Chris LaHatte FAMINZ Med/Arb FCIArb

Present Position

Barrister and mediator

Professional Experience

Chris has been a lawyer for more than 36 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, and on the Panel of Family Mediators. 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 Mhanna.

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


LLB (Auckland), M Mgt (Dispute Resolution) (Massey) FAMINZ Med/Arb