Olivia Welsh

Special Counsel


+64 9 984 4213

+64 27 697 0372


Olivia Welsh is a Special Counsel in Anthony Harper’s litigation team, having been admitted to practice in 2012. She has broad experience in commercial, civil, and regulatory litigation with a particular focus on workplace health and safety matters. Clients come to her for advice around compliance and ways to address health and safety risks internally, as well as in relationships with contractors, suppliers, and others. Olivia also assists clients in responding to workplace incidents, including providing guidance, and representation during investigations and prosecutions by WorkSafe New Zealand and coronial inquests.

In 2021 she was named as a Rising Star in the annual list produced by New Zealand Lawyer magazine.

In addition to her specialist health and safety experience, Olivia has acted on a wide range of civil and commercial litigation matters, including insurance litigation, product liability, estate litigation, breach of contract, negligence cases, and construction disputes:

“Olivia has a reputation as being a pragmatic, technically competent, and highly engaged legal advisor. Clients appreciate her down to earth approach and responsiveness, particularly when dealing with crisis situations in the health and safety context.”

Key Transactions

Advised & Represented:

  • White Island Tours Limited following the eruption of Whakaari/White Island, including dealing with investigations by Police, and WorkSafe New Zealand, and international claims by affected passengers and their families.
  • Flick Anticimex throughout a complex workplace health and safety investigation, and subsequent prosecution regarding exposure of workers to hazardous fumigant chemicals.
  • Smart Environmental Limited in the WorkSafe investigation and subsequent prosecution of Smart following a fatal accident involving an employee of a contractor; including successfully negotiating with WorkSafe for the withdrawal of a reckless conduct charge.
  • A New Zealand District Health Board in relation to health and safety issues arising from the activities of its Facilities Management division, including special projects and development works across the public hospital and out-patient network.
  • A Council Controlled Organisation in relation to its health and safety governance responsibilities and providing training to its officers about their personal health and safety responsibilities.


  • New Zealand Lawyer Magazine, Rising Star Award, 2021


Bachelor of Laws (LLB), Bachelor of Arts (BA), (First Class Honours), University of Otago

Master of Law (LLM), (First Class Honours), University of Auckland

Admission to the Bar

New Zealand, 2012

Professional Memberships

New Zealand Institute of Safety Management, Member of Accreditation Committee, Affiliation Member

Auckland Women’s Lawyers’ Association, Member

Contributed Articles

  • New guidance on managing work site traffic

    Following consultation in 2020, WorkSafe New Zealand (WorkSafe) has recently released new good practice guidelines for managing work site traffic (Guidelines). The Guidelines are intended to create a comprehensive reference point for businesses and workers with information about how to keep healthy and safe around vehicles and mobile plant. An ongoing challenge In the last […]

  • What should you be doing now to mitigate the health and safety risks posed by a potential Coronavirus outbreak in New Zealand?

    In the wake of the World Health Organisation (WHO) declaring the Coronavirus outbreak a global health emergency, China going into lockdown, and the New Zealand Ministry of Health advising against travel plans in the near future, New Zealand business owners are starting to wonder about their obligations towards their staff and customers. Whilst there are […]

  • Shared responsibilities – identifying and managing health and safety risks in leased premises

    Landlords and tenants need to pro-actively assess and manage the health and safety related risks their premises and operations may pose, and cannot contract out or delegate this responsibility to each other or a property manager. Ultimately, both landlords and tenants may be held accountable if an incident occurs as a result of a property […]

  • Silicosis – is this the new asbestosis?

    Relatively little is known about the problem of silicosis in New Zealand, but data from around the world suggests construction workers, and workers in the stone bench top industry may be at risk from this disease. What is it, and how can you take steps to protect your workers from it? What is silicosis? Silicosis […]

  • Is the New Zealand Transport Agency going to become a designated health and safety regulator?

    Following an independent review of the New Zealand Transport Agency’s performance, the Government is considering designating the Transport Agency as a regulator under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA). Such a move would significantly increase the Transport Agency’s regulatory powers and allow it to take criminal prosecutions for health and safety breaches […]