Aaron Sherriff


Aaron specialises in commercial litigation and insurance law and has experience managing large, complex disputes, regularly appearing in the Courts and in mediation. He has been in practice for over 20 years and is qualified in both New Zealand and British Columbia, Canada.

Aaron has acted for liability and general insurers in both New Zealand and Canada advising on indemnity issues and defending insured liability claims. This includes work on professional negligence claims (particularly engineers and architects), general liability policies (particularly in the construction sector), directors and officers liability policies (including claims by liquidators, minority shareholders and investors), and course of construction/contract works policies. He is also regularly engaged to act for liability and property insurers on first party and third party commercial losses arising out of major events, including fire, earthquake, and flood.

Aaron is Duncan Cotterill’s representative on the Global Insurance Legal Connect (GILC) Construction Special Interest Group.

Recent highlights

  • Proceedings in the High Court regarding alleged negligent design or advice by engineers and architects for commercial and residential buildings.
  • Fires at commercial and rural properties that spread to neighbouring land.
  • Liability claims involving alleged contamination of a third party food product.
  • Advice to insurers on the scope of “your product” and “your workmanship” exclusion clauses in general liability policies.
  • Managing complex claims arising out of significant natural disaster events.
  • Advice to insurers on the scope of cover of director and officer liability wordings.
  • Successful response on behalf of a broadcaster to a High Court application by the Commerce Commission for a determination regarding the scope of a telecommunications levy.

Recent High Court cases

Aaron's insights

Insurance law insights featured in GILC Risk Radar report 2024

24 May 2024

Chambers and Partners - Insurance & Reinsurance 2024 New Zealand chapter

23 February 2024

New Zealand High Court examines the standard of care on construction professionals and the enforceability of limitation of liability clauses

9 August 2023

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He tāngata

  • Immediate past Chair of the Plimmerton School Board of Trustees
  • Member of the organising committee for the annual ANZIIF Liability Conference from 2015 to 2022
  • Member of the Oceania Football Confederation Appeal Committee
  • Member of the MotorSport New Zealand National Court of Appeal


  • Qualified in both New Zealand and British Columbia, Canada
  • Recommended lawyer for insurance in the Legal 500 Asia Pacific legal directory
  • Contributing author to legal texts published by Chambers and Partners
  • Regular speaker at industry events and conferences on insurance law, construction disputes and director liability


  • Member of the New Zealand Insurance Law Association
  • Member of the Society of Construction Law New Zealand
  • Co-lead the firm’s membership of Global Insurance Law Connect (GILC)


  • Completed the New York marathon.

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