Charles McGuinness – Employment Lawyer Wellington
Charles McGuinness is passionate about employment law and helping clients resolve their disputes and issues. He has wide experience in employment law matters, having worked in a boutique employment law firm, a large commercial firm and on his own account.
Charles’ experience in employment matters includes conducting workplace investigations, and he has particular experience in protection of intellectual property, restraints of trade and breach of confidentiality situations, including obtaining search orders and injunctions.
Charles has appeared before various New Zealand courts, including the District Court, Employment Court, and in the Employment Relations Authority (ERA). He regularly represents clients in mediation and also in negotiating settlements, particularly those relating to executive management issues and exits.
Charles presents seminars, webinars and workshops on employment law for organisations across New Zealand, including NZLS Continuing Legal Education, the New Zealand Institute of Management and the Human Resources Institute of New Zealand.
Charles regularly writes articles for employment law related publications and discusses employment law matters on Radio New Zealand and in the media.
Key cases and representation
Edlin v Beare Haven Investments Ltd 11 May 2017  NZERA Wellington 36. Successful claim for unjustified dismissal after Applicant dismissed for allegedly failing to follow policy.
Creeggan v New Zealand Defence Force  DCR 244; District Court, Wellington. First ever successful application for extension of time to bring a private prosecution under the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 (the Act). Second ever successful private prosecution under the Act. NZDF pled guilty to the charges, was convicted, and reparations were awarded.
Bosher v Wellington Combined Taxis Ltd  NZERA Wellington 83; ERA: Successful claim for unjustified dismissal after Applicant dismissed for a commercial debt.
MAS Zengrange (NZ) Ltd v HDT Ltd  NZEmpC 210, MAS Zengrange (NZ) Ltd v HDT Ltd  NZEmpC 204, MAS Zengrange (NZ) Ltd v HDT Ltd  NZEmpC 187, MAS Zengrange (NZ) Ltd v HDT Ltd  NZEmpC 87; Employment Court: successful application for without notice search orders against four respondents (three ex-employees and new company) based on alleged breaches of employment contracts and wrongful use of confidential information and trade secrets. Search orders carried out at three separate locations simultaneously across the Wellington region. Coordination of Independent Lawyers and Forensic Experts.
Foreign Service Association: Acted for FSA, the organisation representing 600 employees at Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), including ambassadors and employees at all levels, during the most significant review and restructure of MFAT and employees' terms and conditions of employment (2012). Provided advice and representation to FSA members during the "Rebstock Inquiry" set up under the State Sector Act 1988 and the Commissions of Inquiry Act 1908.
Middlemiss v Partridge & Scott v Partridge 1 March 2016 - District Court - successful applications for restraining orders against respondent under the Harassment Act 1997.
Osbourne v Sanders 20 November 2014 - District Court - successful application for restraining orders against respondent under the Harassment Act 1997.
Richardson v Stewart  NZERA Wellington 119. Acting for respondent in ERA investigation relating to parental leave applications. Settled on appeal to Employment Court
Bennet v Hutt City Council  NZERA Wellington 31. Acting for respondent in application for interim reinstatement after applicant dismissed for failing drug test.
Pure Hairdressing Ltd v Forward Go Ltd t/a Glo Hairdressing Johnsonville Ltd  NZERA Wellington 18; ERA: application for permanent compliance orders requiring ex-employee to comply with a number of express and implied post termination contractual obligations contained in an employment agreement and seeking penalties against the ex- employee and new employer. Successful application for interim injunction and associated orders.
Ravnjak v Wellington International Airport Ltd  NZERA Wellington 46, Ravnjak v Wellington International Airport Ltd  NZEmpC 31: Employment Court: Acting for employer in case relating to the admissibility of covert filming by licensed private investigator and security guard.