Jonathan Forsey

Special Counsel

Jonathan is a Special Counsel in the Christchurch litigation and dispute resolution team. He has considerable experience across a broad range of civil litigation and alternative dispute resolution forums, including the Courts at all levels, specialist tribunals, arbitration, mediation and adjudication.  Jonathan also works with clients on risk management, preparation and updating of policies and training.

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Jonathan has a wealth of experience dealing with contractual disputes, insolvency, director’s duties and administrative law.  He deals with issues relating to construction disputes and their resolution. Jonathan advises clients on construction contracts issues, contracting, delay, variations, retentions and compliance issues, insurance and regulatory matters, as well as contract and negligence issues.  He has a particular interest in how the sector responds to challenges arising from natural disasters, supply chain issues and disruption in the construction process.

He also specialises in defamation and media law issues, as well as privacy, official information, cyber liability, and technology related aspects of the law. His work encompasses advice on advertising and broadcasting standards, fair trading and consumer legislation, and other aspects of statutory compliance.

Jonathan has published articles and made appearances in panel discussions and in media in respect of Construction, Directors’ Duties, Debt Recovery, Internet, Media Law and related issues in New Zealand and overseas.

He was 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. He has 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.

Recent highlights

  • Acting in respect of construction disputes including claims for retentions, delay, extensions of time, payment claims and product liability.

  • Acting for tertiary and professional bodies on disciplinary and appeals processes and administrative law issues.

  • Advising farming clients in respect of compensation relating to MBovis.

  • Acting for local and international publishers and authors in respect of defamation issues and online publication.

  • Acting for project managers administering aspects of the post-earthquake home repairs in Canterbury.

  • Acting for the New Zealand Mines Rescue Service in respect of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Pike River mining disaster. 

  • Acting for the Ngāi Tahu Ancillary Claims Trust in resolving ancillary claims pursuant to claims settlement legislation.

  • Advising in respect of defamation cases as well as advice in respect of privacy, confidentiality and other issues associated with the use of emails and internet technology.

  • Advising clients in respect of Public Works Act compulsory acquisition.

  • Acting 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

Jonathan's insights

Changes on the way for NZS 3910

22 May 2023

Changes to the construction contract retention money scheme passed by Parliament

31 March 2023

Cyclone Gabrielle recovery: practical tips for commercial and residential construction

28 February 2023

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He tāngata

  • Board member of the Society of Construction Law New Zealand.

  • Board member of St Albans Pavilion and Pool Inc.


  • Qualified in New Zealand and in England and Wales.

  • Member of the Society of Construction Law New Zealand.

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