Brian Nathan


Brian has significant expertise in commercial litigation and dispute resolution and a particular interest in health and safety, medico-legal, and maritime issues. Leading the Nelson office litigation and dispute resolution team, he works with a wide range of local clients, including private clients, small and medium sized enterprises and large corporates and Crown Entities working in the region’s main industries.

Brian advises on a broad range of commercial disputes encompassing, property and construction, IT, directors and/or shareholders and trusts and estates.  He has been involved in cross border litigation relating to both maritime issues and intellectual property disputes.

See more

Brian is frequently requested to be involved at the due diligence and contract negotiation phase to advise on risks, and at the termination stage to advise on risk management.

Brian has appeared in all of the courts in New Zealand, in addition to frequent appearances in the Employment Relations Authority, and Coroner inquests.

Brian has managed a large employment law practice, acting for the largest employers in the Nelson/Marlborough region including acting for Crown Entities.

He has been appointed as a mediator for employment matters as well as disputes between directors and has also been appointed as an independent investigator.

Recent highlights

  • Senior Counsel for two Crown entities in historic land claim litigation.
  • Defence of a health and safety prosecution for a fatality.
  • Senior Counsel for three publicly owned property companies in breach of directors duty, unjust enrichment and fiduciary duty litigation.
  • High Court trial of a Companies Act minority shareholder oppression claim.
  • Inquests relating to deaths in both the fishing and aviation sectors.
  • Senior Counsel in the New Zealand Supreme Court case for a pro-bono client establishing an ecological sanctuary.

Brian's insights

Limitation of liability clauses upheld by the High Court

18 April 2024

Employment newsletter

9 April 2024

Optimising the performance of your school board - practical tips and strategies from the trenches

11 March 2024

We're driven by our values

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

He tāngata

  • Member of the Duncan Cotterill Board since 2016
  • Supporter of the Nelson Women’s Refuge
  • Supporter of Brooke Waimarama Sanctuary
  • Founding member of Nelson Sea Sports Alliance


  • Associate of the Arbitrators and Mediators Institute of New Zealand
  • Faculty Member of NZ Law Society Litigation Skills programme

How can we help?

Get in touch.

* indicates required fields

Your personal information will only be used to service your enquiry. We will only contact you with relevant information. For further information view our full Privacy Policy.
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.