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Don Mackinnon

Don Mackinnon


Don is a partner at SBM Legal. He has over 30 years’ experience in employment law and industrial relations and has practised and studied in both New Zealand and the United Kingdom. He also is one of New Zealand’s leading sports lawyers.

Prior to the formation of SBM Legal, Don was the principal of his own specialist employment law firm. Before then he was, for 10 years, a partner at Simpson Grierson (one of New Zealand’s largest firms) in its employment law team. Don also served as that firm’s Head of Litigation. His expertise is acknowledged by prestigious international legal publications Who’s Who Legal, Chambers Asia Pacific and Asia Pacific Legal 500.

Don has acted in numerous leading employment law cases and has a particular focus on union/industrial relations issues. He has a Master of Laws from the University of London, majoring in International Labour Law and has attended courses at the University of Melbourne and Harvard Business School. He has co-authored various texts in employment and sports law. Don is currently Chair of The blues, Chair of the IAAF Integrity Panel and a Director of New Zealand Cricket (and Chairs its High Performance Committee). He has previously served as a Director of Sport New Zealand (formerly SPARC), High Performance Sport NZ and Netball New Zealand, which he also chaired. He is also a prominent speaker at seminars and often is asked to comment on employment law issues in the media.