Ayleath Foote


I specialise in litigation, arbitration and dispute resolution, and provide advice and advocacy in cases before Courts at all levels. I have acted on many high value claims for insurers, liquidators and companies across a broad range of fields, and have a particular interest in trust disputes. Before joining Duncan Cotterill I worked as a senior associate in the litigation team at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in London as part of the insurance and financial services group.

My work arising out of the Christchurch earthquakes has brought particularly interesting challenges, and I have acted on high value, complex claims for trusts, individuals and companies. This work has included advice on construction contracts, judicial review of decision making processes of public bodies, and advocacy in relation to insurance claims.

As part of my construction practice I advise on risk allocation and transfer, ensuring that contracts allocate risk appropriately and that clients understand where risk lies and how it can be mitigated. This work has resulted in the negotiation of major contracts for contractors, working closely with their other advisors such as brokers and accountants, advising on retentions and bonds, and putting in place appropriate security interests.

I also act for the trustees and beneficiaries of a number of trusts on significant litigation issues. The commercial needs of my clients are always central to my advice. Where appropriate, I seek to achieve negotiated outcomes through negotiation or mediation, and have resolved many high value, complex disputes in this way.

I have extensive experience in emergency relief, fraud claims and multi jurisdictional issues, with examples being:

  • Freezing assets of a debtor who had left the jurisdiction;
  • Obtaining judgment for US clients in New Zealand for fraud committed in Indonesia;
  • Obtaining and executing search orders (Anton Piller orders) for a US company against alleged fiduciary (included freezing assets and bank accounts in New Zealand); 
  • Obtaining freezing orders and injunctions in significant director/shareholder disputes;
  • Acting for US clients on significant trust and fiduciary litigation in New Zealand; and
  • Obtaining injunction against alleged fiduciary who had removed confidential information.

I am recognised as a recommended lawyer by the Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2023 legal directory for dispute resolution, I am also a member of INSOL (insolvency practitioners), commentate regularly on insurance issues and am a leader at the ANZIIF annual insurance industry leaders event.