Fee Langstone > Auckland, New Zealand > Firm Profile

Fee Langstone
New Zealand

New Zealand > Insurance Tier 1

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):


‘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.’

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.

New Zealand > Dispute resolution Tier 3

Fee Langstone is well known for its insurance litigation capabilities.  Though primarily known for its insurance work, the practice is also increasing its breadth of services to include commercial litigation, class actions and in maritime and aviation law-related cases, which are handled by Pauline Davies. Phillipa Fee routinely represents global accounting firms, real estate agents, barristers, architects and insurance brokers in insurance disputes, as well as damages claims which are covered under public and products liability policies. Craig Langstone continues to be in demand for disputes involving professional indemnity, public liability, D&O, property and cyber insurance. All individuals are based in Auckland.

Practice head(s):


‘Fee Langstone has a long history in the New Zealand market and a wealth of knowledge and experience. The firm has a strong reputation for being insurance litigation specialists providing excellent coverage advice and resolution strategies in a wide range of areas, particularly in the areas of PI and D&O. They are approachable, reliable, efficient, trustworthy, intelligent and have an in-depth knowledge of insurance law and an excellent understanding of an insurer.’

‘Philippa Fee is a talented, intelligent lawyer with a wealth of knowledge and experience. She can grapple with complex legal and coverage issues and provides solid, pragmatic and commercial resolution strategies.’

‘Fee Langstone is a specialist litigation practice so this is what they do, and they do it well. It has a very capable and knowledgeable team.’

‘Philippa Fee has run some large trials for us with excellent results. She is always very careful to consider the legal position thoroughly before embarking on a course of action. Her advice is always thorough and accurate. Virginia Wethey handles some very complex files for us and is on top of all of the details. She understands all of the issues and seeks to find a way to a resolution.’

‘The team at Fee Langstone are all of very high calibre. They work collectively with me as a client and understand our needs and requirements on every file they work on. Fee Langstone anticipates best case and worst case scenarios so I am best placed to properly consider strategy on files. Communication is excellent and timely and provide value for money.’

‘Philippa Fee, Matt Atkinson and Russell Stewart and Craig Langstone are always available to discuss matters and can always discuss each file in detail at any time. All partners at Fee Langstone have great attention to detail and focus on appropriate outcomes in each matter. In my business I am required to achieve the best result and I get this from all the partners at Fee Langstone.’

‘Fee Langstone has a number of strong partners in the area of dispute resolution, who are well able to handle any litigation matter, and give robust and pragmatic advice.’

Key clients

Crombie Lockwood


Frank’s International

Kelly Flavell Law

KPMG Ireland

KPMG New Zealand

Lloyds of London (various syndicates)

NCI Commercial Collections

NTI Limited


Work highlights

  • Acting for Ernst & Young in relation to High Court proceedings brought by Fuji Xerox NZ and related entities against its former auditor, EY, two former directors and the former CFO arising out of alleged inappropriate accounting practices.
  • Acting for Protect Mataharehare in its legal opposition to the NZ Government’s (Ministry of Culture and Heritage) plan to construct a large National Erebus Memorial in Dove-Myer Robinson Park, Parnell, Auckland, on an ancient Maori pā site – the Mataharehare pā, without proper and meaningful consultation with mana whenua.

Fee Langstone is a specialist insurance and commercial litigation practice consisting of seven partners and approximately thirty staff.  We act for most of the country’s major insurers and many overseas insurers.  Through this relationship, Fee Langstone also acts for its insurer clients’ insured organisations.  As a result, Fee Langstone and its partners have been involved in some of the most significant commercial litigation in New Zealand.  Our relationships with these clients span decades. This reflects our commitment to forming lasting relationships based on professionalism, pragmatism and reliability.

Fee Langstone’s foundations go back to the late 1980s where Philippa Fee and Craig Langstone were partners in the firm of Heaney Jones. In 1996, together with Pauline Davies, they were partners in the firm of Jones Fee. Cecily Brick became a partner of Jones Fee in 2010.  Together they formed Fee Langstone in 2015.

To compliment this depth of experience the firm brought in our next generation partners.  Matthew Atkinson joined as a partner in February 2016, after having been a valued member of the staff for over 10 years.   In February 2019, Russell Stewart and Virginia Wethey were both promoted to partner.  Their promotions continued Fee Langstone’s growth and brought the total number of partners to seven.

Fee Langstone is jointly known for our insurance and disputes resolution expertise.  Our specialist services include:

  • Insurance: Professional Indemnity, Directors & Officers Liability, Product Liability, Property, Aviation, Veterinary, Employers Liability, Statutory Liability, General Liability, Bankers Blanket Bond, Commercial Motor, Marine, Cyber
  • Disputes Resolution and Commercial Litigation
  • Policy Advice
  • Professional Disciplinary Complaints
  • Maritime & Transportation
  • Corporate Legal Services
  • Insolvency

Fee Langstone is heavily involved in the insurance industry.  The partners and senior lawyers regularly present to industry bodies such as IBANZ, NZ Law, ANZIIF, the New Zealand Law Society and NZILA as well as providing training seminars for our clients.

Fee Langstone has a ‘best friends’ relationship with global law firm Clyde & Co. It is a strategic collaboration designed to strengthen Clyde & Co’s presence in New Zealand and to provide Fee Langstone with international coverage and expertise.  As part of the agreement, the two firms refer work to each other where possible and undertake joint marketing initiatives across the New Zealand and Australian regions.  The legal industry is becoming increasingly global and this alliance provides Fee Langstone with a valuable international and Australasian perspective.

Insurance Craig Langstone
Insurance Cecily Brick
Insurance Virginia Wethey
Dispute resolution Philippa Fee
Dispute resolution Craig Langstone
Policy advice Cecily Brick
Policy advice Matthew Atkinson
Professional disciplinary complaints Philippa Fee
Professional disciplinary complaints Matthew Atkinson
Maritime and transportation Pauline Davies
Corporate legal services Craig Langstone
Corporate legal services Pauline Davies
Insolvency Pauline Davies
Insolvency Philippa Fee
Construction Cecily Brick
Construction Craig Langstone
Regulatory advice and statutory defence Philippa Fee
Regulatory advice and statutory defence Matthew Atkinson
Employment Craig Langstone
Employment Philippa Fee
Professional indemnity Philippa Fee
Professional indemnity Matthew Atkinson
Directors and officers Philippa Fee
Professional indemnity Russell Stewart
Directors and officers Matthew Atkinson
Property insurance Craig Langstone
Property insurance Cecily Brick
Fidelity insurance Philippa Fee
Fidelity insurance Craig Langstone
Cyber insurance Craig Langstone
Cyber insurance Cecily Brick
Number of lawyers : 26
Australia and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF)
Maritime Law Association of Australia and New Zealand
Young Insurance Professionals Australia and New Zealand
New Zealand Insurance Law Association

Fee Langstone’s clients include major insurers from around the world, international auditing and accounting firms, an international seafarers’ protection organization, a number of New Zealand’s major exporting and chartering interests, and businesses involved in commercial activity in relation to disputes in New Zealand.

Fee Langstone has a ‘best friends’ relationship with global law firm Clyde & Co. It is a strategic collaboration designed to strengthen Clyde & Co’s presence in New Zealand and to provide Fee Langstone with international coverage and expertise. As part of the agreement, the two firms refer work to each other where possible and undertake joint marketing initiatives across the New Zealand and Australian regions. The legal industry is becoming increasingly global and this alliance provides Fee Langstone with a valuable international and Australasian perspective.

Fee Langstone has been ranked in Band 1 for Insurance in the 2020 Chambers Asia-Pacific rankings. Philippa Fee was named as a Notable Practitioner and was ranked as Band 1 Lawyer for Insurance. Partner Pauline Davies is also named in numerous legal guides, including the Guide to the World’s Leading Shipping and Maritime Lawyers and to Women in Business Law, Best Lawyers and the Chambers Asia Pacific Guide.