• Board of Inquiry and Council hearings
    • Environment Court hearing and appeals to High Court
    • Environment Court mediation appearances
    • Judicial Review in relation to RMA and other matters
    • Independent RMA Commissioner (chairperson accreditation)
    • Private mediator
    • Water allocation, water and air quality management and consents
    • Water supply and irrigation projects
    • Coastal issues including aquaculture
    • Municipal and industry wastewater projects
    • Roading projects and road stopping
    • Other infrastructure projects
    • Energy and mining
    • Forestry
    • RMA consenting strategy
    • Consents and Notice of Requirement project management
    • RMA enforcement and defence
    • Residential and commercial development
    • Urban growth issues
    • RMA Maori issues
    • All aspects of RMA and environmental law in New Zealand
    • RMA policy advice and project management
    • Environmental Risk Management
    • Inquests, transport accident and other inquires

    Philip brings a pragmatic and constructive approach to Resource Management Law and environmental issues. His science degree and experience with a wide range of projects provides him with an ability to understand technical as well as legal issues. This allows him to work well with supporting experts and to effectively question witnesses. These skills readily translate to Commissioner roles where often there are opposing expert views which need to be addressed.

    Phil has a reputation for working closely with his clients and their advisors to develop effective strategies to achieve objectives. His experience as lead counsel for large and complex infrastructure projects along with Independent Chair roles, have enabled Philip to develop good project management skills. While attention to detail is important, Phil is also able to step back and see the big picture and to break complex problems into their component parts. It is this strategic, pragmatic and non legalistic approach which clients value.

    Philip seeks where possible to facilitate the resolution of disputes without the need for Court hearings. He brings to the table, good negotiation skills and ability to understand and resolve complex technical issues. Over recent years, the vast majority of appeals which he has acted on, have been resolved by negotiation or mediation. Phil and the Hutt City Council team also obtained the consents for the Hutt Valley Waste Water Project without the need for a first instance hearing. 

    Where a Court hearing is required, Philip will work with the client and other parties to narrow the issues so as to contain cost. A key to litigation is knowing the strengths and weaknesses of the case and having a clear strategy. The other critical factors are preparation and teamwork. Phil is used to working with, and where requested, leading the teams involved in Council hearings, mediations or Court hearings. Philip's experience as an independent Chair, is also of assistance in deciding upon appropriate strategies for hearing where he is an advocate. 

    Key skills and attributes

    • 22 years of experience with a wide variety of clients and issues
    • A sound understanding of the law blended with pragmatism
    • An ability to isolate key issues and provide clear, practical advice.
    • A strategic approach....seeing the big picture, identifying options and risks
    • A Geography degree and research experience for a local authority
    • Bridging the gap between law and experts
    • An ability to understand complex technical issues
    • Thorough preparation and dedication
    • Working collaboratively with other lawyers and disciplines
    • Understanding the dynamics and "politics" of hearings
    • Providing leadership in decision making and decision drafting
    • A facilitative approach which encourages compromise and lateral solutions
    • A non adversarial approach unless required
    • A high degree of professionalism and independence