Janna McGuigan

Janna is a general civil and commercial litigator with particular experience in trust disputes.

Janna has recently acted for defendant trustees and directors on breach of duty allegations and for plaintiff beneficiaries seeking to enforce trust terms. Janna also advises on a wide range of general civil and commercial disputes, including contract and tort matters, governance issues, and assisting clients (both businesses and individual directors) during regulatory investigations and prosecutions.

Janna’s recent experience includes:

  • appearing (as junior counsel) for the trustee in Lambie Trustee Ltd v Addleman [2021] NZSC 54 (Supreme Court), the leading Supreme Court authority on legal professional privilege in relation to trustees / beneficiaries;
  • appearing (as junior counsel) for the plaintiff beneficiaries  in McCallum v McCallum [2021] NZCA 237 (Court of Appeal), the leading authority on Re Beddoe applications in New Zealand;
  • High Court appointment as amicus curiae in relation to an application by an insurer to refer a question of law (contract interpretation) to the High Court from the Canterbury Earthquakes Insurance Tribunal (IAG v Evans [2020] NZHC 1326);
  • High Court proceedings, acting for professional trustee defendants of a sizeable family trust on breach of fiduciary duty claims;
  • an application by trustees to the High Court for directions;
  • advising a primary producer under Commerce Commission investigation for allegedly misleading conduct;
  • defending a New Zealand corporate on Fair Trading Act charges in the District Court.

Janna also regularly provides advisory opinions and compliance advice, including to trusts and trustees, on commercial disputes, and to companies requiring guidance on regulatory and consumer protection legislation issues.

Janna was admitted to the bar in 2008. Before becoming a barrister sole in 2017, Janna worked at Wilson Harle (Auckland) and at Russell McVeagh (Wellington).

Janna holds a Masters of Law from the University of Michigan, where she was a Grotius Fellow in 2010-2011, and a BA / LLB (First Class Hons) from the University of Canterbury (2007). Following graduation, Janna spent two years as a Judge’s Clerk to the Rt Hon Sir Andrew Tipping at the Supreme Court of New Zealand.

Janna is past president of the Auckland Women Lawyers’ Association, and a former member of the New Zealand Law Society Law Reform Committee.  She regularly provides updates to the profession and participates in seminars / conferences.  In addition to being a member of Canterbury Chambers (Christchurch), Janna is an associate member of Bankside Chambers (Auckland).