Blair understands both public and private sector clients business drivers and how to use them effectively in the employment arena. He has worked in-house and externally and his clients appreciate his legal know-how combined with his pragmatism that only someone who has worked as an in-house employment relations specialist can provide.
Blair has an LLM (Hons) and a BA (Criminology) from Victoria University. He was admitted to the Bar in 1997 and joined the public service, firstly with the Department of Internal Affairs and then the Ministry of Social Development. He then moved to Telecom New Zealand Limited in an employment law role, and subsequently worked as a Senior Associate in the legal team of what is now Business Central (formerly EMA Central) for six years before moving to private practice.
This range of practical experience to draw on enables Blair to provide valuable strategic and operational advice to his clients.
Our clients say Blair:
"translates complex concepts easily"
“an authoratitive and reliable source of employment law advice who combines a calm and approachable persona with quick intelligence and insightful advice on employment law issues.”
Blair's areas of expertise include:
- Personal grievances and dispute resolution, including representation at mediation and in litigation;
- Collective bargaining;
- Restructures and redundancies;
- Official information, privacy and human rights issues;
- Workplace investigations;
- Health and Safety;
- Presenting training courses on employment law issues.
- Advocated on behalf of multiple employers in successfully concluded collective bargaining;
- Conducted complex workplace investigations into allegations of bullying and harassment;
- Represented clients at mediation, the Employment Relations Authority, the Employment Court and the Court of Appeal;
- Advised on large scale restructures including close-downs and multi-level restructures;
- Designing and presenting employment law courses for major employers.
Blair is one of only a few New Zealand Employment lawyers specifically recognised as a Band 3 individual by international ratings agency, Chambers and Partners.
He is a highly sought after speaker for key industry conferences and presents seminars both for clients and professional training providers including full day Employment Law courses for the Human Resources Institute of NZ.
Blair is regularly quoted in both print and radio media and appears as a commentator on television.
Blair is an experienced litigator and has appeared in a number of high profile cases up to the Court of Appeal including:
- Defending Fulton Hogan successfully in a claim for reinstatement in both the Employment Relations Authority and Employment Court.
- Defending Housing New Zealand successfully in an unjustified dismissal claim brought in the Employment Relations Authority and Employment Court.
- Representing Mana Coach Services successfully in the Employment Court and Court of Appeal in a claim regarding the duty of indemnification.
- Successfully represented Business Capability New Zealand Society in an unjustified dismissal case involving tripartite employment relationships.
- Representing Arthur D Riley & Co Ltd successfully in the Employment Court in an unjustified dismissal case involving pornographic images.
- Representing Telecom New Zealand successfully in a case about the legality of outsourcing of staff.
- Defending the Auckland University Students Association successfully in an unjustified dismissal claim in both the Employment Relations Authority and Employment Court.
Appointments and Associations
- HRINZ Wellington Branch Committee
- New Zealand Law Society Wellington Employment Law Committee