Russell Legal are a firm who work closely with our clients to ensure we understand your needs, with an eye towards the economics at issue in each matter. We have the expertise to represent business clients in specialised areas, and also the personal touch to be able to respond quickly and flexibly to your needs. We are a boutique style litigation firm designed to achieve our client’s goals with minimal impact on business activities. We enjoy helping our clients achieve their goals (and a celebratory lunch following a successful outcome).
MEET THE TEAM
SCOTT RUSSELL profile
Scott has worked as a commercial litigator for 17 years in a wide variety of different industries. Scott has worked on all sides on the legal table, working for large law firms Bell Gully (Auckland) and Ashurst (Hong Kong), in-house as a head of litigations at Virgin Media (London), in the government sector for the Commerce Commission and more recently founding Russell Legal.
Scott provides structured and strategic commercial litigation advice. Scott has significant commercial experience advising SME and multi-national companies, with a particular focus on the specialist industries of banking and finance, technology/telecommunications and construction.
Over the last decade Scott has worked with both SME and larger companies advising on business projects worth from hundreds of thousands up to cases in the hundreds of millions (and two cases of $1 billion+). He has worked with well-respected multi- national corporations including Goldman Sachs, Google, Apple, Virgin Media, Credit Suisse, Carter Holt Harvey, Bank of New Zealand, Visa and Air New Zealand.
In 2018 Scott founded his own boutique law firm, Russell Legal, a specialist commercial dispute resolutions firm providing direct and pragmatic advice to successfully manage commercial risk and resolve any kind of business dispute. Scott provides a unique ability to solve complex legal problems with a focus on efficiently and effectively achieving client goals.
Scott has completed an MBA at Auckland University, which combined with his double degree in Law and Commerce provides him the academic credentials that underpin his business experience. He has developed strong international networks having attended the University of California and worked in Hong Kong and London.
Outside of work, Scott enjoys traveling slowly, over long distances, in the least sensible way possible. This has included driving a 7 horsepower moto-rickshaw 3,000km across north India, mountain biking the Camino De Santiago 800 kms across France and Spain, hopping local buses the 10,000km length of South America, and riding in a truck 6,000km from Cape Town to Kenya.
david van hout profile
David has approximately 15 years’ experience as a litigator and has appeared in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. He has experience working in litigation teams in both private and public practice and working on complex litigation, including working on one of the largest construction product defect liability cases in New Zealand and multimillion dollar claims brought by the statutory managers of the failed Hubbard finance companies.
Midway through his legal career, David ventured to London where he developed a love for a great cup of coffee. He acquired this while working for Freshfields on the multibillion euro merger between the second and third largest coffee companies in the world. His love (or some may say addiction) developed after sampling the various coffee brands to assist with his understanding of the regional coffee tastes in Europe and, more importantly, to sustain himself during the months of no sleep.
After returning to New Zealand, David moved to Auckland. Initially he practised in a boutique construction litigation firm, working with some of New Zealand’s leading Queen’s Counsel, before taking a position as an associate barrister in chambers, where he appeared in both the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. In 2019, David left chambers to join Scott’s dispute resolution and litigation firm, practising in all areas of commercial litigation. David acts for clients ranging from large corporates through to individuals involved in various commercial disputes and uses his knowledge and experience to cut through the noise, negotiating or advocating successful outcomes for his clients.
REBECCA SELBY PROFILE
Rebecca has been working in the litigation and dispute resolution field for around 15 years. She has appeared in the Employment Tribunal, District Court, High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.
Rebecca began her legal career at a litigation firm in London, acting primarily for investors with significant property portfolios. After nine winters, Rebecca returned home to New Zealand to work in a specialist litigation firm in Auckland focussing on complex commercial litigation.
Rebecca joined Russell Legal in 2022 and advises clients on a wide range of commercial litigation and construction matters.
Rebecca spends her spare time driving her 12 year old to various sporting activities and washing sports uniforms.
RICHARD POTTER PROFILE
Richard has worked in litigation since 2007. He has been involved in a wide range of civil, and commercial, litigation. Richard has appeared in the District Court and the High Court, on first instance matters and appeals. He is also familiar with alternative dispute resolution processes, such as mediation.
Richard has particular experience in construction-related disputes. He has been involved in disputes relating to active construction projects, and in the provision of payment claims / payment schedules under the Construction Contracts Act 2002. He has also worked on claims relating to defects in construction work that have emerged after the work has been completed. Richard has been involved in claims concerning builders, architects, engineers, developers, and territorial authorities.
After beginning his career in Auckland, Richard has also worked in London and then in Hamilton returning to Auckland in 2023. Outside work, Richard enjoys traveling overseas to explore new countries and have adventures, such as back-country skiing in Japan and camping in the desert in Morocco.
Krishneel Naidu PROFILE
Krishneel has over 10 years’ litigation experience. He has appeared in the District and High Courts and seen through the successful resolution of many disputes through mediation and arbitration.
Originally from the Fiji Islands, he spent a few years litigating trial and appellate cases there before his move to New Zealand. Here, he has worked on a wide gamut of civil disputes ranging from commercial, property, construction, estate, employment and insolvency matters.
At Russell Legal, he focuses his work on commercial and construction cases, assisting clients navigate through the many complex and heavily contentious aspects of their disputes.
When Krish is not chasing the intellectual stimulation from solving legal puzzles at work, he is away enjoying his passion for the outdoors: hiking, backpacking or at the beach (you can’t take the island out of him!).
Karen has worked in the law industry for the last ten years and looks after our back office ensuring it runs smoothly. She is responsible for the day-to-day finance and administration needs of the firm.
Russell Legal employs Law Clerks, who are students who are in their penultimate or final year at university studying for a career in law, and provides them with the opportunity to gain practical, hands on experience in their chosen field.