  • Performance management
  • Medical incapacity
  • Holidays and leave
  • Employment agreements and policies
  • Independent contractor arrangements
  • Cross-border disputes
  • Privacy and human rights
  • Health and Safety
See more

Alastair regularly represents clients at mediation and in the Courts and is also engaged to undertake independent investigations into workplace complaints, and to act as the employer advocate in collective bargaining with major unions.

Recent highlights

  • Assisting a major international port logistics company to negotiate an industry shaping Collective Agreement for port workers.
  • Undertaking an independent investigation for an NZX listed company into a complaint of sexual harassment made against a senior manager.
  • Advising and assisting employers to prepare for the introduction of the new Fair Pay Agreement regime.
  • Successfully representing a nationwide company in an urgent application for interim injunctions restraining a senior employee from engaging in breaches of restraint of trade provisions.
  • Successfully defending a well-known charitable organisation against a claim of constructive dismissal claim raised by an employee following an investigation into workplace theft.
  • Successfully representing a senior executive in respect of a workplace investigation into alleged serious misconduct.
  • Advising a multi-national employer on remediating its payroll system to ensure future compliance with the Holidays Act 2003.

Alastair's insights

Matariki this week – reminder for employers on payment for public holidays under the Holidays Act 2003

12 July 2023

Fair Pay Agreements Act 2022 - the biggest change to employment law in 20 years

2 November 2022

Employment newsletter

9 April 2024

We're driven by our values

They drive our client relationships and connections with our community, and underpin our achievements.

He tāngata

  • Undertakes pro-bono work to support charities and local communities
  • Member of the organising committee for 10 x 10 Auckland 2023


  • Listed as an ‘Associate to Watch’ by Chambers and Partners 2023
  • Recognised as a recommended lawyer by the Legal 500 2023 employment law
  • Listed by NZ Lawyer in 2021 as a “Rising Star”


  • Member of the editorial board of the Lexis Nexis Employment Law Bulletin
  • Regularly presents at seminars and provides in-house training
  • Presents at conferences and seminars organised by HRNZ and Legalwise
  • Provides regular commentary to the media



“Alastair is always accessible, frank and always has 2 minutes to hear me out and is always very responsive.” General Manager HR, Travel Industry

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