Firm Profile > Fee Langstone > Auckland, New Zealand

Fee Langstone
New Zealand

Insurance Tier 1

Fee Langstone in Auckland is a specialist insurance and commercial litigation practice consisting of seven partners following the promotion of newly promoted partners Virginia Wethey and Russell Stewart. The firm acts for numerous major domestic and overseas insurers. Name partners Philippa Fee (who is 'fiercely intelligent but takes a pragmatic and commercial approach to the resolution of insurance disputes') and Craig Langstone, along with property insurance specialist Cecily Brick, are among the market's leading lights. Pauline Davies is a leading adviser on marine insurance. The firm's formal relationship with Clyde & Co LLP has expanded its work in many areas, notably cyber insurance, and Langstone now leads a Data Breach Response team together with external providers of data forensics recovery, public relations crisis management and business interruption forensic accounting.

Practice head(s):

Philippa Fee; Craig Langstone; Pauline Davies; Cecily Brick; Matthew Atkinson; Virginia Wethey; Russell Stewart

Other key lawyers:

Bradley Alcorn; Fran Darlow; Angus Wakeman;


“The practice has a mix of individuals with a strong understanding of the law, a good grasp of the industry and a sound commercial acumen which means that advice is accurate, practical and reliable. When you have received advice from most of the practitioners in the field, you learn to appreciate and identify when you are receiving quality legal service.”

“In my view, Philippa Fee is the leading insurance practitioner in the country. Her advice is concise, clear and easy to understand.”

“Matthew Atkinson has a strong experience in the insurance industry. He brings calm, measured and reliable advice. He is a quiet and dependable achiever in industry full of extroverts.”

“Cecily Brick grasps difficult concepts and is a reliable operator. She delivers what is needed.”

“Virginia Wethey’s experience has been recognised by her recent appointment to the partnership. She is enthusiastic and practical in her approach.”

“Within the insurance industry, marine insurance is considered a specialist field and Fee Langstone have marine insurance expertise by way of Pauline Davies and senior associate Bradley Alcorn. Pauline Davies has established herself as a leading expert in all matters marine and we seek her advice on all classes including Marine Cargo, Pleasure Craft, Commercial Hull and Marine Liability products.”

“The advice we receive is sound and on point in terms of what we as the insurer require and it allows us to respond to our customers.”

“Pauline Davies’ strengths lie in, policy interpretation, recovery action and settlement negotiation. What sets Pauline apart from the others is her ability to articulate complex marine concepts and communicate her response in a way where the insurer is able to understand and in turn relay this information to our end customers.”

“I feel when working with Pauline Davies that we are partners ultimately looking for a solution to a problem if one can be found. Pauline also assists with advice on unique marine underwriting risks and is acknowledged for her expertise and sound interpretation of the Institute Clauses. We feel her skills in marine insurance are unique and if not the top is amongst the top marine legal experts in the marine industry.”

“Fee Langstone has a team of smart and capable lawyers with an excellent understanding of insurance law and what insurers expect.”

“Philippa Fee shows good judgment and has a wealth of experience. She is an effective courtroom lawyer who has had some excellent results for us.”

“Virginia Wethey is smart and capable, gets to the point quickly and can grapple with complex legal issues.”

“Fee Langstone has a good cross-section of strong insurance lawyers at all levels which allows them to provide a cost-effective service, which is very important as insurance panel lawyers. They are consistently excellent to deal with: friendly, responsive and skilful. I know that my files are in safe sets of hands.”

“Philippa Fee is our ‘go-to’ lawyer for anything complex, particularly in the construction space. She has a fantastic ability to condense pages of complex technical information into a digestible summary and the ability to cut through the legalese to make clear recommendations for a commercial settlement.’

“Fee Langstone is probably our top performing law firm across a range of insurance work. It provides clear, concise and no nonsense advice at a reasonable cost. The partners are always only a phone call away to discuss any issues.”

“Philippa Fee is my ‘go-to’ person for any complex PI and D&O matters.”

“Matthew Atkinson is very solid and you can rely on him to get the job done.”

“This team is a safe pair of hands. Their advice is consistently thoughtful and accurate and they work well together, without too many individuals on each file. Their focus is on a pragmatic, cost-effective solution for each claim.”

“Philippa Fee is my ‘go-to’ lawyer for indemnity advice over a range of policies. Her advice stands up under scrutiny and is delivered in a timely manner.”

Key clients



AIG Australia

AIG Europe (UK) Ltd

Allianz ACG

Allianz Australia Ltd

Allianz New Zealand


Berkshire Hathaway

Chubb Insurance NZ

Club Marine Ltd

Crombie Lockwood


FMG Insurance Ltd

Lloyds of London


Newline Syndicate 1218

NZI & NZI Marine

QBE European Operations

QBE Insurance (Australia) Ltd

QBE Smartpak

Southern Cross Benefits

Steadfast Group

Tokio Marine & Nichido

Vero Insurance (New Zealand) / Suncorp

Zurich New Zealand

Zurich Australia

Dispute resolution Tier 3

Fee Langstone in Auckland is best known for its insurance expertise, but its work for major domestic and overseas insurers has led it to develop a strong foothold in commercial litigation for its insurer clients’ insured organisations. The firm, which joins this year's ranking, has been involved in some of the most significant commercial disputes in New Zealand and represented one of the defendants in the Feltex class-action shareholder claim, which went to the Supreme Court in 2018. Last year, the firm handled matters in District Courts, High Courts and the Court of Appeal. Philippa Fee, Pauline Davies, Matthew Atkinson and newly promoted Russell Stewart are the lead litigation partners.

Practice head(s):

Philippa Fee; Pauline Davies; Matthew Atkinson; Russell Stewart

Other key lawyers:

Russell Stewart; Virginia Wethey; Angus Wakeman


‘The firm provides personalised service, excellent knowledge of professional indemnity issues, pragmatic and realistic advice, and it is prepared to use senior counsel when required.’

‘They are personable, knowledgeable and available.’

‘Fee Langstone is a unique practice as they are very approachable and highly capable. They take pride in understanding their clients’ needs and have a high focus on delivering outcomes. They are an honest firm that understands their professional boundaries and limitations. As a result, they are a great asset to the insurance litigation sector.’

‘Philippa, Craig, Russell, Virginia and Matt are all excellent partners of the firm who are highly knowledgeable. They understand and value the practical aspects that insurance litigation requires which truly sets them our from other firms in the same field.’

‘The Fee Langstone team has very smart, capable lawyers with an in-depth knowledge of insurance law and a good understanding of an insurer’s perspective.’

‘Philippa Fee is an experienced and effective courtroom lawyer who has had some good wins for us at trial. Virginia Wethey always gets to the point quickly and can get on top of complicated legal issues.’

‘The firm has vast experience in dispute resolution, predominantly from the firm’s main insurer clients. However, as much of this work is dispute resolution, the firm has a strong experience in litigation and resolution of all manner of disputes from construction, contract, professional negligence and directors and officer type litigation.’

‘Philippa Fee is a standout litigator and has an excellent grasp of the law, and a sound commercial acumen. The other senior fee earners, including Cecily Brick and Matthew Atkinson, also have excellent experience.’

‘Fee Langstone has a good cross-section of litigation lawyers at all levels which allows them to provide a cost-effective service. They are consistently excellent to deal with: friendly, responsive and skilful.’

‘Philippa Fee is our go-to lawyer for anything complex particularly in the construction space – she has a fantastic ability to condense pages of complex technical information into a digestible summary and the ability to cut through the legalese to make clear recommendations for a commercial settlement.’

‘The firm has really deep knowledge of all aspects of insurance law and the claims that can arise. They are approachable and give pragmatic advice.’

‘Philippa Fee, Virginia Wethey, Craig Langstone and Pauline Davies are my standout individuals.’

‘Philippa Fee is the doyenne of insurance law in New Zealand. She has a very deep knowledge and brings gravitas through her experience and reputation, particularly in liability related issues.’

‘Virginia Wethey is very calm, smart and thoughtful. She approaches difficult issues by breaking them down into manageable stages to get to a resolution. She is also very personable.’

‘Craig Langstone thinks very laterally and often outside the box. He can bring a fresh viewpoint to situations.’

‘Pauline Davies’ knowledge of marine law and pragmatism to get a resolution are appreciated.’

‘Fee Langstone’s principal area of practice is insurance law, and they cover virtually all aspects. They are well-resourced and highly engaged. They are the best example of a smaller specialised practice, and their depth of talent and skill is unparalleled in the NZ market.’

‘Cecily Brick is a skilled practitioner handling highly complex insurance matters. She is a highly intelligent practitioner who has an almost encyclopaedic knowledge of insurance law. Her opinions tread the difficult line of both showing the nuances of the law while remaining highly practical and commercial. She is a highly effective advocate in trials. I have instructed many of NZ’s insurance lawyers, and Cecily is right at the top.’

‘Fee Langstone is an excellent firm for PI claims that require innovative solutions and speedy settlements. The team are mindful that it is often better to settle a claim quickly and cost-effectively.’

‘I tend to work with Philippa Fee and Virginia Wethey. They are both pragmatic and know the value of an early settlement in PI claims. They give timely, thoughtful advice and identify indemnity issues as soon as possible.’

Key clients

Crombie Lockwood

First NZ Capital

KPMG Ireland

Lloyds of London (various syndicates)

NCI Commercial Collections


QBE Insurance (Australia) Ltd

NZI & NZI Marine

Vero Insurance (NZ)

Zurich New Zealand

Zurich Australia

For over 30 years, the partners of Fee Langstone have provided clients with personable, pragmatic and highly skilled legal representation in the context of some of New Zealand’s most significant litigation.

Fee Langstone is a boutique specialist firm, with a long-standing commitment to representing insurers, brokers and their customers to achieve the best possible results.

Fee Langstone has acted in some of New Zealand’s most complex cases. We have the resources to ensure that your case will be handled skilfully, no matter how demanding.

The partners have acted for some clients for close to 20 years – a testament to the strength of the relationship and our commitment to having a client-focused attitude to each case we handle.

In the late 1980s 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.  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 promoted to partner bringing the total number of partners to seven.

Fee Langstone employs lawyers who come from a variety of backgrounds, including many with international experience, so we are able to match our clients’ needs with specialised skills. In addition to technical ability, the lawyers at Fee Langstone are open, personable and inclusive in their approach.

Department Name Email Telephone
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
Photo Name Position Profile
 Matthew Atkinson  photo Matthew Atkinson Partner
 Cecily Brick  photo Cecily Brick Partner
 Pauline Davies (formerly Barratt)  photo Pauline Davies (formerly Barratt) Partner
 Philippa Fee  photo Philippa Fee Partner
 Craig Langstone  photo Craig Langstone Partner
 Russell Stewart  photo Russell Stewart Partner
 Virginia Wethey  photo Virginia Wethey Partner
Number of lawyers : 20
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