Jonathan Forsey

Special Counsel

I am a Special Counsel in the Christchurch litigation and dispute resolution team. I have considerable experience across a broad range of civil litigation and alternative dispute resolution forums, including the Courts at all levels, specialist tribunals, arbitration and mediation.

I specialise in defamation and media law issues, as well as privacy, official information, cyber liability, and technology related aspects of the law. My work encompasses advice on advertising and broadcasting standards, fair trading and consumer legislation, and other aspects of statutory compliance. I also deal with contractual disputes, insolvency, director’s duties and administrative law.

In recent years, I have developed a practice dealing with many of the legal issues thrown up by the Canterbury rebuild, many of which are ongoing. I have advised clients on construction contracts issues, contracting, delay, variations, retentions and compliance issues, insurance and regulatory matters, as well as contract and negligence issues.

My experience includes acting:

  • For tertiary and professional bodies on disciplinary and appeals processes and administrative law issues.
  • For local and international publishers and authors in respect of defamation issues and online publication.
  • For project managers administering aspects of the post-earthquake home repairs in Canterbury.
  • For the New Zealand Mines Rescue Service in respect of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Pike River mining disaster. 
  • For the Ngāi Tahu Ancillary Claims Trust in resolving ancillary claims pursuant to claims settlement legislation.
  • On defamation cases as well as advice in respect of privacy, confidentiality and other issues associated with the use of emails and internet technology.
  • On the arrest and disposal of vessels on behalf of international and domestic creditors.
  • For creditors in respect of recovery options and directors in respect of duties, obligations and options including Voluntary Administration.

I have worked on several matters in conjunction with United States law firms providing advice on international enforceability of judgments, depositions and discovery for US based clients. My experience includes:

  • Obtaining and implementing orders in New Zealand Courts as part of a co-ordinated simultaneous campaign across multiple jurisdictions including the UK, Ukraine, Cyprus, Cayman Islands and several EU states. The orders related to third party (bank) and pre-commencement discovery, search orders to allow properties and vehicles to be searched for evidence and freezing order to hold funds in identified accounts.
  • Advising a New Zealand University on jurisdiction and conflict of laws issues relating to debt recovery in Papua New Guinea.
  • Working as a team with specialist investigators to conduct asset tracing and identification exercises.
  • Obtaining and implementing search (Anton Piller) and freezing (Mareva) orders and acting as independent solicitor.

I have published articles and made appearances in media in respect of Debt Recovery, Internet, Media Law and related issues in New Zealand and overseas.

I am admitted as a solicitor in England and Wales and spent several years as a commercial litigator with one of the top five City firms in London. I have also worked in Auckland as a Judge's Clerk and as a media law and general commercial litigator for a large Wellington firm.

Jonathan has been a board member and secretary of the Society of Construction Law New Zealand since 2018.