Mark O'Brien


He has practised successfully as a commercial litigation lawyer and advocate for more than 25 years. His areas of expertise include company, competition, contract, insolvency, insurance and reinsurance, oil and gas, property, trusts, technology and testamentary estate cases.

Mark joined the independent Bar in 2013 and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2015.

Prior to this, he was a senior litigation partner with Bell Gully. He started with Bell Gully in 1985 after two years

with a London firm, became a partner in 1988 and was Deputy Chairman from 2003 to 2008.

He is regularly involved as counsel in the analysis and resolution of disputes through litigation, arbitration, mediation and negotiation.

Chambers Asia Pacific has described him as "well known for his regular involvement in complex commercial cases" and as a "savvy advocate" with "good instincts" who "gets straight to the heart of thorny problems".

He has also been recognised as a leading litigation and dispute resolution lawyer by other international legal guides - including the Asia Pacific Legal 500, Who's Who Legal, PLC Which Lawyer and the IFLR1000.

Mark is also a member of Stout Street Chambers in Wellington.

Recent Experience

NEW ZEALAND LOCAL GOVERNMENT INSURANCE CORPORATION LTD v R+V VERSICHERUNG AG (2012-2015) Acting for an international reinsurer in arbitral proceedings and related claim issues arising out of the Canterbury earthquakes of 2010/2011 and on the successful defence of an earlier summary judgment claim.

GREYMOUTH HOLDINGS LTD & ORS v JET TRUSTEES LTD & ORS (2012-2015) Acting for the majority shareholders of a leading oil and gas producer on a complex shareholder dispute with multiple hearings in the High Court and Court of Appeal and in a related arbitration.

COMMERCE COMMISSION v SINGAPORE AIRLINES CARGO PTY LTD (2011-2013)Acting for a prominent international airline in cartel proceedings in relation to surcharges in the air cargo industry.