Mark Lawlor


I provide strategic advice to employers, senior executives and human resource managers on complex and sometimes sensitive matters with regards to workplace issues. As an experienced employment law practitioner I have extensive experience as an advocate in personal grievance claims, conducting private negotiations on behalf of clients, and appearing before the Employment Relations Authority and Employment Court. Clients describe me as "provid[ing] strong support" (Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2022).

I advise some of New Zealand’s leading organisations and iconic brands on all aspects of their employment law needs. Many of my clients are global operations that do business in New Zealand and Australia. I also work closely with a number of not-for-profit organisations on their full suite of workplace issues. I am able to contextualise our employment and health and safety requirements to ensure compliance and best practice. Through this I also have strong relationships with a number of Australian firms and work closely with them to ensure that our mutual clients receive practical and commercial advice across their trans-Tasman operations.

Throughout my practice I have developed a base of knowledge across a number of industry sectors, with specific niche areas including air transport, IT, manufacturing, FMCG, retail and fitness/recreation.

Some of my recent work includes:

  • Working with all clients on managing government guidelines around Covid-19
  • Representing Cathay Pacific in litigation involving pilot retirement and jurisdiction issues, including appearing in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court,
  • Advising a FMCG multinational company on the closure of its long-standing NZ manufacturing operations and the resulting redundancies,
  • Advising an Australasian company on a complex workplace investigation into allegations of bullying and sexual harassment against a senior executive,
  • Advising a New Zealand company in regard to allegations of serious misconduct including conflict of interest against a senior executive, 
  • Advising a New Zealand airline on collective bargaining, employment agreements, rest and meal breaks and employment disputes, and
  • Advising a New Zealand Sporting Body on athlete selection dispute and selector duties. 

I value being on-site with clients and offer in-house training to senior managers when required. I am recognised as a recommended lawyer by the Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2023 legal directory and I regularly present to clients and industry bodies on employment topics including bullying, sexual harassment and workplace investigations.

Outside of the firm I am on the board of YMCA Auckland (including Hamilton & Tauranga).