Chris Dann


+64 3 964 5835

+64 27 672 8721


Chris heads Anthony Harper’s corporate advisory team, and is regarded as one of the country’s leading transport and logistics lawyers. Admitted in 1999, he has a wealth of knowledge, expertise, and experience in domestic and international procurement, supply and distribution, and services arrangements. Other areas of extensive experience include mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, governance, franchising and technology.

An in-house role with the world’s largest logistics company gave Chris a commercial, pragmatic approach. Available and responsive, he does his best to follow Anthony Harper’s “think best”, “we’ve got your back”, and “whatever it takes” values.

Chris works with port companies, freight forwarders, carriers, and exporters, giving him a perspective of the entire supply chain. Areas he advises on include:

  • Shipping contracts (including port services arrangements)
  • Domestic and international carriage of goods (contractual and advisory)
  • Freight forwarding and logistics services; vessel and heavy equipment procurement, and supply and distribution arrangements.
  • Procurement matters for central and local government clients.

For corporate (including mergers and acquisitions) work, Chris’ client base covers the gamut from small business to international companies. The team he leads is especially noted for its presence in mid-market transactions.

According to clients, Chris’ strengths include commercial knowledge and experience, a sense of humour and dedication to work. His approach is to develop a genuine understanding of his clients’ business and drivers, in order to deliver value, and become a ‘trusted advisor’.

“There is not a lot that Chris doesn’t know. One of the great things is that he knows when to raise a concern, but also knows when to back off if we say we accept the risk.” – Aaron Kenny, CFO, Dairyworks Limited.

Key Transactions


  • NZX listed international milk nutrition company Synlait Milk Limited on its strategically important acquisition of major cheese producer, Dairyworks Limited for NZ$112 million. We advised on all aspects including overseas investment consent, due diligence and transaction documentation, and settled during Level 4 Lockdown. This transaction was the 2020 winner of the NZ Law Awards' Mid-Market Deal of the Year.
  • (since 2006) The Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment in relation to the domestic and international procurement of petroleum reserves for the New Zealand Government, including tendering, procurement and probity advice and documentation, tender evaluation, and contract drafting and negotiation. Reserve stocks provide domestic and international strategic supply security, and allow NZ to comply with its international treaty obligations.
  • Lyttelton Port Company, the largest port in the South Island, on the international procurement of a new, state of the art harbour tug, Piaka, including compliance with relevant Maritime Rules, and the issue of the regulatory minimum safe crewing certification.
  • Leading FMCG dairy products supplier, Dairyworks, on a range of new manufacturing, supply, distribution and IT arrangements for a warehouse management system, product supply from overseas manufacturers and coolstore racking, as well as a template international distribution agreement.


  • For leading transport operator Hilton Haulage, in relation to the establishment of its global logistics and freight forwarding business division. This encompassed air freight, sea freight, road freight, import and export documentation, and customs clearance, as well as domestic transport, warehousing, and 3PL. It included preparation of new standard conditions of business and other documentation. This was a major strategic move for Hilton Haulage and they sought our advice because of our specialist expertise.
  • For the Buller District Council in relation to its multi-million dollar investment in New Zealand Whitebait Limited, an innovative project focused on the sustainable farming of iconic West Coast whitebait. Our work included engagement with the Government's Provincial Development Unit to provide funding for the investment, and working with New Zealand Whitebait and its advisors in relation to governance and shareholding arrangements.


  • New Zealand Law Awards, Mid-Market Deal of the Year, Winner, 2020
  • New Zealand Law Awards, New Zealand Deal of the Year, Winner, 2016
  • New Zealand Law Awards, Capital Markets Deal of the Year, Winner, 2016
  • Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, Communication Award, Winner, 2020


  • Asia Pacific Legal 500, Leading Individual, Transport, 2018-2021
  • Asia Pacific Legal 500, Recommended, Corporate and M&A, 2018-2021
  • New Zealand Doyle's Guide, Leading Lawyer, Transport, 2021
  • Best Lawyers, New Zealand


Bachelor of Laws (LLB), (First Class Honours), Bachelor of Commerce and Administration (BCA), Victoria University of Wellington

Admission to the Bar

Wellington, 1999

Professional Memberships

New Zealand Law Society, Canterbury & Westland, Member

Directorships and Trusteeships

Burnside High School Board of Trustees, Board Member, 2019-

Contributed Articles

  • Combatting modern slavery – proposed new duties across the supply chain

    It is difficult to believe that slavery still exists in today’s society, but the unfortunate reality is, it does. Modern slavery and worker exploitation remains in both the domestic and international supply chains and whilst our current laws on exploitation by employers goes some way towards combating modern slavery, the Government considers that that focus […]

  • Ship Arrests – How Do They Work?

    This article Appeared in the October 2020 issue of The Shipping Gazette The drama surrounding recent ship arrests in New Zealand has captured the attention of the shipping fraternity here, with several readers emailing me to try and grasp what is going on. The specifics of the cases in question are emerging via complex High […]

  • Air Freight liability increase

    In a year to forget for international airlines, the hits keep coming. From 28 August, air carrier liability for loss, damage or delay significantly increased. Freight forwarders and others who contract for carriage by air will also be impacted by this 13.9% increase and exporters and importers can expect the cost of air freight to […]

  • UPDATED: The definition of essential goods and the law of unintended consequences…

    Update as at 18 April:   In the original version of this article (below), we highlighted some potential issues with the Government restrictions on freight movements.  The Ministry of Transport has now updated its rules and we have received some information from Government about transport under Alert Level 3.   All freight can now be […]

  • Changes to standard operating procedures for essential transport and logistics businesses

    Essential businesses must take steps to minimise infection risks for their workers – both to comply with Covid-19 Government requirements and existing health and safety law. That means minimising contact, physical distancing, increasing the use of cleaning and anti-bacterial products and using personal protective equipment (‘PPE’). Industry specific PPE requirements for essential workers not in […]