Testimonials

“Robert acted for a collective of fishing interests in response to two seabed mining applications under the relatively recent EEZ and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Act 2012. Given the legislation was new, we were navigating uncharted legal territory. This made the proceedings challenging from a legal, procedural and evidential perspective and Robert provided excellent advice on all fronts. I found Robert’s advice insightful, and valued his ability to not only traverse the legal matters but also offer a perspective of evidential issues. He was across many of the technical aspects of the application which is testament to his commitment to his clients. Robert also worked seamlessly with instructing Counsel, contracted technical experts and other legal professionals involved in the matter.”

Dr Jeremy Helson, CEO – Fisheries Inshore New Zealand Ltd

“Robert Makgill acted pro bono for us on the Iwi appeals against leaving the wreck of the MV Rena on Astrolabe Reef/Otāiti. After numerous interlocutory arguments brought by the Applicant against our standing the appeals were finally heard in the Environment Court over three weeks in March 2017. Robert worked hard to bring together legal counsel and expert witnesses for all the Iwi Appellants so that we were able present a joint case. He also drew on his relationships with several high-profile expert witnesses who contributed their time and prepared evidence for the Iwi Appellants at little or no cost. This enabled us to present a very strong case against the Applicant who was financed by insurers and owners with extremely deep pockets. Robert was sensitive to our cultural view that the wreck should be removed from Otāiti, but also ensured that a pragmatic approach was taken in submissions and evidence towards seeking stronger cultural and environmental conditions if the consent was not declined. Although the Court did not decline consent, it issued an interim decision requiring the Applicant to formulate much more robust conditions of consent. Robert formed trusting relationships with kuia and kaumatua who often ask how he is and think of him with fond memories. We wish Robert all the very best and highly recommend his legal services.”

Maria Horne (manager) for Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whakaue ki Maketū Inc. and Te Arawa Takitai Moana Kaumatua Forum

“Robert Makgill joined American lawyers, Cymie Payne and Donald Anton, as legal counsel for the IUCN before the International Law for the Sea Tribunal in Hamburg, Germany, in late 2010. Robert, and his co-counsels’, written statement and oral submissions received high praise from international lawyers within the IUCN and other delegates who appeared in Hamburg. I am of the view that their contribution to the Tribunal’s ensuing historic Advisory Opinion on deep sea mining was significant.”

Harlan Cohen, PhD, Advisor on Ocean Governance and International Institutions IUCN Washington

“After waiting 17 years for a decision, the Minister of Conservation (Hon Kate Wilkinson) declined the Society’s application to establish the Akaroa Marine Reserve in 2010. Robert successfully led a Judicial Review of the Minister’s decision in 2012, and subsequently advised us on our strategy for reserve approval. The new Minister of Conservation (Hon Dr Nick Smith) approved the application for a marine reserve in 2013. We highly recommend Robert to anyone contemplating judicial review.”

Brian Reid, Chair of Akaroa Marine Protection Society Incorporated

“Scion appealed the Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s policy statement seeking the removal of any reference to community concerns about the risks posed by field trials of genetically modified organisms. Soil and Health was worried about the implications that this appeal would have for the Bay of Plenty organic industry. Robert helped us put together a very professional case in opposition to Scion, which resulted in the retention of GMOs as an emerging issue in the policy statement and case law that stands the New Zealand organic sector in good stead moving forward.”

Marion Thomson, Co-Chair Soil and Health Association of New Zealand Incorporated

“Robert took a very large project with complex infrastructure issues and gave it huge traction within a very short space of time. He set the strategy, brought the team members together and connected us with partners who shared similar interests. He is a very solid strategic and commercial operator.”

Mark Peacocke, Managing Director, Adare Company Limited

“I was responsible for managing the Hamilton Joint Venture Project on behalf of a number of property development partners. Robert’s ability to work past potential areas of conflict with other parties and achieve commercially sound outcomes sets him apart from many other environmental lawyers. I would have no hesitation in recommending him for any type of development based Resource Management instruction.”

Andrew Duncan, former CEO of Chalmers Properties Limited

“Robert is cost-effective, his advice is always spot-on and he has a fantastic ability to get parties from all sides working towards common solutions. He is very effective at avoiding unnecessary and costly litigation, but achieves results when matters need to proceed to court.”

David Peacocke, Director of Raglan Land Company

“We initially approached Robert to assist Youngson and Associates Limited with environmental due diligence on a number of mineral investment projects in New Zealand. We were extremely impressed by Robert’s knowledge of the mining industry and his ability to identify additional areas in which advice was required from other legal experts.”

Sue Attwood, Director of Youngson and Associates Limited

“Being prosecuted by the Council was very stressful. I was very pleased with the advice that Robert gave me and the manner in which he undertook the work. This reduced the stress tremendously. He successfully negotiated a reduction in the number of charges the Council took against my company, and ensured that the charges against me personally were dropped. I would have no hesitation in recommending Robert.”

Ajay Singh, Director of A H Construction Services Ltd