Sean’s practice involves public and commercial litigation and advice. He supports a wide range of interests to manage their legal risk, and has provided advice and advocacy in negotiations and proceedings before courts and tribunals at all levels. Prior to joining Meredith Connell, Sean was Crown Counsel in Crown Law’s tax, commercial and human rights teams. He has worked for the Commercial Transactions Group at the Treasury and was legal adviser to the Cabinet Office in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
Sean is experienced working with commercial and administrative law issues, public revenue, disputes involving natural resources, tort, public law and human rights claims, constitutional law, and the Crown's Treaty obligations.
- Acted for New Zealand Customs Service in a judicial review challenge to multi-million-dollar excise duty assessments in a fuel-manufacturing context (Terminals (NZ) Limited v Comptroller of Customs), and for the Commissioner of Inland Revenue in a range of tax challenge trials and appeals involving income tax and GST disputes.
- Supported decision-makers in relation to anticipated challenges to the sale of minority shareholdings in power-generating State Owned Enterprises, and acted in the subsequent challenge to Mighty River Power’s IPO based on claims to water resource rights (New Zealand Maori Council v Attorney-General).
- Acted in proceedings to determine the application of the Resource Management Act to existing privileges (New Zealand Steel Limited v Attorney-General), and for the Crown in long-running litigation brought by iwi interests in relation to land and mineral rights.
University of Auckland, LLB (Hons), MA (First Class Hons)
- Past deputy convenor of the New Zealand Law Society Law Reform Committee
- Member of the Royal Society of New Zealand
Member of the external subcommittee of the Legislation Design Advisory Committee