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Tim Clarke


Public Law and Regulation


Tim leads the firm’s Government Public Law & Policy practice and has over 20 years’ experience providing public law and policy advice to major national and international corporates, key government departments, state owned enterprises and crown entities.

He is also a leading advisor on regulatory law matters (including economic regulation) across a range of industry sectors including finance, transportation, health, fisheries, food, water, ports, airports and energy.

Tim’s understanding of the political context and the machinery of government gives his clients an extra dimension to legal advice, which inspires confidence. Tim brings both a breadth of knowledge and an appreciation of complex detail to deliver innovative solutions for his clients.


Tim has advised a long list of major public entities during his career, including: Auckland Airport, Vector, Ports of Auckland, Spark, Meridian Energy, Westpac New Zealand, Pfizer, Credit Agricole and the International Rugby board to name a few.

His recent work includes advising:

  • The Auckland Transition Agency on a range of legislative issues through its creation and operation.
  • Watercare Services on a range of regulatory, legislative and policy issues, including the recent reforms to local government in Auckland arising from the Royal Commission.
  • Ministerial Review into the electricity sector and the associated industry and regulatory reforms, and from the Mixed Ownership Model process.
  • Mr and Mrs Allan Hubbard on a range of issues arising from their statutory management from 2010.
  • Drafting Bills for various Members of Parliament and Political Parties.
  • Crown entities such as NZTE, the Guardians of the NZ Super Fund, Creative NZ, Land Transport NZ, Lotteries Commission, ACC, LTNZ and Tourism NZ on a range of issues including; legislative design framework and interpretation; governance and conflicts of interest; preparation of policy and cabinet papers.
  • ONTRACK/NZ Railways Corporation on a range of public law, legislative framework and SOE issues.
  • The Ministry of Fisheries on a number of policy and legal issues around the cost-recovery mechanism for the quota system and the aquaculture settlement process.
  • Land Information NZ on a range of public law and policy issues including the land tenure review process, and preparation of associated cabinet papers.
  • An off-shore private equity entity in relation to major investments in New Zealand and associated regulatory issues.
  • Auckland International Airport on a range of policy, regulatory, legislative and government relations issues.
  • GPG plc on a Government relations strategy in relation to taxation reforms to the treatment of offshore investment income.
  • Turners & Growers on a law reform initiative for the de-regulation of the kiwifruit industry.
  • AIG, IAG, ING, Combined Insurance and ACE Insurance on the Insurance (Prudential Supervision) Bill.
  • The New Zealand Banker’s Association (and various trading banks) on the policy, regulatory and legislative issues around the regulation of the financial services industry and the Anti-Money Laundering regime.
  • Exxon Mobil on a range of climate change, bio-fuels and other policy, regulatory and legislative issues; including various issues with the Crown Minerals Act and the Great South Basin.
  • Healthcare of NZ Ltd on a range of issues arising from allegations of conflict of interest at the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board including a Director-General’s Inquiry, Auditor-General’s inquiry and Serious Fraud Office investigation.
  • On the OAG Inquiry into the Hon Shane Jones.
  • Voco Limited on conflict of interest issues and on SSC inquiry led by Sir Neil Walter and associated issues.
  • The Retirement Villages Association of New Zealand on a range of strategic and regulatory issues, including a successful judicial review proceeding against the Crown on the Code of Practice.


LLB (Hons), BCom (Economics), University of Otago.
LLM (Hons), Cambridge University.


Tim is a member of the New Zealand Law Society's Continuing Professional Development Committee, and a member of the Institute of Public Administration of New Zealand, the Law and Economics Association of New Zealand, the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in New Zealand, the Institute for the Study of Competition and Regulation, Transparency International and the Energy Law Association of NZ.

Tim is recognised as New Zealand's Most Influential Lawyer for Government, Non-profits and Associations in the NZ Lawyer Most Influential Lawyers 2023 list and is a listed lawyer by Chambers and Partners 2022. He is a contributing author of leading text, Brookers’ Equity and Trusts in New Zealand, and is ranked as a leading public lawyer by Chambers Asia Pacific 2023. He was named 'Lawyer of the Year' by the Best Lawyers® 2022 New Zealand Guide in Public Law and is recognised in the 2024 Guide for Public Law and Government Practice. The ILO Client Choice Awards named Tim 'Public Lawyer of the Year' in 2013 and 2014. Tim is described by one of his clients as being "‚Äčone of the most connected lawyers in Wellington’s government and bureaucratic circles". 

Tim has served on the Russell McVeagh board. Prior to joining Russell McVeagh in 2005, he established and led the Public Law & Policy practice of another major New Zealand law firm.

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