Peter McKnight

Peter is one of New Zealand’s most experienced media and defamation lawyers. He is an established trial counsel, having acted in a large number of first-instance hearings, with some eleven civil jury trials in the High Court.

At appellate level, Peter appears often in the Court of Appeal. He has previously appeared in the Supreme Court, the Privy Council, and the High Court of the Cook Islands.

For 30 years, Peter was a partner of Izard Weston, a boutique Wellington firm. There, Peter had a broad practice in dispute resolution and litigation. Over many years he represented media publishers across New Zealand, including Independent Newspapers Limited, Fairfax Media and Radio New Zealand.

Peter was also a prosecutor for the Motor Vehicle Dealers Institute and the Wellington Harbour Board.

In 2008, Peter became a barrister sole. At the bar, Peter’s practice centres on media law, advising and representing clients involved in court proceedings. Peter will take briefs in most areas of civil litigation, with expertise in trusts and estates, family law, contract and insurance issues.

In a typical week, Peter is managing litigation, taking instructions from solicitors and government departments, and appearing in Court.

Ali Romanos

Ali has worked with Peter since January 2013, initially as a law clerk and, thereafter, an employed barrister. In media law and defamation, he has appeared as sole or junior counsel in the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, High Court and District Court, acting alongside Peter in three civil jury trials.

In 2014, Ali created Defamation Update, a free legal resource endorsed by NetSafe and Citizens Advice Bureau. The site provides a comprehensive guide to defamation law and court procedure, with a large database of New Zealand defamation cases.

Ali is often asked by law firms across New Zealand to provide defamation opinions. He also assists other barristers in ongoing litigation, including King’s Counsel, whether to appear as junior counsel or provide litigation support.

Ali works with authors, publishers and producers to navigate legal risks, and to advise on contract, insurance and intellectual-property issues.

In addition to his media-law and defamation practice, Ali has been briefed as sole counsel in a range of civil disputes, including proceedings in the High Court for equitable relief, applications to the District Court under the Property Law Act, proceedings before the Employment Relations Authority, appeals from the District Court and Taxation Review Authority, and for creditors and debtors involved in debt-enforcement processes.     

In a typical week, Ali is preparing court documents, giving advice about prospective and ongoing litigation, and appearing in Court.

Ali’s personal website is available here.