Emmeline Rushbrook


Litigation, Regulatory and Public Law

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Emmeline is a sought-after expert specialising in commercial litigation, contentious and non-contentious financial services matters, and public/administrative law. She has extensive experience leading and advising on regulatory investigations, internal investigations and public inquiries.
In addition to litigation, enforcement and investigation work, Emmeline regularly assists banking and insurance clients with:

  • law reform activities;

  • risk management and compliance programme design;

  • addressing deficiencies in compliance programmes, including root cause analysis and remediation; and

  • thought leadership, including regarding governance best practice, organisational culture and international trends in financial services regulation and enforcement.

Emmeline is also increasingly involved in climate related matters. During 2023, in her personal capacity, she was appointed by the Ministry for the Environment as a member of the expert working group on Managed Retreat.
Emmeline brings a global perspective to her practice, having spent nine years working at Clifford Chance in London. She is also skilled at assisting on uniquely New Zealand matters, including those involving te reo, tikanga and Māori governance structures.
Emmeline consistently wins the trust of clients, and their senior managers and boards, through her efficient, sensible, strategic and collaborative approach. While in the UK, she was recognised in legal directories for her work in Public and Administrative law: 'One of the most proficient assistant solicitors', Emmeline Rushbrook is 'remorselessly hardworking and imperturbable' and 'extremely charming and patient' (UK Legal 500). 

Emmeline is a co-author of the New Zealand chapter in The Practitioner's Guide to Global Investigations 2020, The Laws of New Zealand Chapter on Consumer Credit, Financial Markets (Conduct of Financial Institutions) Amendment Bill Update and Insurance Litigation 2022: A Chambers Global Practice Guide. She is a member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors.

She was recognised in the 2024 Best Lawyers® New Zealand Guide for Regulatory Practice.


Emmeline has acted in many high profile international as well as domestic matters. Much of her regulatory, enforcement and public law advisory work is sensitive but has included:

  • Assisting clients with Commerce Commission, Financial Markets Authority and Reserve Bank information requests, reviews and investigations, including assisting negotiating and drafting settlement agreements and enforceable undertakings. 

  • Acting for financial services institutions in litigation relating to breaches of:

    • ​​the Credit Contracts Consumer Finance Act 2003 (CCCFA);

    • the fair dealing provisions or the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013; and

    • the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism Act 2009.

  • Acting for range of clients on non-financial services regulatory and internal investigations (and associated court proceedings where these have eventuated), including relating to:

    • potential privacy breaches;

    • compliance with trade sanctions propagated under the United Nations Act;

    • potential breaches of the Secret Commissions Act 1910; and

    • WorkSafe and Transport Accident Investigation Commission investigations.

  • Conducting and devising appropriate and robust internal investigations and addressing procedural issues such as legal privilege and issues arising under the Protected Disclosures Act 2000 and Health & Safety in Work Act 2015. In the financial services sector, these matters have included both conduct and prudential issues.

  • Drafting and providing input on law reform submissions and processes. For example, in relation to (i) the Financial Services Legislation Amendment Act 2019, (ii) amendments to the CCCFA; (ii) Phase 1 and 2 of the Reserve Bank review; and (iii) the proposed Conduct of Financial Institutions regime and the Australian Bank Executives Accountability Regime.

  • Advising a number of New Zealand public bodies on their statutory obligations.

  • Acting on a number of high profile post-GFC regulatory and internal investigations in the UK into alleged disclosure, conduct and cultural failings, including investigations relating to alleged bribery and corruption, breaches of the UK Listing Rules, rate-setting misconduct and breaches of the Companies Act.

  • Acting for a range of UK financial institutions in relation to mis-selling claims concerning various investment, credit and insurance products, including providing legal support through conducting internal investigations, responding to regulatory requests and successfully defending customer claims through the courts.

  • Acting on a team commissioned to produce a series of skilled persons reports for the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) into alleged breaches of the FCA principle to deal with regulators in an open and transparent way.

Her disputes and commercial and public law litigation work has included:
  • Acting for a range of leading New Zealand entities involved in contractual disputes, including matters involving an international trade aspect and/or insurance cover;

  • Acting for a financial services institution in relation to a challenge to its decision to exit a client on ESG grounds;

  • Appearing for the Whakarewarewa Joint Trust to successfully oppose an urgent interim injunction application in the High Court: [2017] NZHC 1759.

  • Acting for Credit Suisse AG to protest the jurisdiction of the New Zealand courts in relation to a claim brought against it: [2018] NZHC 1755.

  • Acting for the Ministry of Defence (UK) to protest the jurisdiction of the New Zealand courts in relation to a claim brought against it: [2017] 3 NZLR 115 and [2018] NZCA 307.

  • Acting for the trustees of the Claymark and Vaughan Road Property Trusts in appeals before the New Zealand Supreme Court – Clayton v Clayton [2016] NZSC 29 and [2016] NZSC 30.

  • Acting as solicitor to the Judicial Inquiries concerning Madam Justice Levers (Cayman Islands) and Chief Justice Schofield (Gibraltar) and associated Privy Council proceedings ([2010] UKPC 24 and [2009] UKPC 43).


LLB (Hons First Class), Victoria University of Wellington.


Emmeline was admitted to practise in New Zealand in 2002 and admitted to practise in England and Wales in 2007.

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