Historic Abuse/Human Rights

Cooper Legal is recognised as having particular expertise in historic abuse claims. At present, we are acting for about 650 clients who are bringing historic abuse claims.

Historical abuse claims are brought on behalf of individuals who have been sexually, physically and/or psychologically abused and/or neglected, particularly as minors and/or as psychiatric hospital patients. The abuse occurred while claimants were in the care of individuals, independent organisations such as churches and/or the State (including Social Welfare and/or psychiatric hospital care).

For those who were abused in care after 20 September 1990, Cooper Legal will also take action under the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act.

We maintain regular contact with other lawyers who undertake similar work and will refer clients on to those lawyers if, for any reason, we are unable to assist.

Employment Law

Cooper Legal advises clients, whether they are employers or employees, in respect of all employment issues. We place a particular emphasis on working with our clients to resolve their employment disputes - either directly with the other party concerned, or through the dispute resolution mechanisms available, such as the Mediation Service.

In cases that cannot be resolved in this way, we work with lawyers who specialise in employment law, to take the cases through the formal adjudication processes.

Education and Youth Law

As part of Cooper Legal's focus on human rights and youth issues, our firm is developing expertise in education cases. This is particularly in areas where the right to education has been denied and/or compromised due to discrimination or neglicence.

Sonja Cooper has been a Youth Advocate in the Wellington Youth Court since 1987, representing young persons who have been charged with criminal offences. Sonja Cooper is also part of the New Zealand Law Society Youth Justice Committee.

Civil Litigation

Cooper Legal has experience in a number of areas, including:

  • Complex claims in equity
  • Insurance work, requiring interpretations of insurance policies
  • Privacy Work
  • Family Protection and testamentary promises claims