Jim Guest

Present Position

Partner, Downie Stewart, Solicitors

Professional Experience

In private practice for 41 years, wide litigation experience, involvement in alternative dispute resolution for 28 years, regular appointments as arbitrator, mediator, and construction disputes adjudicator. Part-time teacher University of Otago in international law and insolvency law.

Career Summary

Started practice as a litigator straight from University in 1977, joined my current firm in 1978, became a partner in 1981 and have been a partner there ever since. Throughout this time I have been involved in litigation covering diverse subject matters. I teach a course on international law to post-graduate politics students, and a course on the law of insolvency to law students, both at the University of Otago.


As arbitrator and mediator as above, nominated by AMINZ as a construction contracts adjudicator, regular appointments by Family Court as lawyer for child and lawyer for subject person under the Protection of Personal and Property Rights Act. I have done numerous mediations for the Family Court. Some of this work involving elderly people necessarily involves their living arrangements and therefore rest homes


WestlawPractice & Procedure Alternative Disputes Resolution

Author of four chapters of Heath & Whale Law of Insolvency

Personal Summary

I have had an interest in ADR techniques for a long time, being an Associate of AMINZ for some 10 years prior to becoming a Fellow, and I am local coordinator of two-monthly meetings. My experience with civil and family litigation has highlighted to me the advantages of alternative dispute resolution.

Speciality Areas

Commercial and general property disputes (for example, trusts, estates, securities, relationship property), insolvencies, family law, rural and farming disputes.


BA; LLB; Post Grad Dip (Law)