Maritime Union legal action against Ports of Auckland over the company's plans to contract out its workforce has been put off.
The two parties were expected to head back to the Employment Court on Wednesday.
Ports of Auckland says it filed an application to adjourn next week's hearing following the death of its legal representative John Haigh, QC.
It says the lawyer now overseeing the legal proceedings needs time to become familiar with the case.
The Maritime Union says it took the company to court to challenge the legality of their plans to use contract workers.
It says the lock-out notices issued by the ports were unlawful, and is confident a court date will be set shortly.