Chris LaHatte


Areas:Family, Workplace/Employment, Business & Contractual

Present Position
Barrister and mediator

Professional Experience
Chris LaHatte has been a lawyer for more than 42 years. He qualified at the University of Auckland, and was admitted to the Bar in 1978. He later obtained a Masters degree in Dispute Resolution from Massey University. He has practiced as a barrister in New Zealand and other countries. Chris has a diverse legal background and has appeared in all levels of courts and tribunals in New Zealand. He has had cases reported in official law reports and published many articles in legal journals. He has also acted as a lawyer for clients in many mediations, and acted as a mediator. As well as internet issues, he has a particular interest in construction and building law and is a member of the panel of Construction Adjudicators and he is also on the Panel of Mediators held by the Arbitrators and Mediators Institute of New Zealand, on the Panel of Family Mediators and Farm Debt Mediation. He is also a member of the New Zealand Law Society Panel of Mediators. He is a Fellow of the Institute in Mediation and Arbitration. Chris has presented seminars for the New Zealand and Auckland Law Societies, AMINZ and for publishers such as LexisNexis. He is an editor for Brookers District Court Procedure in New Zealand. Chris is also a Costs Assessor and Mediator for the New Zealand Law Society, and a member of the New Zealand Law Society Panel of Mediators (Family Specialist). Chris is a member of the International Ombudsman Association and an individual member of the International Ombudsman Institute. He has published papers on Ombudsman issues in New Zealand Lawyer and in the International Ombudsman Association Journal.

Speciality Areas
Farm Debt Mediation
I have been a practising lawyer for over 42 years, with extensive litigation experience including a substantial number of land related cases and insolvency cases, both in rural and urban areas. In more recent years I have worked extensively as a mediator, arbitrator and construction adjudicator. I am qualified as a fellow of AMINZ in mediation and arbitration and as a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. I have a special interest in mediating relationships between people, because even in corporate environments, there can be personal conflict between individuals. I bring to my mediations a very practical approach, but also empathetic. I understand the attachment to the land and the implications of losing the livelihood and the loss of mana.

Chris holds the following qualifications in the below primary sector economics and financial areas:

Role of primary and secondary creditors in farm operations
Land holding and business arrangements, eg family trust, corporate farmers, Maori land, lairage, sharemilking and cross loans
Farm financial and business planning tools
Role of cooperative structures and arrangements
Tax arrangements and obligations
Knowledge of insolvency processes including receiverships, and succession planning

Family Mediation

I have an active mediation practice for parenting disputes and for relationship property disputes, and have undertaken many mediations for the providers, Fairway Resolution and FDR Centre. I also mediate privately.

Property and Trust Mediation

I mediate property and trust disputes, including complex family trust disputes and estate claims

LLB (Auckland), M Mgt (Dispute Resolution) (Massey) FAMINZ Med/Arb FCIArb Graduate Certificate Restorative Justice (Victoria)