Fletcher Pilditch

Biography

Fletcher has over 22 years’ experience as an advocate in regulatory/criminal and public law litigation. He has extensive court experience at every level having conducted many jury and judge alone trials, appeals, tribunal and inquiry proceedings.

His expertise spans a wide range of contentious enforcement cases including: fraud; financial market; fair trading; and other serious financial crime; aviation; workplace health and safety; resource management; maritime; fisheries; and animal welfare; as well as regularly conducting serious general criminal law cases.

He represents and provides advice to clients who are subject to investigation by diverse Government agencies including the Serious Fraud Office, the Commerce Commission, the Financial Markets Authority, and Worksafe. He also accepts instructions to act in civil proceedings, particularly statutory actions, judicial review proceedings, professional disciplinary proceedings, and coronial inquests.

Fletcher qualified as a Barrister and Solicitor in New Zealand in 1995. He was admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of the Pitcairn Islands in 2003. He is presently a Senior Magistrate of the Pitcairn Islands.

He commenced his career in London with Ashurst Morris Crisp. When he returned to New Zealand he worked as a Crown Prosecutor with Davys Burton, in Rotorua, and then Meredith Connell, Auckland, where he became an associate and senior prosecutor.

He was appointed Crown Solicitor for Rotorua in 2006. From that time to the end of 2013, he was responsible for the conduct of all Crown prosecutions in the Western Bay of Plenty. He joined the independent bar in 2014.

He was appointed Queens Counsel in 2021.

Recent Experience

NEW ZEALAND FIRST v DIRECTOR OF SERIOUS FRAUD OFFICE [2020] NZHC 2502. Acted for the applicant seeking to injunct the Director of the Serious Fraud Office from making public statements about Director’s electoral fraud criminal investigation in weeks prior to the 2020 general election.

J v R [2019] NZCA 384. Acted for the appellant in successfully overturning convictions on charges of serious sexual assaults due to failures of trial counsel to adequately advise and represent the appellant.

REPUBLIC OF KAZAKHSTAN v MEGA LIMITED [2016] NZHC 963. Acted for the respondent opposing the application by the Republic to compel disclosure of user details of cloud storage company to support US based litigation against alleged hackers of Republic’s Government servers. The application was opposed on public interest and human rights grounds.

LINDSAY v DIRECTOR OF CIVIL AVIATION CIV 2018-085-000453, District Court, Wellington. Acted for the appellant, a commercial airline pilot, appealing the decision of the Director to impose conditions on the appellant’s medical certificate on the grounds the appellant’s personality traits posed a threat to aviation safety.

FINANCIAL MARKETS AUTHORITY v TALBOT [2019] NZHC 773. Acted for the defendant in criminal proceedings brought under the Securities Market Act 1988.

SERIOUS FRAUD OFFICE v LI [2015] NZDC 25308. Acted for the defendant charged with corruption.

JONES v MAIHI CIV 2018-485-000391, Wellington High Court February 2020. Acted for the plaintiff, Sir Robert Jones, in this defamation action.

NGAI TAI KI TAMAKI TRUST v DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION & ORS [2018] SC 41. Acted for the second respondent in judicial review proceedings and all appeals, in defence of the Department’s decision to grant tourist concessions on Rangitoto Island.

Recent Seminars / Papers

Expert Evidence in Health and Safety Cases: Auckland District Law Society October 2020
Health and Safety Update: Auckland District Law Society November 2019
Courtroom Advocacy – The Essential Skills: Managing the Expected and Unexpected: Auckland District Law Society 2017
Rural Law Series: Managing Health and Safety Investigation Post-Incident: Auckland District Law Society August 2016
Introduction to the Health and Safety at Work Act 2016: Auckland District Law Society 2016
Proceedings before the Coroners’ Courts: New Zealand Law Society 2015

Appointments / Committees

Convenor of the Auckland District Law Society Health and Safety at Work Committee 2016 – 2020
Guest Lecturer AUT Faculty of Law 2016 – Present
Faculty Member of the New Zealand Law Society Litigation Skills Programme 2009 – Present
Chair of the Psychoactive Substances Appeal Committee 2015
Manukau Crown Prosecution Panel member