Jennifer Mills



Jennifer Mills

Firm: Minter Ellison Rudd Watts
Address:Lumley Centre
88 Shortland Street
Auckland 1140 DX CP24061
New Zealand
Phone:+64 9 353 9700
Fax:+64 9 353 9701
Email:Send an Email
Local Time:Mon. 08:38
Web site: Direct Page


Jennifer is an extremely well-regarded employment law expert who leads the employment team in Auckland. Her legal expertise spans the full range of employment law issues including corporate restructuring, employment agreements, disciplinary and collective bargaining issues.

Jennifer advises clients on the full range of employment issues including corporate restructuring, employment agreements, disciplinary and termination procedures, ACC, human rights, privacy, restraints of trade, industrial action (including strikes and lockouts), health and safety (including workplace stress), good faith, collective bargaining issues and superannuation.

Jennifer has extensive litigation experience in the Employment Relations Authority, Employment Court, District Court and High Court. She participates in a large number of mediations and private negotiations on behalf of clients, particularly in relation to personal grievance claims. She is an expert in contract negotiations and drafting and advises on all areas of employers" policies and procedures.


Areas of Practice


  • Employment and Labor
  • Superannuation


Professional Career


Significant Accomplishments

Representing clients in relation to claims regarding:

- unlawful strikes, including strikes in essential services
- unlawful interference with trade, business and employment, inducement of breach of contract and breach of statutory duty
- good faith and consultation, including the concept of meaningful consultation
- implementation of restructuring proposals and the application of selection criteria in downsizing situations
- breach of contract and application for judicial review of orders made by the Employment Relations Authority
- jurisdictional issues relating to the secondment overseas of New Zealand executives
stress claims by employees, including prison officers
- restraint of trade and deeds of confidentiality
- interim reinstatement

- Representing employers in defending personal grievance and dispute claims in the Employment Relations Authority and Employment Court
- Representing corporates in the District Court in relation to OSH prosecutions for alleged breaches of the Health and Safety in Employment Act
- Advising on corporate restructuring, including drafting proposals for consultation, designing communication strategies and implementing new structures
- Advising on national and multi-national mergers and acquisitions, including negotiating employment aspects of transactions, drafting commercial provisions and preparing strategies for transfer of employees
- Assisting employers to develop a comprehensive suite of employment documentation for the workplace, including employment agreements, human resources policies, health and safety policies, codes of conduct and employee participation programmes
- Undertaking and drafting health and safety compliance programmes for corporates
- Advising employer clients on implementing disciplinary and dismissal processes in relation to a broad range of suspected employee misconduct, including in respect of alleged or suspected fraud, corruption or criminal offending. Jennifer has advised major financial institutions (both New Zealand based, and international organisations) in respect of employment issues arising in cases of suspected employee misconduct, including rogue trading, and conspiracy to commit robbery.
- Providing advice in relation to the Official Information Act and Privacy Act
- Advising on employee benefits, remuneration and incentives
- Providing advice in relation to establishing superannuation schemes and in relation to KiwiSaver obligations
- Advising on all aspects of collective bargaining and negotiations, including the development and implementation of effective collective bargaining strategies
- Providing advice on holidays and parental leave issues
- Acting as counsel for a major New Zealand employer in Employment Court litigation where a former senior level employee sought in excess of $5m for an alleged constructive dismissal. This case, which was ultimately resolved out of Court, contained a number of potentially novel aspects of law, and included one of the largest claims in monetary terms by an employee against their employer to have been taken in the Court
- Acting as the lead advisor to an international airline in respect of all of their New Zealand related employment matters, including advising them on personal grievances and other disputes, and employment related operational and commercial matters

Professional Associations

Leading individual, Labour and Employment - Guide to the World's Leading Women in Business Law 2013
Committee Member - Auckland Branch of the Human Resources Institute of New Zealand
Leader of the Employment Relations Special Interest Group - a sub-committee of the Human Resources Institute of New Zealand
Member, LEADR New Zealand Inc
Former member, Auckland District Law Society Employment Law Committee


Jennifer regularly speaks at employment law seminars and conferences. She is a highly regarded speaker, and has been a repeat speaker at a number of the leading employment law events in New Zealand, including those run by LexisNexis, Bright*Star and Conferenz.

She is a frequent commentator on employment issues in the National Business Review and the New Zealand Herald and is author of the New Zealand chapter of a renowned international text book on employment law. Jennifer has also written articles, and a textbook chapter, for the American Bar Association.



BA University of Auckland, 1994
LLB University of Auckland, 1994