Emma Hughes

Senior Associate


+64 9 920 9264

+64 27 379 3787


Emma is a construction law expert. She acts across a broad range of construction disputes, including delay claims, variation disputes, and defective building work. Her expertise includes advising on the nuances of construction contracts and seeking resolution through adjudication, arbitration, and court proceedings. Emma has appeared in the High Court and Court of Appeal.

Emma is an effective communicator and works diligently to ensure her clients are guided through the complexities of their case. She does not make assumptions and is lauded for providing ‘comprehensive responses’ to aid the decision making process.

One client noted “we were impressed with (Emma’s) ability to grasp and understand the underlying facts and translate them into legal arguments that the Adjudicator could relate to.”

Key Transactions

Advised and Acted:

  • For New Zealand's largest construction company on construction disputes relating to major projects in New Zealand, in particular providing contract advice and interpretation, facilitating/driving alternative dispute resolution processes and arbitration.
  • For another large construction client on a range of construction disputes, including significant delay cost claims against New Zealand and overseas entities, and assisting in adjudication and High Court proceedings.
  • For various clients in relation to defective building claims ranging from individuals to multi-party claims, in the High Court and Weathertight Homes Tribunal.
  • A number of New Zealand developers on various projects, including earthworks and multi-unit apartments complexes. Emma has acted for these clients in adjudication to deal with disputes relating to extensions of time, time related costs and variations, and in general she has provided contract advice throughout the running of these projects to manage conflicts and avoid litigation.


  • Bachelor of Laws (LLB), (Hons), Bachelor of Arts, University of Waikato

Admission to the Bar

  • New Zealand, 2012