Julian Miles


With his in-depth experience of commercial litigation, defamation, media law, intellectual property and information technology disputes, Julian is highly sought after by clients to lead complex commercial litigation.

He was a litigation partner with the firm Bell Gully from 1969 to 1990, when he went to the independent bar. The following year he took silk, later becoming President of the New Zealand Bar Association (1994 -1995) and President of the Medico-Legal Society (1987 – 1988).

He is one of the few practitioners ranked in band 1 of the Dispute Resolution Bar in New Zealand by Chambers Global, and has a wide ranging commercial and appellate practice with particular expertise in media, intellectual property law and employment law.

Recent Experience

ESR v BURDEN (2017-2020) A long running dispute still current over what amounts to primary and secondary copyright infringement. The dispute considered how the Henderson v Henderson principle applied to copyright litigation and involved several High Court judgments and two judgments in the Court of Appeal.

CRAIG v SLATER [2020] NZCA 305 Briefed in the Court of Appeal in 2020 to overturn a High Court decision culminating in a leading case redefining a number of key defamation issues.

SYNLAIT v NEW ZEALAND INDUSTRIAL PARK LTD [2019] NZSC 117 Briefed for the Supreme Court appeal in 2020 which successfully overturned the Court of Appeal decision redefining the law of land covenants.

MINISTER OF EDUCATION v CARTER HOLT HARVEY LTD (2017-2020) Briefed for the defendant in arguably the largest commercial litigation current at that time.

ZHANG v SEALEGS INTERNATIONAL [2019] NZCA 389 Appearing for the successful appellant in the Court of Appeal in 2019 in the leading judgment defining the scope of copyright protection for industrial engineering.

RESMED v FISHER & PAYKEL HEALTH LTD [2017] NZHC 2384, [2017] NZHC 2954 Appearing for ResMed on the most complex and significant patent litigation in the last two decades from 2015 until 2019 when it was settled.

NATIONAL MINI STORAGE LTD v NATIONAL STORAGE LTD [2017] NZHC 1775, [2018] NZCA 45 Appearing for the successful plaintiff in the High Court and the Court of Appeal in 2018 involving Fair Trading Act and passing off issues in the context of trade / business names.

SKY TELEVISION v TELEVISION NEW ZEALAND [2017] NZHC 2750 Briefed for the plaintiff in 2016 litigation defining fair dealing in the context of the media’s right to report on results from the Olympic Games.

CROCODILE INTERNATIONAL PTE LTD v LACOSTE [2017] NZSC 14 Briefed as counsel for Lacoste in litigation culminating in a Supreme Court judgment. Redefining the law on criteria determining confusingly similar trademarks.

ASSA ABLOY NZ LTD v ALLEGION [2016] NZHC 1738 Appearing for a defendant and counterclaim plaintiff in a three week hearing in the High Court. The trial involved infringement and patent validity issues.

Kumar Metal Industries PVT Ltd v PTR HC (2016) Obtaining ex-parte interim injunction preventing the calling up of a performance bond.

Air New Zealand Ltd v NZALPA – [2016] NZCA 131 Appearing in the Court of Appeal for Air New Zealand successfully overturning an Employment Court ruling on the proper construction of a Collective Employment Agreement.

AIR NEW ZEALAND LTD v H (2016) Appearing in the Court of Appeal for Air New Zealand on appeal from an Employment Court judgment holding that the investigation by Air New Zealand into allegations of sexual harassment was inadequate.

Escrow Holdings 41 Ltd v DISTRICT COURT AT AUCKLAND [2016] NZSC 167 Appearing in the Supreme Court to argue that the Court of Appeal had failed to properly differentiate between easements and restrictive covenants and failing to take into account extraneous documents that would assist in the interpretation of the restrictive covenant.

Jennings v Fairfax (2016) Settling a significant defamation action against Fairfax due to be heard before a jury mid-July 2016.

Chambers & Chambers [2016] NZHC 583 Application to remove executors of a will on the basis of conflict – significant discussion on obligations of executors and beneficiaries in a number of circumstances including second marriages and obligations to children.

Hagar v The Attorney General [2014] NZHC 3293 A successful application to set aside a search warrant and obtaining a ruling that the search of Nicky Hagar’s premises was illegal on the basis that the police had failed to advise the Court that he was a journalist and entitled to statutory privilege.

Cure Kids v National Sids Council of Australia Ltd [2015] 3 NZLR 90 Briefed for the plaintiffs in the High Court and the Court of Appeal dealing with issues of use of a trade mark outside the statutory 3 year period and how a court should exercise its discretion in such circumstances.

Tasman Insulation v Knauf Insulations [2014] NZHC 960 Successfully defending an application to expunge Pink Batts® as a trade mark as being generic.

TASMAN INSULATION v KNAUF INSULATION [2015] NZCA 602 Successfully defending the appeal in the Court of Appeal.

KARUM v FISHER & PAYKEL [2014] 3 NZLR 421 (CA) Briefed for the plaintiff in a 6 week High Court trial followed by a four day appearance in the Court of Appeal resulting in a leading judgment on copyright infringement of financial software programs.

SLATER v BLOMFIELD [2014] NZHC 2221 Appointed as amicus to assist the Court in determining issues defining the definition of a journalist, whether Whale Oil was a news medium and how the s.68 Evidence Act discretion should be exercised.