Nikki Chamberlain is a Lecturer at the University of Auckland Law School. Nikki has a B.A./L.L.B. (Hons) degree from the University of Auckland and a LL.M. degree from Vanderbilt University. She has expertise in a number of areas, including Torts, the Law of Family Property and New Zealand and American Civil Procedure. Currently, her primary academic research focus is class action litigation.
Before joining the University of Auckland, Nikki lectured Legal Writing at Vanderbilt University Law School in the United States. Prior to lecturing, Nikki practiced eight years as a Commercial Litigator at a large commercial law firm in Auckland, Minter Ellison Rudd Watts. She was a Senior Associate and practiced in a number of commercial law areas including contract law, tort law, company law, family law, insolvency law, trust litigation and estate litigation. Her clients included Bank of New Zealand, Goldman Sachs, GE Money, Bank of Scotland, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Westpac New Zealand Limited, ASB Bank Limited, HSBC, New Zealand Racing Board, New Zealand Crane Group, Dun & Bradstreet (NZ) Limited and Mona Dotcom. She represented a number of high net-worth individuals in their relationship property disputes. She appeared as counsel in the New Zealand Court of Appeal, the High Court, the District Court and the Family Court.
Presentation at 2017 New and Emerging Scholars Symposium
Nikki will give a presentation as part of the New and Emerging Scholars Symposium at the University of Waikato Law School on 1 November 2017. Its title is: “Contracting-out of Class Actions: Lessons from the United States”.
The purpose of the presentation is to discuss the development of corporate defendants contracting-out of class actions through the use of arbitration clauses in the United States. In light of these developments, Nikki will address why and how New Zealand can and should prevent corporate defendants from contracting-out of class-wide actions in New Zealand. She will then address why legislative class action reform is required in New Zealand. She considers the development of class action procedure in New Zealand in reliance on High Court Rule 4.24 and the inherent jurisdiction of the court is inefficient, uneconomic and creates issues around access to justice.
Ongoing research interests
Nikki is currently organising a Conference called “The Future of Class Actions” that will be held at the University of Auckland in March 2018. Her research is now focussed on addressing class action legislative reform in light of how other jurisdictions with more advanced class action procedure have addressed the issue. She also has an interest and intends to publish in the areas of Privacy Law and Family Property Law in the near future.