Derek Johnston

Present Position

Barrister and Arbitrator - Thorndon Chambers

Professional Experience

Derek Johnston is a barrister and independent arbitrator with specialist expertise in company, commercial, competition and financial markets law. He has significant experience in corporate governance and the capital markets, energy, telecommunications and IT sectors.

He joined the Independent Bar in 2011 after more than 25 years as a corporate partner with a leading New Zealand commercial law firm. Derek advises major New Zealand and international companies, the Crown and Ministers of the Crown on all types of commercial law issues. He has been involved in negotiating and documenting a number of the most significant acquisitions and other commercial transactions undertaken in New Zealand. This has included acting for international investors and other parties in relation to a range of joint venture and shareholder agreements and other long-term contracts, particularly in the oil and gas, energy, telecommunications and IT sectors.

Derek serves as arbitrator in all types of commercial disputes. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, the Arbitrators and Mediators Institute of New Zealand and a number of other arbitration organisations. He recently completed a three-year term as the independent non-director member and Chair of the Regulatory Governance Committee of NZX Limited. Before that Derek was Chair of the New Zealand Markets Disciplinary Tribunal.

Derek holds undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in law from the University of Auckland and a doctorate in law from the University of Toronto. Derek also holds a Diploma in International Commercial Arbitration from the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. He has dual New Zealand and Irish citizenship and is admitted to practise in New Zealand and New South Wales, Australia.