Adam Simperingham

LLB (Hons), BA, M.ComLaw (Hons), PGDip LS
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Specialist Areas

  • Civil and Commercial Litigation
  • Partnership and land disputes
  • Employment Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Traffic Law
  • Appeals at all levels
  • Contesting wills
  • Construction disputes
  • Serious Fraud


Adam has lots of academic qualifications but prides himself as a pragmatic can-do trial and appeal lawyer.  Adam graduated from the University of Auckland with a Bachelor of Arts in French and Politics, an Honours degree in law, a Post-Graduate Diploma in Legal Studies, and a Master of Commercial Law with Honours.

In the 1990s Adam had five years’ experience in the Litigation Department of Minter Ellison Rudd Watts in Auckland, specialising in commercial litigation and employment law.  Adam came to Gisborne as a Staff Solicitor at Woodward Iles & Co. in April 1999.  He assisted the Crown Solicitor from 1999 until 2006.  Adam has been a partner at Woodward Iles/Woodward Chrisp since April 2001.  He has had court appearances in Gisborne and throughout New Zealand, especially in Auckland and Wellington, and regularly appears before the Court of Appeal in relation to criminal appeals.  He boasts a 100% success rate in the Supreme Court (where he appeared in relation to the successful Morton v Queen appeal).  Adam has appeared in a number of high profile criminal cases including murder trials as lead counsel, and numerous complicated multi-party proceedings, and other trials involving allegations of unlawful sex, drugs and violence.  Adam has appeared in complex fraud trials.  He has also been involved in civil litigation and is developing a close relationship with the Chinese community both here in Gisborne and in Auckland.  Adam retains an interest in employment law matters, advising both employers and employees in relation to personal grievances, disciplinary issues, business restructuring, and the sale of businesses.  Adam has current and repeated instructions in relation to money laundering charges and proceeds of crime proceedings.

Adam is a faculty member of the New Zealand Law Society Litigation Skills programme.  He has held this position for several years.  Previous positions held include: Governor of the Gisborne Branch Standards Committee of the New Zealand Law Society’s Complaints Service, President of the Gisborne Branch of the New Zealand Law Society, Executive member of the Gisborne Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the Judicial Committee for the Poverty Bay Rugby Football Union, one of the original founders and then President of the Gisborne BNI group, President of the Gisborne Toy Library Inc, Trustee of the Wainui Beach School Board of Trustees and a member of the Gisborne Local Consultative Legal Service Agency Group.  Adam is currently a Vice President of the New Zealand Criminal Bar Association and a Board Member of the Poverty Bay Rugby Union.    


Adam enjoys surfing and snow skiing.  Adam has completed eight marathons including the Auckland, Rotorua, Fielding and Great Barrier marathons; and a number of open water swimming races, including the Eagle Technology Rangitoto to St Heliers race on three occasions.  Adam also participated in the Jungfrau Mountain Marathon in 2012.  He was coming last, so he took the train to catch up to the other competitors.

Adam was in the Gisborne Fight for Life in 2012.  The event raised over $10,000 for the Life Education Trust. 

Adam has coached the OBM Legends Under 10 rugby team.  In October 2009 Adam was nominated Sport Gisborne Tairawhiti’s Volunteer of the Month.

Adam is well known in Gisborne for his maritime misadventures.  He was stranded on Pourewa Island during the 2010 tsunami.  As a surf lifesaver Adam has been involved in rescues both as a team member and as a patient!