Peter Le Cren

Special Counsel BA, LLB, LLM (Dispute Prevention and Resolution)

Peter is a health law specialist. He has spent 20 years in medico-legal roles, including 11 years as the medico-legal counsel for Auckland District Health Board. He joined Claro in November 2012.

Pete’s interest in health law was sparked by a period working for the ACC Medical Misadventure Unit in the mid 1990’s. That interest developed during a 3 year stint managing medical negligence claims for the Medical Defence Union in the UK. While in the UK, Pete completed a Masters in Dispute Prevention and Resolution at the University of Westminster, then joined ADHB in 2001.

Pete has advised on a wide range of policy, practice and legal compliance issues in the health sector. His practice extends across health law with a focus on risk management, medico-legal and privacy issues, including duty of care, consent to treatment and information systems. He advises on professional registration and employment matters, as well as organisational governance, statutory compliance and health sector contracting. His practice includes incident management and responding to complaints to regulatory authorities including the Health and Disability Commissioner, Privacy Commissioner and Ombudsmen. Pete regularly appears in Courts at various levels, including seeking treatment orders for children in the High Court, attending Coroner’s Inquests or defending practitioners in the Health Practitioner’s Disciplinary Tribunal.

Pete has extensive experience in mental health and public health. He has been involved in resolution of employment, commercial and practice governance disputes. He chaired the Auckland region DHB’s Privacy Advisory Group and sat on the Auckland Regional Public Health Service HIV Advisory Group.

Pete says “My passion is problem solving, in the creative and empowering sense of the term. Healthcare is complex and personal. Mapping legal strategies and solutions requires technical legal clarity together with sensitivity, practicality and insight. When it comes to legal advice in health the “how” can be as important as the “what”.”

Pete’s experience includes
  • Representing healthcare providers before various courts including for Coroner’s inquests and Protection of Personal and Property Rights Act proceedings.
  • Advising on the management of health practitioner competence and disability concerns under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act.
  • Managing responses to complaints and investigations by the Health and Disability Commissioner, Privacy Commissioner and Ombudsmen.
  • Advice on strategic and specific information management issues such as child protection and family violence information sharing structures.
  • Defending Waitemata DHB’s Smoke-free Environments policy in a judicial review in the High Court.
  • Representing ACC in treatment injury appeals.
  • Advising the Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) on a range of regulatory issues, including liquor licensing and smoke-free environments, and a member of the ARPHS HIV Advisory Group managing individuals potentially posing a risk to the public.
  • Involved in Auckland DHB’s management of the retention of organs in the Green Lane Heart Registry including extensive contribution to the crisis response and policy rewrite.
  • Representing health sector providers in negotiations with the Electricity Commission and electricity retailers on how to manage patients with electricity dependent medical equipment.
  • Advising on statutory compliance such as certification processes and conscientious objections policies under the Contraception Sterilisation and Abortion Act.
  • Assisted GP practice partners to resolve disputes with a departing colleague over company shareholding, capitation and clinical practice matters.
  • Chaired the Auckland region DHBs’ Privacy Advisory Group which guides the regions DHBs on electronic information systems, information sharing and information security. This included negotiation and resolution of concerns about information sharing systems raised by stakeholders in the region.
  • Advised Auckland DHB on obligations and strategy in response to poorly performing providers funded by the DHB, including implementation of interventions.
  • Routinely advising on application of the Official Information Act, Privacy Act and other legislation relevant to information sharing in the health sector, and managing associated complaint processes.
  • Advised on the application of the Public Records Act to a wide range of material held by DHBs.

Mobile: 021 544 420

DDI Auckland: 09 557 0357

DDI Wellington:

DDI Christchurch: