The CBL class action is being led by a team who are highly experienced in commercial litigation and have a deep understanding of the New Zealand legal and regulatory framework.

Justin Smith, QC

Justin Smith, QC is a former Crown Prosecutor (1982-1986), was a partner at Kensington Swan (1988-1994) and at Russell McVeagh (1994-2007).


Justin was a member of Russell McVeagh’s Board of Management from 2001 to 2004 and the Chairman of that Board from 2004 to 2006.  He went to the independent bar in 2007 and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2013.

Mike Colson

Mike Colson is a leading barrister specialising in commercial litigation and insolvency. He was a partner at Bell Gully (one of New Zealand’s top law firms) for 16 years before moving to the bar in 2017.

Mike was leader of the Wellington litigation department for 12 years and a board member for 4 years. Mike has been consistently ranked by international law directories (e.g. Chambers, Asia-Pacific Legal 500) as one of New Zealand’s leading litigators.

Jonathan Orpin-Dowell

Jonathan has been at the bar for 11 years. Prior to that he was a Judge’s Clerk to the Honourable Justice Ellen France when she sat in the Court of Appeal (she is now a Supreme Court Judge). He specialises in commercial litigation.

Since 2016, Jonathan has been appointed by successive Attorneys-General as a member of the Legislation Design and Advisory Committee, a committee appointed by Cabinet to provide advice to departments on Bills during their legislative and policy development.

Meredith Connell

Meredith Connell are a large national law firm, with expertise in commercial litigation and class actions.

They are Crown solicitors and are regularly instructed as the law firm of choice for the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) and have acted on a number of key prosecutions under the  Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013.

They are experienced in acting for liquidators and creditors and are currently acting as solicitors for the plaintiffs in a class action proceeding brought by the investors in Ross Asset Management against the company’s bankers (ANZ) for dishonest assistance and knowing receipt.

LPF Group

The Committee has engaged LPF Litigation Funding Limited ("LPF"), New Zealand's largest locally owned litigation funding firm, to provide the plaintiffs with funding for the legal claim.


LPF's parent company, LPF Group Limited, has successfully assisted in funding large scale claims since it was established in 2009. LPF's New Zealand base and extensive ties with the local business and legal scenes, combined with its hard won experience and expertise, sets it apart in its ability to fund and assist New Zealand claims.

Claim Committee

Shareholders’ interests in the management of the proceedings will be represented by a committee including Harbour, Forsyth Barr and Argo Investments.