Chris Curran



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Chris is a litigation specialist whose practice involves both commercial and public law litigation. He has a particular interest in class actions, information technology project disputes, complex commercial disputes and judicial review. He has appeared as counsel at every level of the New Zealand court system.

Chris tailors solutions to meet his clients' needs. He provides balanced and strategic advice when it is sought, and committed advocacy when it is needed.

Since bringing his litigation experience and legal knowledge to Russell McVeagh, Chris has acted for corporate and public sector clients on a range of contract, information technology, intellectual property, securities and administrative law disputes. He has acted both for and against government clients. He presently acts for two Credit Suisse entities in a significant securities class action involving claims valued in the order of $200 million.

Chris is a former New Zealand Rhodes Scholar and is recognised by Benchmark Litigation 2022 as a 'Litigation Star', by Legal 500 in Dispute Resolution and Data Protection, and by Best Lawyers® 2024 New Zealand edition for Litigation and Government Practice. He has previously been named in NZ Lawyer's ‘Hot List' and nominated as an Acritas StarTM Lawyer.


Working in the Crown Law Office and in private practice, Chris has gained extensive litigation experience.

His recent work includes:

  • Acting at trial and on appeal for Credit Suisse in a complex and high value class action brought by purchasers of shares in an IPO.
  • Acting for the NZ Airports Association as intervener in an administrative law appeal in the Supreme Court.
  • Acting for Spark on a successful urgent interim orders application in relation to the Commerce Commission clearance process for a proposed $3.4 billion Sky TV/Vodafone New Zealand merger.
  • Acting for IBM in a multi-party IT contract / intellectual property dispute.
  • Acting for a public sector client on a complex, high value IT project dispute.
  • Acting for a NZ transport client in a high value pricing arbitration.
  • Acting for a State Owned Enterprise on a major contractual dispute.
  • Acting for a Crown entity on a complex appeal involving significant statutory entitlements for a large class of potential claimants.
  • Advising corporate and pan-industry clients on threatened class actions.
  • Acting for a multinational client in a transnational anti-corruption investigation.
  • Advising a multinational client on a significant IT project dispute.
  • Acting for a public sector client in significant and complex privacy and discrimination law proceedings.
  • Advising a major local ICT services provider on IT project contract and remediation issues.
  • Advising a range of corporates and directors on disclosure liability concerns under financial markets legislation.
  • Acting for Lecretia Seales in her high profile human rights challenge on the legality of aid in dying services.
  • Acting for a multinational client against the Comptroller of Customs in an excise duties dispute.
  • Acting for an iwi entity in judicial review proceedings challenging a government decision affecting property law rights.
  • Advising multinationals and local corporates on the availability of public law and human rights challenges to government policy, and the protection of corporate policies / actions from such challenges.
  • Acting for high profile individuals in judicial review proceedings challenging their placement into statutory management.


LLB (Hons), BA, University of Otago.
MPhil (with Distinction), BCL (with Distinction), University of Oxford.


Before joining Russell McVeagh, Chris spent six years at New Zealand's Crown Law Office, advising and representing public sector clients as Crown Counsel. He acted in a number of high profile appeals involving judicial immunity, freedom of expression, discrimination and other human rights issues. Before that, Chris was an appellate judge's clerk and completed postgraduate legal studies at the University of Oxford.

Chris was co-author of the New Zealand chapters of The Securities Litigation Review (Editions 4, 5 and 6), and The International Comparative Legal Guide to Class and Group Actions 2015-2020, as well as Liability of Public Authorities, New Zealand Law Society, 2009.

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