Lara Steel


Lara joined Richmond Chambers in February 2016 after three years in the litigation department of a major Auckland firm. She has experience working on a wide range of general civil disputes, including trust, construction, property, contractual and insurance matters, in the District Court, High Court and Court of Appeal.

Since her move to the independent bar, she has acted on and assisted with defending a number of criminal matters in the District and High Courts. She has assisted with employment disputes in the Employment Relations Authority and has also appeared in arbitral proceedings and in the Family Court.

Lara was a Junior Representative on the New Zealand Bar Association Council from October 2016 to September 2019 and was a member of the NZBA Junior and Diversity and Inclusion Committees.

Recent Experience

HELILOGGING LIMITED (IN REC & LIQ) & ORS v CIVIL AVIATION AUTHORITY OF NEW ZEALAND [2019] NZHC 3305. Acted as junior counsel for the plaintiffs in a seven week trial involving allegations of deceit and misfeasance in public office by the Civil Aviation Authority.

Mad Butcher Holdings Ltd v Standard 730 Limited & ors [2019] NZHC 589. Acted as junior counsel for defendants/respondents in an application for an interim injunction in relation to alleged breaches of restraint of trade provisions in a franchise agreement.

Li v 110 Formosa (NZ) Ltd & ors [2018] NZHC 3418. Acted as junior counsel for second, fourth and fifth defendants in High Court proceedings regarding alleged breaches of trust arising from the purchase of a golf course in Auckland.

International Consolidated Business Pty Ltd v S C Johnson & Sons Inc [2019] NZCA 61. Acted as junior counsel for appellants regarding provisions of the Trade Marks Act 2002.

Wei & anor v Café Brioche Ltd [2018] NZDC 16151. Acted as junior counsel for plaintiffs in a claim for damages for misrepresentations arising from the sale and purchase of a café business.

Xiao v Sun [2018] NZHC 536. Acted for borrower as junior counsel in successful claim for relief and declarations that high interest loan agreements entered into with a lender at SkyCity Casino were illegal contracts under Part 2, subpart 5 of the Contract and Commercial Law Act 2017 and unenforceable and oppressive under the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act 2003.

Ecostore Company Ltd v Worth (2017) 15 NZELR 93, [2017] NZHC 1480. As junior counsel, successful opposition to a strike-out application by the defendant in a case concerning the misuse of confidential information and the jurisdiction of the High Court and Employment Relations Authority.

X v X. Successfully represented iwi interests as junior counsel in an arbitral proceeding involving rent review and other issues arising from long-term development leases.