+64 7 839 4771

Kate Cornegé

Kate Cornegé


To make an appointment, please contact Bronwyn Thompson bronwyn.thompson@tompkinswake.co.nz

Qualifications : BCA, LLB (Hons), University of Wellington.

Recommended Lawyer for Bios 2033    The Legal 500 Recommended Lawyer 2039 Recommended Lawyer 2022 Legal 503

As a civil and commercial dispute resolution specialist, Kate represents clients in a broad range of business and local government disputes. A recommended lawyer in The Legal 500 Asia Pacific, she has considerable experience working for clients in the agriculture, energy and local government sectors, and regularly advises clients on intellectual property disputes.

Kate’s meticulous approach makes her a highly effective representative at all levels of the New Zealand court system. Clients value her proactive, commercial approach to dispute resolution and her clear and concise advice which demonstrates an in-depth understanding of their commercial reality.

A successful change leader, Kate has been instrumental in developing the firm’s policies for working parents, helping her colleagues and the firm create better options for optimising whole life balance. 

Kate is acknowledged as a Recommended Lawyer in The Legal 500 rankings for Asia Pacific.

Client feedback:

  • “Kate Cornegé is an excellent strategist and able to move seamlessly between her roles as an advocate and strategic adviser.” - Client feedback, The Legal 500, Asia Pacific, Dispute Resolution 2024
  • "James MacGillivray and Kate Cornegé are first-class litigation solicitors in every aspect, from dealing with clients in a litigation setting to analysis and preparing and presenting arguments." - Client feedback, The Legal 500, Asia Pacific Region, Dispute Resolution 2022

Areas of expertise

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Competition Law Disputes
  • Competition Law
  • Construction and Building Disputes
  • Consumer Law
  • Dairy Industry
  • Energy Sector - Oil, Gas, Electricity
  • Local Government Litigation
  • Telecommunications
  • Patent and Copyright Litigation
  • Commercial Disputes
  • Intellectual Property
  • Corporate Disputes
  • Media Law
  • Securities / Financial Markets Litigation
  • Property Disputes

Other Credentials

  • Recommended Lawyer, Dispute Resolution and Intellectual Property, The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024

Professional History

  • Tompkins Wake, 2010 - present
  • Chapman Tripp, 2005 - 2009

Recent Experience

  • AGPAC v Hamilton City Council Co-counsel - Acted (with Alan Galbraith QC and Lachlan Muldowney) for Hamilton City Council successfully defending a wide-ranging judicial review challenge to its development contributions policy.

  • Open Country Dairy Ltd v Commerce Commission – Acted for Open Country Dairy to clarify the appropriate process that Fonterra should follow in setting the farm gate milk price and how the Commerce Commission should carry out its obligations to review and report on Fonterra’s processes.

  • Moeke v South Waikato District Council – Acted for the Council in its successful application to have a caveat lapse on the grounds that the contract had been cancelled.

  • Lead counsel in the Court of Appeal for a landowner successfully appealing a High Court decision that had allowed a caveat to remain over its land.

  • Co-counsel with Alan Galbraith QC in the High Court and Court of Appeal on an important case testing the status of Queen Elizabeth Trust Open Space  covenants.

  • Commerce Act proceedings – Acted as counsel for a large international company in connection with an investigation and subsequent proceedings under the Commerce Act.


External Publications

  • Kate was asked by Asia IP Law to comment on a ground-breaking High Court decision which found that the copyright that an artist holds in work they've created is relationship property, and falls under the presumption of equal sharing. Read the full article here. [Published 27 September 2021].

The $4 million filing error

A 34-year-old resource consent, improperly stored and poorly searched for, recently cost Whangarei District Council (WDC) over $4 million in damages. ...

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Cracking the Code: Challenges to Council Codes of Conduct

Two local councils’ processes for dealing with breaches of Codes of Conduct for elected members (COC) have recently been subject to legal scrutiny, em...

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Inside information: do elected members have the right to see legal advice?

A Council’s recent refusal to provide a councillor with access to legal advice has raised the question as to the extent of councillors’ rights to docu...

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Judicial review of Hamilton City Council's development contributions policy

The High Court has released a judgment in AGPAC Limited and others v Hamilton City Council [2021] NZHC 222.  This is the first major substantive decis...

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Guidance on Development Contributions

New Zealand’s current housing shortage has demonstrated that New Zealand urgently needs to build more houses. However, new developments can create cha...

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Are councils obliged to provide a forum for unpopular views?

Councils have been in the news recently in relation to their obligations under the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 (BORA). Around New Zealand, cou...

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Interpreting contracts - implied terms and prior negotiations

When people enter into a contract, they usually try to make the terms of the contract as clear as possible and anticipate any issues that might arise ...

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Email quarantine: getting it right

Councils, like other employers, have obligations to protect their employees from harm.  Quarantining abusive or offensive emails is one method of doin...

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New process for calculating court-awarded interest

A new process for calculating Court-awarded interest on debt and compensation claims (‘money claims’) is now in place, since the Interest on Money Cla...

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Slippery slopes: local authority liability for landslips

The setting aside of esplanade reserve when land is developed on the coast or alongside lakes and rivers, means that local authorities own or control ...

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Defamation update

Nobody wants to have to file a defamation action any more than they want to be served with one.  Defamation litigation can be stressful, time-consumin...

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Local Authorities owe a duty of care to their neighbours

A recent decision of the High Court is a timely reminder to Councils of their obligations as a landowner to owners of neighbouring properties.Double J...

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