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Awarded Most Innovative Disputes & Prosecutions Lawyer (New Zealand)

Release from the 2022 APAC Insider Legal Awards: Based in Hamilton, New Zealand, Martin Dillon is a litigation specialist brimming with passion and power. We find out more about his practice, and what sets it aside from the rest, as he wins an award in the APAC Legal Awards, 2022.

Martin Dillon is a litigation lawyer who deals with a broad range of civil disputes, regulatory proceedings and criminal prosecutions. Martin provides advice and advocacy for corporate clients, private individuals, and government institutions. He enrolled as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand in 2007 after obtaining a law degree from the University of Auckland.

“Two important founding values were responsible conflict resolution and promoting access to justice,” he explains. “These have not changed in the years since I established my practice.” The focus on access to justice has seen the practice expand into jurisdictions it would not have entered otherwise and, Martin tells us, this is the result of taking clients on a Civil Legal Aid basis.

“There is relatively high demand for Civil Legal Aid lawyers in New Zealand, but relatively few lawyers who regularly take clients on under that regime,” says Martin. “From time to time I take cases in less familiar areas in order to help clients who will not receive it otherwise. This tends to broaden the practice and promote continuing professional development.”

As with a lot of industries, there has been a significant increase in the use of digital technology in litigation over the last few years, largely driven by the Covid-19 pandemic and associated restrictions. This has had mainly positive benefits, however. Many more court appearances are now being attended remotely by video link and there is less of a preference for hardcopy documents generally, meaning some court registries now handle emails more efficiently than before. As a result, certain administrative elements of litigation have become more efficient.

Martin is very much onboard with the changing times and is passionate about communication, believing it to be paramount in helping clients to understand their position as, very often, people fear the unknown and therefore careful explanations can reduce stress by minimising the amount of unknown factors in litigation.

Martin has written fairly extensively about the civil work that he conducts and made all the information freely accessible on his website. This is just one of the elements which sets him aside from others in the sector. A revised and updated version of Martin’s online content is also now available in his book ‘Civil Litigation for Non-Lawyers: A Plain English Guide to Civil Cases in New Zealand’. As well as this, Martin runs a podcast called ‘Legal Questions’, where he discusses issues raised by listeners.

“The idea with all of those is to help people gain a better understanding of the law and the legal issues that they may face in their lives,” he says. “All of this seems to hold some attraction for clients, as it tends to reduce concern that my business might not put their interests ahead of profit.”

Recently, Martin was recognised in the APAC Legal Awards 2022 for his diligence in the industry and rewarded with the title of Most Innovative Disputes & Prosecutions Lawyer 2022 (New Zealand). He is now looking towards a bright, yet busy, future.

“I am looking forward to having a few guests on the podcast when I can find the time,” he enthuses. “Right now things are at a stage where I will either have to reduce the caseload or take on new staff, which is a nice problem to have!”

Civil Litigation for Non-Lawyers

This plain English guide to civil cases in New Zealand was published by The Legal Drive in 2021. It is [available here].

The book provides information about how to run a civil court case in New Zealand. It includes guidance on how to commence a claim in the District Court and the High Court, including what information is needed for particular documents. There is a detailed section on court costs with tables and examples. It also includes chapters on alternative dispute resolution, employment issues, residential tenancies and disputes tribunals. The book is suited to beginners to civil disputes and procedures. 


Various articles published by in 2015 are available on this website. The content of these has now been revised, updated and included in the 2021 publication Civil Litigation for Non-Lawyers. The 2015 articles are still available [here], although please note that they may now be out of date.


Evidence and Advocacy Masterclass – Auckland – 22 June 2023

Examine expert’s evidence in depth and gain valuable strategies to ensure the best use of expert evidence.

Evidence and Advocacy for Civil and Commercial Litigators – Auckland – 8 June 2021

Receive practical guidance on crafting effective written and oral submissions.

Human Resource Law Management Summit 2021 – Auckland – Postponed due to Covid 19

Dealing with issues on bullying, harassment and discrimination in the workplace.


13 September 2023 – NZ Herald –  ‘There’s no boyfriend, girlfriend status in my culture’: Hamilton man’s bigamy excuse

13 September 2023 – Stuff – Bigamist who bashed, strangled second wife ends up with prison sentence 

5 September 2023 – NZ Herald – Hamilton man set free after jury returns mixed verdicts over ‘sexsomnia’ defence

30 September 2022 – APAC Insider – APAC Insider Legal Awards Winner: Most Innovative Disputes & Prosecutions Lawyer (New Zealand)

15 June 2022 – NZ Herald – Father who sexually, physically abused stepkids jailed

1 August 2021 – NZ Herald – Can’t afford a lawyer? New book offers DIY legal tips

28 April 2021 – Top Reviews – The 6 Best Lawyers in Hamilton

19 April 2021 – Remote Legal – Paperback edition of Civil Litigation for Non-Lawyers

27 February 2021 – Stuff – MSD tenant does $30,000 damage to Whangārei property, disappears

17 February 2021 – NZLS – Martin Dillon: Civil Litigation for Non-Lawyers

10 February 2021 – Practice Source – NZ: Civil Litigation for Non-Lawyers

10 February 2021 – Law Fuel – Collaboration of Barristers Helps Self-Litigants With New Book

28 September 2020 – Courts of New Zealand – Martin Dillon Submission

17 July 2020 – Stuff – Student teacher had sex with teen student at backpackers

4 September 2019 – Stuff – Filthy, unclad kids on the street as glue-sniffing carer wanders off 

19 June 2018 – NZ Herald – Waikato’s wig-wearing bank robber jailed

21 November 2017 – Stuff – Supermarket toilet aisle arsonists sentenced in Hamilton District Court

16 October 2017 – NZ Herald – 600,000 images: Hamilton man’s child porn addiction lands him in jail