Insurance in New Zealand

Bell Gully

Bell Gully‘s ‘strategically minded and careful nuanced approach‘ has helped solidify its strong market position and activity in high-profile M&A transactions and cutting-edge insurance cases, for example, advising on the AU$3.0bn acquisition of AMP’s life insurance and related businesses by Resolution Life. It has also worked with the Insurance Council of New Zealand and various general insurers on a landmark natural disaster response model agreement with the Earthquake Commission. The practice undertakes a substantial amount of insurance claims work, acting for Southern Response, Vero,  AMP Life and Southern Cross in complex court cases. Litigators David Friar and Simon Ladd are the key figures for significant corporate claims, and are supported by Glenn Joblin on transactional matters and regulatory compliance. All individuals are based in Auckland.

Practice head(s):

David Friar; Simon Ladd

Other key lawyers:

Glenn Joblin


‘Bell Gully are very strategically minded and have a careful nuanced approach that is designed to try to engage the other side, to try and help them understand the issues as much as we do, so that a negotiated outcome is possible.’

‘Simon Ladd is very measured, yet confident. When he articulates a position it is thoughtful and his views are well respected. He is always keen to seek non-litigation solutions, while still maintaining all options for his client.’

‘Large multi-disciplined firm with high capability. Each partner has their particular area of expertise which is readily available to all clients.’

‘Simon Ladd – Partner. Experienced litigator and highly strategic. Excellent communicator and always available.’

Key clients

AIA New Zealand Limited

AMP Life Limited and Resolution Life Group Holdings Limited

Aon plc

Cigna Life Insurance NZ Limited

IAG New Zealand Limited

Insurance Council of New Zealand

Medical Assurance Society NZ Limited

Southern Cross Medical Care Society

Southern Response Earthquake Services

Tower Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for The Fletcher Construction Company Limited in relation to a fire that began at the New Zealand International Conference Centre on 22 October 2019. This was one of the largest insurance events in New Zealand last year, and has attracted significant media attention.
  • Acting for Southern Response in the Dodds litigation, an important test case that was heard in the High Court last year and is now under appeal in the Court of Appeal. The case addresses a number of novel and cutting-edge insurance law principles, and is likely to affect thousands of similarly situated policyholders with many hundreds of millions of dollars at stake.
  • Acted for Southern Response in the H&H case, a test case concerning the meaning of ‘as new’ under the AMI policy in the recently established Canterbury Earthquake Insurance Tribunal. The case was one of the first five matters heard before the Tribunal.

DLA Piper New Zealand

DLA Piper New Zealand is highly acclaimed for its ‘breadth of experience and expertise in relation to insurance matters’ and its spread of work in regulatory compliance and complex litigation proceedings, often before the High Court and Court of Appeal, and relating to property damage, product liability, and claims relating to earthquake damage. Auckland based Caroline Laband is ‘an absolute litigation specialist’, and routinely acts for experience insurers, brokers, and insured corporations. Misha Henaghan is also of note for insurance claims in the same office. Wellington’s team is led by Peter Leman, who is ‘great asset when it comes to general liability claims, statutory prosecutions and fire and general insurance’. Associates Shane Swinerd and Matthew Booth often assist Leman in contentious matters.

Practice head(s):

Caroline Laband; Peter Leman


‘We deal primarily with the head of the insurance practice, Caroline Laband. She is highly capable, knowledgeable about a wide variety of legal facts and trends and, equally important, responsive.’

‘Peter Leman and Caroline Leband are particularly approachable, with a friendly relaxed style and demonstrate equally the collaborative qualities.’

‘Caroline Laband – an absolute litigation specialist. She knows the law and always refines her strategy as required to the particular claim at hand.’

‘Compared to some other firms I have worked with, the stand out unique point about DLA for me is the collaboration. They don’t simply provide advice, they instead keep the customer involved, to the extent that they want to be, in the entire process of assessing an issue and analysing potential risks. They have a great appreciation for things like other regulatory bodies, media perception and the fact that we have a customer at the other end of whatever the issue is that we need their assistance with.’

‘Caroline Laband and Peter Leman are the two stand-out partners. They stand-out with their knowledge and expertise and responsiveness.’

‘I have almost exclusively worked with the team in the Wellington office. Peter Leman is the partner and there are three things in particular that I value from Peter that I think he is ahead of others in the market for. The first is that he knows all of the cases in an awful lot of detail, which means that a productive conversation can always be had, even if it is impromptu. The second is his ability to explain legal concepts in a way that is easily understood and seems to have unlimited patience with questioning from non-lawyers until we have the necessary level of understanding.  These traits have filtered down into his team. I have worked a lot with Shane Swinerd and Charlotte Simmers, both of whom provide the same level of service as Peter. I trust the opinions and advice from this team. ‘

Key clients

IAG New Zealand Limited

Allianz Australia Insurance Limited

Aon New Zealand

Chubb Insurance New Zealand Limited

CNA Hardy

Crombie Lockwood (New Zealand) Limited (part of AJ Gallagher Group)

DUAL New Zealand Limited

Chubb Insurance New Zealand Limited

DUAL New Zealand Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for IAG New Zealand on recovery action for insured and uninsured losses on behalf of 78 plaintiffs against Orion (electricity lines company) and Leisure Investments (adventure park operator), resulting in judgment for $12.4m
  • Acting for a major defendant in New Zealand’s largest residential building claim and the largest ever building claim faced by Auckland Council (the primary defendant).
  • Act for Insurers, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co Ltd and Vero Insurance New Zealand Ltd in response to claims relating to Emmons’ site in central Christchurch, which suffered earthquake damage.

Duncan Cotterill

Duncan Cotterill‘s sizeable team spread across five offices, is best know for its reputation in insurance claims and dispute work. The practice is actively developing its non-contentious offering with continued growth in instructions to assist insurance companies on their business-critical issues, such as corporate restructuring, resource management, property, employment related aspects. Jonathan Scragg leads the Wellington office, and is recognised for his experience in professional indemnity insurance and disciplinary processes. Other key figures include Auckland based Duncan McGill, Paul Smith and Rob Coltman and in Wellington, Aaron Sherriff, who is dual qualified in New Zealand and Canada.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Scragg


Duncan Cotterill have a strong insurance base across the country. A strong presence in the South Island is a bonus.’

Duncan Cotterill has a breadth of partners with a wide variety of experiences who can practically assist their insurer clients.’

Proactive team with good skills in their chosen fields. Open and strong communicators. Happy to support discussions for the wider benefit of the business community.’

Duncan McGill and Jonathan Scragg are knowledgeable, approachable, experienced, enthusiastic, prompt, and professional.’

The team as a whole is collaborative and dynamic. They are friendly, approachable and proactive. The work that you get back from DC is useful and insightful and they add value to the files they assist on.’

Strong capability in insurance litigation. Strong advocates in litigation and alternative dispute resolution like mediation.’

Aaron Sherriff is excellent to deal with. He is very responsive, timely with reports and updates and, when dealing with insureds, corresponds with them in a way that they understand. Aaron sticks to the brief he is given, which is important from a file management perspective.’

Jonathan Scragg is very proactive and open to supporting business partners. He is an excellent litigator, very astute and well connected. ‘

Key clients






State Insurance



Crombie Lockwood

Vero liability

Partners Life


NZI Liability

Work highlights

  • Instructed by a Regional Council’s insurer to act in the defence of charges brought by Worksafe alleging a breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 following the death of a rubbish collector on a Council sub-contracted vehicle.
  • Assisted Tower Insurance to deploy a market-leading App that tracks vehicle driver behaviours and rewards safe drivers with cheaper vehicle insurance premiums.

Fee Langstone

Specialist insurance and litigation practice, Fee Langstonemanages to combine solid traditional advice with a fresh flexible approach‘ and is ‘among the most experienced insurance teams in New Zealand‘. The firm has a strong roster large international and domestic insurance company clients, among them, Allianz New Zealand, and AXA Climate. Philippa Fee is an ‘outstanding‘ advocate for professionals in connection with claims for negligence and disciplinary complaints. She also advises insurers who have an obligation to advance defence costs under a D&O policy. Policy review and product liability disputes are the other areas of expertise. Craig Langstone is a leading authority on insurance matters and is counsel of choice for many of the larger property and construction claims in New Zealand. Pauline Davies, Cecily Brick , Virginia Wethey and Matthew Atkinson comprise the standout practice which ‘punches well above its weight‘. Senior associate Bradley Alcorn is noted for general commercial insurance and statutory liability as well as transportation, maritime and marine insurance law. 

Practice head(s):

Philippa Fee; Craig Langstone


‘I have dealt mainly with Pauline Davies, who is one of the most knowledgeable and well respected Marine Lawyers in New Zealand. She is an absolute pleasure to deal with. She stays on top of the cases, provides regular updates and good advice.’

‘The Team at Fee Langstone are very approachable and communicate effectively, precisely and on a level that can be understood easily by insurers and the insured customers. They have a wide range of capabilities and always deliver on time and as promised.’

‘They are friendly and nothing is too much trouble for them even when decisions are complex and at times difficult to convey to our end customers. Their research capability is great and they provide in-depth knowledge with all queries presented to them.’

‘I especially would like to mention Philippa Fee and Craig Langstone – These professionals are outstanding in my view. Their advice on many occasion has allowed us to deliver specific policy responses to eliminate disputes and minimise IFSO complaints etc. ‘

‘Fee Langstone punch well above their weight and are my first choice to engage with over insurance litigation and marine insurance matters. Their partners are hands on, accessible and commercial.’

‘Craig Langstone provides an outstanding service for both opinion and litigation matters and is chameleon like in his ability to easily engage with various parties from the boardroom to the back alley. Pauline Davies is a wealth of marine insurance knowledge – securing her services when I need her is always a relief.’

‘Pauline Davies is always available to give advised over the phone. Her advise is always practical and her depth of knowledge ensures that I never had to question the advise given. Pauline is by far the best marine insurance solicitor.’

‘Virginia Wethey particularly good and thorough.’

‘Cecily Brick combines exceptional commercial and pragmatic judgment, excellent advocacy skills, and a very strong academic knowledge. When you get into the deeper water of a problem, it’s this combination that marks her out ahead of other lawyers.’

Key clients


Allianz New Zealand

Argo International

Berkshire Hathaway

Chubb Insurance NZ

Delta Insurance

FMG Insurance

General Reinsurance Corporation

Lloyds of London

NZI & NZI Marine

Vero Insurance (New Zealand) / Suncorp


Work highlights

  • Continuing the defence of Vero Insurance against a $6m claim for earthquake damage to an apartment complex in Christchurch, which is the subject of proceedings in the High Court.
  • Acting for QBE in respect of a claim brought by Body Corporate 423090 following earthquake damage sustained to the Body Corp’s building in Christchurch known as Pacific Tower.

Wotton + Kearney

Wotton + Kearney fields ‘insurance professionals who lead the industry with a broad range of experts across all areas of insurance law‘. The firm acts for leading global and London market insurers, as well as local brokers and corporate insureds in respect of general liability, financial lines (including D&O and professional indemnity), complex property and MDBI claims, cyber/privacy claims, product liability and subrogated recoveries. Sean O’Sullivan leads the medico-legal practice from Wellington, with support from Auckland based partners; Antony Holden representing insurers on property and financial lines issues, and professional indemnity specialist Mathew Francis. Other team members include employment lawyer Rebecca ScottSophie Lucas and Richard Flinn whose focus is on professional indemnity, management liability and statutory liability claims. Special counsels Andrew Moore and Hugh King provide crucial support in the areas of first party property, ISR, business interruption, professional liability and disciplinary claims. Senior associate Natasha Cannon in Wellington also assists with liability claims.


‘Antony Holden is a well regarded lawyer and his ability to review and provide thoughtful coverage advice is second to none. Antony is also very good at turning around coverage requests in a timely manner. He is also good at being pragmatic where required on both coverage and recovery issues to try and resolve matters expeditiously. Andrew Moore is a very good thinker and able to put together articulate advices. ‘

‘Antony Holden – incredibly well respected and very calm and considered with clients. Andrew Moore – incredibly well respected too, very diligent, and patient with clients, brilliant written communication which is very easy to read and understand. Mathew Francis – also very engaging and well respected.’

‘Incredible level of talent within the organisation. Happy to coach and upskill clients and always willing to talk through decisions. Very clear on outlining position and risk.’

‘Richie Flinn: One of my first choices for general insurance work with an excellent legal mind and a calm and pragmatic approach to all manner of instructions we give him.’

‘Absolute Insurance professionals who lead the industry for its broad range of experts across all areas of insurance law, its depth of experts at partner level and below. Great people who are easy to work with.’

‘Mathew Francis – technically brilliant on the law. Thinks through strategy thoroughly and from all angles rather than making knee-jerk reactions.’

Key clients

AIG New Zealand

AIG New Zealand


Crombie Lockwood / AJ Gallagher & Co

Chubb Insurance

DUAL New Zealand

MS Amlin (Lloyd’s)

Munich Re

QBE Syndicate 386 (Lloyd’s)

Vero Liability New Zealand

Zurich Australian Insurance

Work highlights

  • Acting for structural and civil engineering firm MSC Consulting Group Ltd and their insurers in a negligence claim relating to seismic assessments.
  • Acting for London Market insurers to defend multi-million dollar claims and a representative action involving high profile defective and leaky buildings.
  • Defending a Singapore based company, Raam Chem Pte Limited, in a claim and recovery involving a contaminated fungicide imported into New Zealand.

Gilbert Walker

Gilbert Walker‘s ‘greatest strength is the uniformly high quality of its partners’; Matthew Harris, Iva Rosic and Martin Smith who are leading advocates in complex disputed insurance matters, representing domestic insurers such as Vero Liability, Tower Insurance, IAG and Aon in the High Court and Court of Appeal. Indemnity and liability disputes, property damages and earthquake-related claims make up the bulk of instructions.


‘All three partners at Gilbert Walker are experienced insurance litigators. Matthew Harris stands out for his trial experience in insurance matters.’

‘Gilbert Walker’s greatest strength is the uniformly high quality of its partners, over the years and with the three current partners.’

‘Excellent firm. Strengths are in grasping the problem areas quickly, thinking outside the square and outstanding drafting skills.’

Key clients

Vero Liability

Tower Insurance




Work highlights

  • Advised major corporates, including listed issuers, and a major insurance broker on the response of their policy wordings to business interruption losses arising out of the Covid- 19 pandemic.
  • Engaged by the liability insurer of Tauranga City Council to advice the insurer and negotiate with its insured on the indemnified portion of a building defects claim exceeding $90m.
  • Continue to act for Tower Insurance in defending High Court and Canterbury Earthquakes Insurance Tribunal proceedings brought against it by policy holders arising out of the Canterbury earthquakes in 2010 and 2011.

Hesketh Henry

Hesketh Henry is particularly well known for its focus on insurance matters relating to the construction and transport sectors. It also demonstrates solid capability in professional indemnity and business interruption matters, as well as a steady stream of instructions on statutory liability, health and safe and cyber risk and breaches. The Auckland based four-partner team comprises litigator Alan Sherlock; professional indemnity specialists Helen Macfarlane  and Christina Bryant and Simon Cartwright  who advises on marine insurance. Special counsel Stephanie Corban is recommended for negligence claims and advising on policy coverage issues.


‘We have had exceptional support from Alan Sherlock and Helen Macfarlane. Stephanie Corban has been my main contact and has delivered exceptional legal support across range of different types of files. I would have no hesitation in recommending Hesketh Henry to any person or business needing legal service in the insurance space.’

‘Stephanie Corban and Alan Sherlock have an excellent understanding of the technical aspects of our claims and take a considered approach to resolution.’

‘The insurance team at Hesketh Henry has a huge wealth of knowledge and experience in insurance law and litigation. They also have the ability to tap into the other areas of practice within the firm, for example, the property team where there is an insurance issue with an overlay of property law. The team has strong gender diversity. ‘

‘Stephanie Corban is a dependable, diligent lawyer, with a great approach to client care.’

‘In particular Stephanie Corban consistently provides timely, concise and pragmatic advice working through complex issues to deliver a way forward which is best for our business. She has a clear, calm and intellectual approach to all her interactions and is very well respected by everyone she has had dealings with in our organisation. ‘

Key clients

Suncorp Group New Zealand Limited

Vero Insurance New Zealand Limited (including Vero Marine)

AA Insurance Limited

AIG Insurance Limited

Chubb Insurance New Zealand Limited

Dual New Zealand Limited

Work highlights

  • Representing Vero Insurance New Zealand Ltd (a subsidiary of Suncorp Group) and AA Insurance Ltd in various proceedings before the High Court in relation claims arising out of the Canterbury earthquakes.
  • Instructed by AIG to act as defence counsel for claims made against members of a national network of insured law firms.
  • Advised Charterers P & I Club and its assured TPT Shipping Ltd in relation to claims valued at US$15 million and appeared in High Court proceedings and managed proceedings in England.


MinterEllisonRuddWatts has ‘deep expertise in insurance claims advocacy work‘ as well as capability in design, drafting and interpretation of insurance policies. It is often appointed to resolve large insurance and broker negligence disputes and maintains a busy practice in reinsurance, property, professional indemnity and general liability work. Andrew Horne leads the practice.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Horne


‘MinterEllisonRuddWatts has deep expertise, particularly in insurance claims advocacy work. They have excellent attention to detail and the high pressured nature of litigation and turnaround times, to ensure that our clients are able to respond promptly to insurers. Their advice is both spot on from a legal perspective and also commercially practical and can be applied by our clients- they have their eye on the end outcome at all times.’

‘Andrew Horne provides great service, he qualifies with real world examples and global quality feedback. He is busy but is generally very quick to respond and his turnaround time is excellent’

Key clients

Earthquake Commission (EQC)

Marsh Limited

Aon New Zealand

Youi Insurance

AMP Life

AIG Insurance

AIA Insurance

Medical Assurance Society New Zealand

Pacific International Insurance

Work highlights

  • Acted for Lloyd’s syndicates in resolving a high-profile, $20m million claim by a seed merchant, PGG Wrightson, resulting from mis-sold seed that affected over 500 farming operations.
  • Acting for the owners of a large, historic apartment complex in Auckland affected by two substantial storm events which caused widespread damage to the building and resulted in insurance claims for physical damage and temporary accommodation costs.
  • Acting for PIC Insurance Brokers in defending a fourth party claim brought against it by a real estate agency, Synergy. Synergy is being sued by its former clients, the vendors of a property near Queenstown, who in turn are being sued by the purchasers for various alleged misrepresentations, including in relation to the weathertightness of the property.


Robertsons is ‘a highly specialised and innovative boutique‘ led by Michael Robertson and Helen Twomey , who are considered ‘first rate lawyers‘ with a wealth of experience practising exclusively in the insurance sector. Both partners advise on the full spectrum of liability insurance and for a range of professions and industries in drafting policies, risk management and claims resolution, with niche expertise in directors' and officers’ liability. Property damage claims and aviation liability matters are the other areas of work.


‘This practice specialises in Liability and is always at the leading edge of innovation. They are always looking at new ways to do things and are continually suggesting alternatives to the norm. Not withstanding that, they also provide services around wordings, claims etc They provide a TPA for one of the insurers for all of their liability claims as well.’

‘Robertsons is a highly specialised and innovative boutique Auckland based insurance law firm. they have over the last few years expanded their practice by working with other insurance law firms to provide services in other geographic locations such as Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown.’

‘I have worked primarily with the two partners, Michael Robertson and Helen Twomey, both of whom are first rate lawyers and dedicated service providers.’

‘Michael Robertson – Completely proficient and knowledgeable in the matters of insurance and indemnity.’

Key clients

QBE Insurance (Australia) Limited (in respect of both New Zealand and Australian claims)

Ando Insurance Group Limited

Allianz New Zealand

Aioi Nissay Dowa Management (NZ) Limited

Markel Syndicate 3000 at Lloyd’s

Travelers Insurance Company Limited

WRB Underwriting

Willis Towers Watson

Work highlights

  • Acted for Marshalls Excavating Ltd, an excavation and transport company, in the defence of a prosecution by the Southland Regional Council under the Resource Management Act 1991(the RMA) for discharging contaminated soil onto a property.

Russell McVeagh

Russell McVeagh‘s fields a multi-disciplinary team that combines the strengths of litigation, regulatory and corporate experts to act for insurers, corporates and other industry players on complex insurance disputes and transactions. The firm enjoys a strong relationship with Earthquake Commission (EQC), and continues to advise on EQC’s statutory obligations and a range of other commercial and regulatory matters including an innovative natural disaster insurance claims model. Marika Eastwick-Field in Auckland co-heads the team alongside Wellington-based Nathaniel Walker, who handles significant insurance coverage disputes.


‘Marika Eastwick-Field ran our insurance dispute. She did great work and also worked well with our team and our QC.’

‘In a disputed insurance claim, Russell McVeagh seconded a lawyer for several months to help take the load off their general counsel and to absorb a very complex set of facts.’

Key clients

Earthquake Commission

National Australia Bank (NAB)

New Zealand Bankers Association (NZBA)

Willis Towers Watson

Work highlights

  • Represented EQC in The Tower v EQC litigation concerns a more-than-$80m claim by Tower for reimbursement of amounts it says it “spent fixing earthquake-damaged homes in Canterbury”. The proceedings were filed in March 2020. The proceedings relate to the parties’ settlement of a significant number of insurance claims, and give rise to complex legal issues, difficult factual questions, and unique case-management challenges.
  • Advised National Australia Bank Limited on the sale of its New Zealand life insurance business to Partners Life Limited.
  • Advising Willis Towers Watson on its New Zealand clearance application in relation to the global acquisition by Aon. The acquisition involves combining two of the four major parties in this industry across New Zealand and global markets.

Simpson Grierson

Simpson Grierson is a ‘well resourced firm with good technical expertise‘ in insurance claims, M&A in the insurance sector, product liability management and regulatory issues. Helen Smith is highly experienced in professional indemnity claims, often acting for insurers, with additional expertise in the areas of public and statutory liability, D&O and property construction. Special counsel Robert Gapes is a prominent product liability lawyer, and is supported by Jania Baigent, a top counsel for insurers in defending and resolving claims, and corporate partner James Hawes. All individuals are based in Auckland.

Practice head(s):

Helen Smith; Robert Gapes

Other key lawyers:

Jania Baigent; James Hawes


‘Helen Smith has assisted us in dealing with professional indemnity claims for a long time. Insurers and Insureds sometimes disagree on how a claim is handled, Helen is particularly skilled at managing the expectations so that a satisfactory solution for all can be achieved.’

‘Helen Smith’s extensive knowledge particularly in the field of Construction PI.’

‘I think one of SG’s strengths is that they are able to provide straightforward advice regarding complex matters.’

Key clients

Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited (a global insurer listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange)

Wellington City Council

Fidelity Life Assurance Company Ltd

HDI Global SE (including HDI-Gerling)

nib Holdings

Wesfarmers General Insurance Limited


Work highlights

  • Former NZX and ASX-listed insurance company CBL Corporation Limited (in liquidation) collapsed in February 2018 with a market capitalisation of NZ$747m, and is one of New Zealand’s largest corporate failures. We advised the FMA on its nearly two-year investigation, and are now acting for it on two High Court civil proceedings against the company and its former directors and Chief Financial Officer. The claims relate to numerous alleged breaches of the continuous disclosure regime and disclosure failures during the company’s IPO.

Wilson Harle

Wilson Harle is considered ‘one of the top litigation firms in the country‘, with abundant experience representing domestic and international insurers, as well as insured executives in relation to investigations or claims, including when there are related D&O insurance coverage issues. The firm is particularly skilled in shipping, fraud (including arson and insurance fraud), and international trade insurance issues. Ian Denton handles coverage disputes, with commercial litigators Chris BrowneAllison Ferguson and Felicity Monteiro also handling a significant amount of insurance claims.


‘Wilson Harle are simply one of the top litigation firms in the country. The compare favourably or better than the litigation departments of the top-5 major national firms. They are efficient, responsive and have an excellent sense of the client’s needs.’

Allison Ferguson is a stand out litigation partner. She is smart, efficient and responsive, and fantastic at understanding and meeting client’s expectations.’

Key clients

Seeka Limited

Callaghan Innovation

Napier City Council

The Standard Club

Pequod Associates

Work highlights

  • Acting for Seeka Ltd in respect of its insurance cover for a claim in relation to the alleged loss of kiwifruit that prematurely ripened in a coolstore purchased by Seeka.
  • Acting for Callaghan Innovation, a Crown Entity, in an appeal from a High Court judgment we obtained on Callaghan’s behalf. This appeal is the final stage of the litigation Callaghan has defended in relation to its termination of a funding grant to Trends Publishing. Its defence has been important to establish its right to enforce standards to protect public money paid under the grants it administers.
  • Acted for the Standard Club, a P & I insurer, in an admiralty proceeding brought against a vessel in New Zealand for misdelivery of cargo. The proceeding was stayed in favour of London Arbitration by consent following an application seeking a stay was filed on behalf of the vessel.

Wynn Williams

Wynn Williams‘ litigation group operates out of Auckland and Christchurch, with the latter office fast developing its capability in earthquake and natural disaster related claims, and with increasing involvement in the unique insurance issues resulting from the Canterbury earthquakes. The firm operates across all insurance disciplines, including financial lines, fraud, cyber and crime, public (casualty) and statutory liability. The practice has niche expertise advising estate agents and financial advisers on professional indemnity matters. Richard Hern in Auckland and Emily Walton , in Christchurch, are the main contacts. 

Practice head(s):

Emily Walton; Richard Hern


I like using Emily Walton in Christchurch. She is practical and flexible. She is willing to discuss and debate a situation and work out with you the best way to proceed.’


Key clients

AIG and its insured Cleaver Richards Ltd

Waste Management NZ Ltd (and its insurer, a leading liability insurer)

Chubb Insurance

Work highlights

  • Successfully resolved protracted and bitterly fought professional indemnity claim that was fall-out from decade long property proceedings and involved a number of very prominent barristers as parties.
  • Engaged by an independent consultant and its insurer to deal with a highly sensitive report for central government which was extremely critical of a local authority, and the executive. Many of the parties referred to in the report were nationally known and had lengthy track-records of involvement in litigation, particularly commencing defamation proceedings. A lengthy process ensured to restructure the report in order that the message was not diluted but minimised the opportunity for ‘collateral’ damage’ (i.e. multiple proceedings being commenced by the persons concerned.)