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Megan Richards

Megan Richards



  • Industrial Relations
  • Employment and Labor
  • Employment
  • Government

WSG Practice Industries


WSG Leadership

Industrial Relations
WSG Coronavirus Task Force Group
Megan leads both the public law team and the Wellington employment team and acts for both public and private sector clients. She has practiced law for over 20 years in top tier firms in New Zealand, Australia and London, and sits on the partnership’s board.

Her practice traverses strategic, litigious and time-critical day-to-day advice on all aspects of Public Law and Employment related law. Megan regularly acts for numerous government departments and crown entities (including central government education agencies). She has specialist expertise in PPPs having acted for the Ministry of Defence (UK) on their defence procurement and Railtrack plc on the privatisation of the UK railway.

Bringing significant experience to all employment related matters, Megan regularly advises on drafting employment agreements and HR policies, managing poor performance, restructuring and redundancy, disciplinary investigations and dismissals, leave entitlements, minimum standards compliance, secondments, fixed term employment, KiwiSaver, collective bargaining, independent contractor arrangements, establishing business in NZ and recruiting staff, and restraints of trade and other post termination obligations.

As a recognised expert in Employment law, Megan is on the Editorial Boards of employment publications and is also the co-author of the Laws of New Zealand Employment chapter. As a recognised expert in Public Law, Megan is also an extenral member of the Legislation, Design and Advisory Committee (which is an appointment by the attorney general).

Megan’s leading expertise across Employment and Public Law is consistently noted in independent national and international peer guides, including Chambers Global and Chambers Asia Pacific.

Megan is also a Public Law expert and advises on exercise of statutory powers, legislative drafting, discrimination and judicial review proceedings, risk management and legal compliance.


LLB Victoria University of Wellington
Areas of Practice

Education | Employment | Employment and Labor | Government | Health and Safety | Industrial Relations | Major projects/PPPs | Public Law

Professional Career

Significant Accomplishments

Listed lawyer, Labour & Employment - Best Lawyers in New Zealand 2014
Leading individual, Public Law - Chambers Asia Pacific 2014
""Exceptionally good" department head Megan Richards is an experienced employment lawyer"
Leading individual, Employment – Chambers Asia Pacific 2014 – 2010
"One client said that she "strikes the right balance between the strict legal interpretation and the practical requirements of our business.""
Named in The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers (Labour & Employment) - 2012
Leading individual - Chambers Global 2012/2013, 2011/2012, 2010/2011, 2009/210
Leading individual (Labour and Employee Benefits) - PLC Which Lawyer – 2011/2012, 2010/2011, 2009/2010
Recommended individual (Labour and Employee Benefits) - PLC Which Lawyer – 2008/2009

Professional Associations

Member External Subcommittee of the Legislation Design and Advisory Committee
Member LEADR New Zealand Inc
Member Wellington Club
Honorary Solicitor NZ Riding for Disabled Assn Inc
Editorial Board Member Lexis Nexis' Employment Law Bulletin
Editorial Board Member Lexis Nexis' Employment Headnotes of New Zealand
Specialist Editor Lexis Nexis Employment Precedents


COVID-19: Essential Workers Leave Support
MinterEllisonRuddWatts, April 2020

The Government’s COVID-19 Essential Workers Leave Support scheme provides support to essential services to pay employees who can’t work due to COVID-19.   Eligibility COVID-19 Essential Workers Leave Support is only available to essential services. Essential services are those that provide the ‘necessities of life’ and are listed on the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s website...

COVID-19: Employers Can Still Make Commercial Decisions Regarding their Workforce
MinterEllisonRuddWatts, April 2020

Much has been said in the media about how employers cannot make changes to their workforce without the consent of employees, or that accessing the Government’s COVID-19 Wage Subsidy means you can’t make changes to your workforce. However, those blunt messages risk sending a simplistic message which does not reflect the commercial reality of the world that businesses are now operating in...

Managing COVID-19 as an Employer
MinterEllisonRuddWatts, March 2020

  Following the outbreak of COVID-19, employers need to ensure they are taking appropriate steps to manage the potential risks for their workers and others who may visit the workplace. Some of the actions may be required at law under health and safety legislation...

Additional Articles

Co-author of Lexis Nexis’ Laws of New Zealand Employment Chapter (published May 2010)
Author of Mazengarb’s Redundancy Chapter

WSG's members are independent firms and are not affiliated in the joint practice of professional services. Each member exercises its own individual judgments on all client matters.

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