Don Mackinnon

Don is one of New Zealand’s leading employment lawyers and has practised in this area for approximately 30 years.

He was a partner at Simpson Grierson for 10 years (the last 3 years as Head of Litigation) and then co-founded boutique employment law firm SBM Legal, where he served as Managing Partner for 12 years. He joined City Chambers at the start of 2020.

Don studied at Auckland University and completed his LLM at the University of London in 1990.

He has appeared many times before the Employment Relations Authority and Employment Court, as well as attending countless mediations. However in recent times, much of his time has been spent conducting independent investigations and serving as a private mediator. He also is heavily involved in collective bargaining.

Don is also one of New Zealand’s leading sports lawyers and directors. He currently Chair’s the super rugby club The Blues, he is a long serving director of NZ Cricket (and Chair of its High Performance Committee) and he is also Chair of the Integrity Vetting Panel of World Athletics based in Monaco. He has previously served as a director of Sport NZ, High Performance Sport NZ and was Chair of Netball NZ. Don has also conducted several significant independent reviews on sports related matters. He has also been a director of various commercial entities

Don is able to take direct instructions on certain files.


PO Box 605
Shortland Street
Auckland 1140