James Mahuta-Coyle
James Mahuta-CoyleBarrister
  • Commercial litigation & arbitration – shareholder and corporate disputes

  • Corporate & personal insolvency; director accountability actions by liquidators.

  • Criminal law – trial and appellate advocacy, with a particular focus on fraud.

  • Property & Trust law – trustee litigation; Body Corporate litigation – Unit Titles Act schemes, actions for Administration, minority relief.

  • Public law, judicial review and professional disciplinary proceedings.


Prior to entering the legal profession James worked in the New Zealand Legislature for two Parliamentary Research Units (2002-2006), before becoming a Ministerial Adviser to a Cabinet Minister (2007- 2008).

James was subsequently admitted in 2009. Before joining the independent bar, he was an Associate at Chen Palmer Partners and then a boutique criminal practice (together, 2009 – 2011).

His practice now is primarily concentrated on commercial & property-related litigation, but he maintains ongoing and active judicial review and criminal law work streams.

Recent and Notable Cases

  • Regan & Anor v Brougham [2018] NZCA 157 and [2017] NZHC 1091 First appeal and second appeal (as to leave) against District Court finding of void contract of guarantee in terms of s 27 Property Law Act 2007. Parties relied on ADLS standard form loan. Signature present but insufficient written terms. Whether defendant estopped.

  • Bishop Warden v Autumn Tree [2018] NZCA 285 Actual or apparent authority of director to bind company, s 18 Companies Act 1993.

  • Vance v Vey Group Ltd [2019] NZHC 1676 Action by minority shareholders for relief under s 174 Companies Act 1993.

  • Commissioner of Inland Revenue v Kamal [2016] NZHC 1053. Successful strike out of Commissioner’s application for order prohibiting liquidator under s 286 Companies Act 1993.

  • Waho v Te Kohanga Reo National Trust [2018] NZHC 1935. Declaration that trustee unlawfully removed. Trustee had not brought Board into disrepute. Trustee’s removal amounted to breach of trust.

  • Waho v Te Kohanga Reo National Trust [2019] NZHC 1440 Trustee entitled to indemnity costs.

  • Re Body Corporate 46112 CIV-2019-485-314 Application to settle a scheme under s74 Unit Titles Act 2010.

  • Maiden v Body Corporate 46112 [2018] NZHC 1219. Body Corporate in such dysfunction that orders for Administration granted. Increased costs awarded against respondent.

  • Body Corporate v 68792 v Memelink & Ors [2015] NZHC 1731 Dysfunctional body corporate requiring administration.

  • Liston-Lloyd v Police [2014] NZHC 2615. Breach of NZBORA s 21 right to be secure against unlawful search and seizure. Destruction orders made, Baigents compensation awarded.

  • R v Angus [2017] NZDC 8675. Application for stay (s 147 CPA jurisdiction) for undue delay. NZBORA s25(b) right breached but alternative remedy granted. And on review in Angus v R [2017] NZHC.

  • A v NZLS [2019] NZHC 1961 Application for judicial review of Standards Committee inquiry into practitioner.

  • Johnson v Police [2013] NZHC 3098. Successful appeal against conviction. Trial counsel error; admission of exculpatory fresh evidence.

  • Haddon v Police [2014] NZHC 1827. Successful appeal against pre-trial decision as to admissibility of improperly obtained evidence (unlawful production order); further breach of NZBORA s 23 right to consult lawyer.

Debra Angus
Andrew Beck
Pam Davidson
Toby Gee
Felix Geiringer
John Goddard
Barbara Hunt
Tanya Kennedy
James Mahuta-Coyle
Paul Michalik
David Milliken
John Morrison
Kim Murray
Ben Nettleton
Gaeline Phipps
Terry Sissons
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