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:

  • Several proceedings in the High Court alleging negligence regarding the engineering design or architectural design of commercial and residential buildings.
  • Alleged liability for fires that have spread to neighbouring property.
  • Claims involving alleged contamination of third party food product.
  • The scope of “your product” and “your workmanship” exclusion clauses in general liability insurance policies.
  • The scope of cover under director and officer liability insurance policies.
  • Proceedings involving levies payable to the Commerce Commission under recent changes to the Telecommunications Act 2001.

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 2022 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 co-lead the firm’s membership of Global Insurance Law Connect (GILC). GILC is a formal alliance of leading insurance law experts comprised of high-performing independent firms across the world that specialise in insurance law. GILC delivers a global reach and depth of service that no one firm can deliver on its own.

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