Brian Nathan


I am a civil litigation specialist and lead the Nelson litigation and dispute resolution team. I work with a wide range of local Nelson clients, including private clients, small and medium sized enterprises and large companies working in the region’s main industries.

I advise on a broad range of disputes encompassing trusts and estates, property and construction, directors and/or shareholders, and relationship property. I am frequently involved at the contract negotiation phase to advise on risks, and at the termination stage to advise on risk management.

I have extensive employment law experience, with a particular focus on health and safety matters. I act for employers in mediation, before the Employment Relations Authority and the Employment Court. I regularly present to boards on health and safety obligations and advise employers and their staff throughout the investigation process following a workplace accident. I have also frequently appeared in coroners inquests.

My recent health and safety and employment law experience includes:

  • Guiding an employer through the investigation by the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment following a workplace fatality, with no prosecution.
  • Conducting a health and safety audit of the contracting process, and providing advice for the directors regarding processes to ensure compliance with new due diligence obligations in an electricity company.
  • Defending a health and safety prosecution for a fatality.
  • Assisting with a restructure at a port company.

Other recent court and dispute work includes:

  • High Court trial of a Companies Act minority shareholder oppression claim.
  • Earthquake related construction disputes.
  • Coroner’s inquests relating to deaths in the fishing and aviation sectors.
  • Family Protection Act claim in the Family court.
  • Mediation relating to shareholders dispute.

I am a member of Duncan Cotterill's board. I am also an Associate of the Arbitrators and Mediators Institute of New Zealand and a faculty member of the New Zealand Law Society Litigation Skills programme. I am an active supporter of local community projects in Nelson including the Suter Art Gallery.