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

  • Several proceedings in the High Court involving alleged negligence in the structural engineering design or architectural design of commercial and residential buildings.
  • Proceedings in the High Court involving alleged negligence in the preparation of %NBS assessments.
  • Fires at commercial and rural properties that spread to neighbouring land.
  • Liability claims involving alleged contamination of a third party food product.
  • Providing regular advice to insurers on the scope of “your product” and “your workmanship” exclusion clauses in general liability policies.
  • Providing regular 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

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

9 August 2023

Global Insurance Law Connect report: ESG’s impact on global insurance industry

12 May 2023

New GILC Cyber Insurance report: cyber risk growing on an exponential scale

12 October 2022

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He tāngata

  • Member of the organising committee for the annual ANZIIF Liability Conference since 2015
  • Member of the Oceania Football Confederation Appeal Committee
  • Immediate past Chair of the Plimmerton School Board of Trustees
  • Contributing author to legal texts published by Chambers and Partners
  • Regularly speak at industry events and conferences on insurance law, construction disputes and director liability


  • Recommended lawyer for insurance in the Legal 500 Asia Pacific legal directory


  • Qualified in both New Zealand and British Columbia, Canada
  • 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)

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