Nathaniel Walker



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Nathaniel's practice spans all aspects of commercial litigation and dispute resolution, with a particular focus on trusts and equitable claims, financial services regulation and insurance law, company and securities law, and disputes with a cross-border dimension. He has significant experience in regulatory investigations, and regularly provides compliance, law reform and other pre-litigation advice. 

Nathaniel rejoined Russell McVeagh in 2017, having spent more than two years in New York practising at one of Wall Street's most prestigious firms, Cravath, Swaine and Moore LLP, as well as completing his Master of Laws at Columbia. 

At Cravath, Nathaniel focused on complex securities claims, acting for a global financial institution. His career, however, displays the characteristic breadth of an experienced and versatile New Zealand litigator. In that regard, he has acted for both public and private sector clients in a range of statutory, regulatory and contractual disputes, including human rights litigation. Nathaniel also has notable expertise in private international law.


Nathaniel draws on his international and local experience to provide pragmatic, adaptable solutions that respond to his clients' business needs. His recent experience includes:

  • Acting for Credit Suisse in an international trust dispute to protest the jurisdiction of the New Zealand courts (Ivanishvili v Credit Suisse [2018] NZHC 1755).
  • Acting for a private individual in successful litigation to overturn a decision by the Registrar of Companies to prohibit him from acting as a director (Brand v Registrar of Companies [2018] NZHC 3148).
  • Acting for a corporate trustee in various proceedings (both ongoing and resolved), including actions by beneficiaries and former trustees for breach of fiduciary duties and prudent investment duties. Particular experience in applications involving protectors (and other non-trustee office holders) and challenges to the exercise of powers.
  • Acting for beneficiaries and protectors of foreign and domestic trusts to remove trustees and on claims against trustees.
  • Acting for the late Jean and Allan Hubbard (and the executors of their respective estates) in relation to issues arising from the imposition of statutory management and related litigation concerning the alleged sales of various ownership interests. 
  • Advising a corporate client regarding disclosure of information by a third party, including grounds to resist/prevent such disclosure (breach of confidence and other fiduciary obligations).
  • Acting for Kiwibank on class action litigation brought against it by Fair Play on Fees. 
  • Acting for Kiwibank in the interlocutory phases of E-Trans International Finance v Kiwibank Ltd, an AML, breach of contract and competition law case.
  • Acting for institutional clients in investigations by New Zealand and New York regulators on a range of matters, including anti-money laundering compliance, disclosure and conduct issues.
  • Acting for a global bank on a series of proceedings brought by public and private sector actors concerning alleged misrepresentations in the sale of securities.
  • Acting for Lecretia Seales in her application testing the legality of aid in dying services.



LLB (Hons, First Class), BA, University of Otago.

LLM (James Kent Scholar), Columbia University.


Nathaniel was admitted to practise in New Zealand in 2011 and New York in 2017. He is an affiliate member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners. Nathaniel is author of the 2019 New Zealand chapter of Enforcement of Money Judgements and co-author of the New Zealand chapter of The Securities Litigation Review (Editions 4, 5 and 6).

Recent journal publications include "New Zealand developments in equitable tracing and subrogation: overuse and underuse" in (2018) 24 Trusts & Trustees 879 and "Without prejudice privilege when seeking the court's blessing" in (2019) 25 Trusts & Trustees 539.

In 2020 he was named a Rising Star by NZ Lawyer magazine.

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