Arla Kerr Barrister

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Arla Kerr


Drawing on her significant experience in law firms in New Zealand and London, working in a broad range of civil and regulatory litigation and investigations, Arla works directly with clients and teams of lawyers to provide excellent-quality strategic advice and advocacy.  Whether in early negotiations of a dispute, formal court proceedings or investigations, she brings sound judgement and depth of experience to assist each client to achieve their goals.

Arla has over twelve years’ experience working in civil and regulatory dispute resolution in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.  Her career started in Wellington at Minter Ellison Rudd Watts.  She then had two periods working in the London office of the United States firm Ropes & Gray as associate and then counsel.  She worked at Henderson Reeves in Whangārei between her time in London.  Arla joined the independent bar in 2020 and is now based in Whangārei working with other lawyers and clients across the country.

Arla has appeared in a range of civil and regulatory matters in the New Zealand courts in junior and sole counsel roles.  She also attended several hearings in the English courts as an instructing solicitor.


LLB (Hons, 1st), Victoria University of Wellington, 2008
BA (Political Science and International Relations), Victoria University of Wellington, 2008
Admitted as Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand, 2008

Awards, publications, and memberships

Quentin Baxter Prize in Public and International Law, 2008
Arla Kerr “Untapped Potential: Administrative Law and International Environmental Obligations” (2008) 6(2) NZJPIL 81
LexisNexis (ed) Amanda Raad, Arla Kerr and Harriet Slater Practical steps in a bribery investigation – UK and US perspectives (online ed, LexisPSL)
LexisNexis (ed) Amanda Raad, Arla Kerr, Matthew Burn and Chris Stott Privilege in DPA Negotiations (online ed, LexisPSL)
Amanda Raad, Jo Torode, Arla Kerr and Mair Williams “Self-Reporting to the Authorities and Other Disclosure Obligations: The UK Perspective” in Judith Seddon, Eleanor Davison, Christopher J Morvillo, Michael Bowes KC and Luke Tolaini (eds) Global Investigations Review: The Practitioners’ Guide to Global Investigations (2nd ed, Law Business Research Limited, London, 2018)
Member, New Zealand Bar Association | Ngā Ahorangi Motuhake o te Ture
Member, Association of Workplace Investigators
Member, Lawyers for Climate Action New Zealand Inc


Arla has acted for corporate organisations and individuals in relation to a wide range of regulatory and internal investigations.  Representative clients include:

  • New Zealand organisations conducting independent workplace investigations into allegations of misconduct, including bullying, discrimination and harassment.
  • A publicly listed investment firm in the United Kingdom in connection with investigations by the Financial Conduct Authority, the Serious Fraud Office and anticipated civil litigation, as well as an internal investigation in relation to leaks of confidential information.
  • An individual facing criminal charges brought by the New Zealand Financial Markets Authority in relation to a failed finance company.
  • Individuals in connection with investigations by United Kingdom and United States regulatory authorities into alleged collusion and manipulation of LIBOR.
  • Individuals in connection with investigations by United Kingdom and United States regulatory authorities involving fraud, money laundering, bribery and sanction issues.

Civil and Commercial Law

Arla has significant experience acting for corporate organisations and individuals in relation to contentious matters.  Representative clients include:

  • A large New Zealand property development company in relation to various contractual and resource management proceedings.
  • An air cargo airline in complex cartel litigation in the English High Court and related parallel proceedings overseas.
  • A defendant to proceedings in the English High Court and parallel proceedings overseas in connection with a failed joint venture in a real estate investment.
  • A global pharmaceutical company in a contractual dispute with a major competitor.
  • A trustee and director of several national Māori organisations involved in governance disputes, including corruption and conflict of interest issues.
  • A farm owner seeking damages in the New Zealand High Court from a manufacturer of a faulty product which allegedly caused salmonella outbreaks.

Public and Administrative Law

Arla has broad experience acting for the Crown, regulatory bodies and charitable and community organisations in judicial review proceedings, regulatory proceedings, and contentious governance matters.  Representative clients include:

  • The Ministry of Health in judicial review proceedings challenging the licensing of pharmacies.
  • A lawyer in the Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal defending charges of professional misconduct.
  • Regulatory bodies established under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 on competence and disciplinary matters.
  • Disenfranchised members of an incorporated society in judicial review and breach of contract proceedings.

She also appeared as junior counsel to amicus curiae in judicial review proceedings brought by a serving prisoner challenging government correctional policy.