Our Team

The Dilworth Class Action is being led by a highly regarded team who have extensive experience in litigation and have a deep understanding of the New Zealand legal and regulatory framework.

The legal team are acting without recovering any fees from claimants. New Zealand’s leading litigation funder LPF Group are paying all the expenses associated with taking the claim without charging any fees or seeking any profit for doing so. You will not be charged for their services.

Neil Harding

Claimant & Survivor

Neil Harding is a Dilworth Old Boy.  He attended the School in 1977 and 1978 and is a survivor himself.  He has been instrumental in bringing the historical abuse at Dilworth to light, by confronting the School and speaking publicly about his experiences.  He gave a statement during the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care, which can be accessed here: 



Neil is passionate about achieving justice for his fellow survivors, holding those responsible to account and ensuring that other children are safe from abuse in any form.


Second Claimant

HS is a Dilworth Old Boy.  He is a survivor of sexual abuse at Dilworth School. and We cannot provide any further information about HS at this time.

Senior Counsel

Appointed to the rank of Queen’s Counsel in 2017, Rachael practises in civil and criminal law acting for both Crown and defence as lead counsel. Rachael has 25 years’​ experience as a lawyer, leading complex trials for plaintiffs and defendants. She is a seasoned lead trial counsel and has been involved in many high profile cases. 


Immediately prior to joining the bar in 2012 Rachael was a Crown prosecutor for 6 years and has conducted many trials involving allegations of abuse, including child sexual abuse.


Ali van Ammers is an Auckland based barrister with significant experience in litigation.  A passionate, client focused advocate, Ali is a clear thinking and technically excellent lawyer with strong analytical skills and sound judgment, she provides top quality representation and legal advice to a wide range of clients.  

Ali was admitted in 2009 and joined the independent bar in 2019, after working at Russell McVeagh, Crown Law and, most recently, MinterEllisonRuddWatts.


Wilson Harle is a specialist litigation firm offering a unique blend of services and skills - the depth of litigation resource ordinarily found only at large commercial law firms, combined with the independence that comes from a focus on litigation.

  • Ian Denton (Partner) is a commercial litigation lawyer. Ian provides advice and assistance to clients in relation to a wide range of commercial issues including anti-trust/competition and regulatory matters, contractual disputes, professional and product liability and insurance and risk management.

  • Karl van der Plas (senior solicitor) who prior to joining Wilson Harle, worked for the Offices of the Crown Solicitor at Palmerston North and Hamilton. He has significant trial and appellate advocacy experience primarily as sole or lead counsel.

  • Andrew McCombie (solicitor) holds an LLB and BSc (Physiology) from the University of Otago.  Andrew was admitted to the bar in October 2019.

Litigation Funder

The legal team has been brought together by LPF Group Limited (LPF). A well-renowned and experienced class action litigation funder, LPF is New Zealands largest, locally owned litigation funding firm.


LPF Group offers litigation funding to support cases with a strong legal basis, enabling those who have suffered financial losses to access justice, and to hold those who have done wrong to account for their actions.


It is important for you to know that in this case LPF is acting without seeking any profit from its support of the claimants.  LPF wishes all funds recovered to be paid to survivors.  Only out of pocket expenses will be recovered, but that will not be from claimants personally.

Communications Specialists

Joyce & Howse Consulting is a communications consultancy specialising in litigation and legal PR.