Gordon Davis

LLB (Otago)

1981 New Zealand

Contact Details
DDI: +64 4 914 1050
Mobile: +64 27 245 2787
Email: gordon.davis@barristerscomm.com

Gordon Davis

‘Helping resolve legal issues often requires more than a strict legal approach. Experience has shown that clients respond best to sound technical expertise in their advisers in combination with sympathetic understanding of the client’s special circumstances, and an agreed approach and goal. This may mean taking a firm legal position or, just as likely, driving for a pragmatic solution.’

So says Gordon Davis, a new addition to Barristers.Com.  With over 30 years of experience across a range of legal roles Gordon has sound judgment, versatility and the legal skills to represent his client’s interests.

Gordon joined Chambers in August 2016 following a career in which he has held positions of litigation partner, Solicitor General (Cook Islands), legal consultant for international organisations, Chief Legal Adviser (State Services Commission) and barrister. 

In practice as a barrister since 2015, it is natural given his legal background that Gordon works in two main areas: civil and commercial claims, and government work.

Since commencing practice in 1982 Gordon has acquired wide trial experience, representing clients’ in the Court of Appeal, High, Employment and District Courts and Tribunals; together with more recently in in-house government legal and governance roles. Between 1986 and 1997 Gordon was litigation partner and managing partner of Palmerston North law firm Innes Dean, where he represented clients over a range of claims, including contractual disputes, negligence claims, and trust and estate cases.

In 1997 Gordon was appointed Solicitor General of the Cook Islands, during the time of the New Zealand ‘Wine-box’ inquiry and major economic and public sector reform within the Cooks.  Following his term, he consulted for international organisations and consulting companies on economic and public sector reform programmes throughout the Pacific and in Africa, including in the role of legal specialist for Vanuatu’s law reform programme.  This work included substantial legislative review, design and drafting.

On returning to New Zealand Gordon joined in partnership Palmerston North law firm Fitzherbert Rowe, focussing on civil and commercial litigation, employment law and relationship property before moving to Wellington with Davis O’Sullivan (employment and litigation services, and international legal consulting assignments).

Gordon moved into New Zealand government work in late in 2006 where he held senior legal, governance and policy roles, including as Chief Legal Adviser at the State Services Commission where he led the Legal & Integrity branch.  At the Commission Gordon provided advice and guidance on a range of high profile matters and made significant contributions to reforming the public management system.  In this role he led statutory integrity inquiries and management reviews, legislative development and machinery of government initiatives.  While at the State Services Commission he led the first comprehensive review of the State Sector Act, resulting in substantial amendments being enacted.

Gordon provides advice and litigation services in:

  • civil disputes; contract and negligence, trust and estate claims including:
    • investigation of employment issues, employment arrangements in the State sector and resolution of employment disputes;
    • conducting and advising on formal reviews, inquiries and investigations
  • the government sector, including:
    • institutional arrangements in particular in the state sector, at all levels of government (machinery of government)
    • Specialised legislative review, design, formulation of legislative amendment and guidance, drafting and associated advice.
    • governance and integrity systems, arrangements and disputes.

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