Aaron Sherriff

Partner

I specialise in commercial litigation and insurance law and have particular experience managing large, complex disputes. I am a member of our national insurance and litigation teams.

I have been in practice for 20 years and have practiced in New Zealand and British Columbia, Canada. Being qualified in both these countries has exposed me to a wide array of disputes, including insurance, contract, negligence, construction, construction tendering, debt recovery and insolvency, and director liability. I regularly appear in the Courts and in mediation.

I have acted for liability and general insurers in both New Zealand and Canada advising on indemnity issues and defending insured claims. This has included a diverse range of work on professional negligence claims (particularly engineers), public liability policies (particularly in the construction sector and significant third party loss), directors and officers policies (including claims by liquidators, minority shareholders and investors), course of construction/contract works policies, property policies, and the interplay between primary and excess layers of insurance.

Recent examples of work includes advising on:

  • High Court litigation involving alleged negligence in the structural engineering design of six commercial buildings.
  • A fire at a commercial farming property that spread to 2,500 hectares of neighbouring land. 
  • Two liability claims involving parts installed by insureds that disintegrated at dairy factories and contaminated milk powder product.
  • The scope of “your product” and “your workmanship” exclusion clauses in general liability policies for two leading insurance businesses.
  • The scope of cover of an insurance company's director and officer liability wording in their policies.
  • Benefits payable to an innocent party where an insured’s injury may have been caused by that insured’s criminal activity.

I am a member of the New Zealand Insurance Law Association and the Society of Construction Law New Zealand. I am a recommended lawyer for insurance as recognised by the Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2021 legal directory. I speak regularly at industry events and conferences on insurance law, construction disputes and director duties, and I am on the organising committee for the annual ANZIIF Liability Conference. I am a contributing author to legal texts published by Chambers and Partners.

I am Chair of the Plimmerton School Board of Trustees and a member of the Oceania Football Confederation Appeal Committee.