About Public Law Toolbox Chambers

Public Law Toolbox Chambers is a “home” for barristers who predominantly specialise in public law or the interface between public law and other law specialities.

About the Barristers in these Chambers

Our barristers are experienced experts in using the Public Law Toolbox to solve problems for clients. Public law of course backs into so many other specialist areas of the law but the focus of these chambers is always at the interface between public law and that other law specialty whether it be commercial law, employment law, property or criminal prosecution by regulators and white collar crime.

PLT Chambers is a home for barristers who specialise “upstream” in policy making, and law drafting and making submissions to influence law making and the select committee process, as well as those who specialise “downstream” in judicial reviews and declaratory judgments when litigation has necessarily become a last resort. The reach of public law also include issues in Te Ao Maori and Te Tiriti o Waitangi, the NZ Bill of Rights Act, discrimination and Royal Commissions, reviews and inquiries.

The barristers in these chambers have a shared interest in developing public law, taking test cases and ensuring the full breadth of viewpoints/experiences are taken into account in the development of the common law.

As they are all experts in public law it is easier to put together teams of barristers to be able to solve large and complex public law problems.









About the Chambers

These chambers are named after Mai Chen’s book of the same name, Public Law Toolbox (1st ed 2012, 2nd ed 2014), which explains that there are number of tools available to solve public law problems, and that litigation is the last resort whether you are a public or private entity, a regulator or being subjected to regulation. It explains how Government really works and thus which tool to best use.

A lot of how the New Zealand Government really works is not written down, yet such knowledge is critical in a democracy, and it is particularly important for Māori, as dealing with the Crown requires an understanding and mastery of public policy and legislation. It is also helpful to those in Government to understand their unique responsibilities and vulnerabilities.


Public Law Tools Include:

  • Litigation

  • Judicial review

  • Inquiries and investigations

  • Waitangi Tribunal

  • Privacy Commissioner

  • Ombudsman

  • Office of the Auditor-General

  • Access to information law

  • Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment

  • Human Rights Review Tribunal

  • Health and Disability Commissioner

  • Independent Police Conduct Authority

  • Regulations Review Committee

  • Judicial Conduct Commissioner

  • Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security

  • Regulation of professions

  • Fraud and corruption agencies

  • Business regulators