Thomas Refoy-Butler

LLB/BA (Hons), University of Otago Partner (07) 579 0741 Email Thomas Refoy-Butler

Thomas is a Partner of Mackenzie Elvin Law and is an experienced litigator providing strategic advice and representation to clients in relation to commercial disputes and regulatory litigation.  He has particular experience in contractual disputes, construction, employment, insolvency, insurance, professional disciplinary proceedings, interim relief (injunctions and freezing orders) and regulatory litigation and investigations. He also has experience as sole and junior counsel acting for private and corporate clients, including Crown entities, in both civil and criminal proceedings in the District Court, High Court and Court of Appeal. 

Thomas also regularly instructs barristers providing litigation support, management and appearing as counsel as required.

Thomas is an Associate Member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors and Board Member for Athletics Waikato Bay of Plenty and the Omanu Beach Surf Lifesaving Club.  

Thomas started his career in Auckland in a specialist litigation practice and subsequently worked for two national law firms before relocating with his family to Tauranga at the beginning of 2019.


Important Recent Cases Include:

  • Cuthers v Cuthers [2020] NZHC 1851 – application under s 339(1) of the Property Law Act 2007 for orders for sale of a property and ancillary orders relating to vacant possession and distribution of sale proceeds.
  • Pitt v Estate of Mead  [2020] NZHC 2425 – application under the s 51 of the Trustee Act 1956 to remove the trustee of an estate and order appointing replacement trustee.
  • Carabell Trust v Tauranga City Council [2019] NZHC 2725 – application under ss 316 and 317 of the Property Law Act 2007 to remove a restrictive covenant against subdivision on a title.
  • Degan Farms (BOP) Limited v Williams as trustee of the Jack Williams and Lauren Andrews Family Trust [2020] NZDC 1353; [2020] NZHC 2167 – application for summary judgment for breach of warranties under an Agreement for Sale and Purchase. An appeal was pursued but abandoned by the appellant.
  • Enterprise Miramar Peninsula Incorporated v Wellington City Council & Anor [2018] NZHC 614; [2018] NZCA 541 – judicial review of a decision to grant a resource consent for a major residential and commercial development.
  • McCollum & Ors v Thompson & Anor [2017] NZCA 269 – appeal against a counterclaim concerning the conversion of livestock and loss of profits.
  • BDM Grange Limited v Trimex (New Zealand) Limited [2017] NZHC 1259 – defence to an application to set aside a statutory demand enforcing a judgment debt.
  • Petterson v Hutt [2016] NZHC 1394 – ex parte injunction to set aside a GSA on behalf of a liquidator.
  • Republic of Kazakhstan v Mega Limited [2016] NZHC 1898 – defence to an application against discovery of documents in a foreign jurisdiction.
  • Commissioner of Police v Beet & Comins [2014] NZHC 1054 – application under the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act 2009 for asset forfeiture orders.
  • Commissioner of Police v Kree [2013] NZHC 2972 – application under the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act 2009 for profit forfeiture orders.
  • N-Tech Limited & Ors v Abooth Limited & Ors [2012] NZHC 1167 – acted for third party defendant regarding litigation involving a complex tax avoidance scheme.


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