Jonathan Scragg


I specialise in commercial, insurance and public law disputes. I regularly appear as counsel in the Courts and in mediation and have appeared in the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and High Court as well as in various specialist tribunals. I am known by clients and referrers for my ability to tackle complex matters and create strategies focussed on pragmatic and commercial dispute resolution.  As a skilled negotiator, particularly in mediations, I take a highly personable approach focused on preserving on-going relationships, whilst also maximising successful negotiated outcomes.

As a leader of the firm’s Wellington litigation and disputes team, I am engaged in a wide range of commercial litigation and disputes work. One of my primary focus areas is insurance law, and particularly within that field, professional indemnity insurance work.  

I act for insurers and their clients in defending civil claims and disciplinary processes and my work is focussed on accountants, brokers, directors, engineers, financial advisers, health professionals, lawyers and property professionals including architects, real estate agents, surveyors and valuers.

I have particular experience managing large, complex and multi-party cases, for insurers and insureds alike.

Recent work includes: 

  • Advising on a number of High Court claims seeking judicial review and damages for breaches of legislation including the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 that have been brought against the New Zealand based subsidiary of a FTSE250 company that operates a government owned facility in New Zealand. 
  • Leading a multi-million dollar claim against an offshore international agri-sector product manufacturer for a NZX listed reseller, in a claim for the defective design and manufacture of a product that has been widely sold in New Zealand.
  • Advising local and international publishers and authors in respect of defamation issues and online publication. 

I am recognised as a 'Leading Individual' by the Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2023 legal directory for insurance, and recommended lawyer for dispute resolution, with clients describing me as "strategic and reliable".

I am a member of the Presidential Council of the International Insurance Law Association (AIDA) and a past president of the New Zealand Insurance Law Association Inc (NZILA), and past Chair of the Duncan Cotterill Board and Partnership. I have been in practice for more than 20 years and in that time have worked at a leading litigation firm in London, and as a judge’s clerk at the High Court.

I am a contributing author to various legal texts published by LexisNexis, Chambers and Partners and Thomson Reuters and speak regularly at industry events and conferences on dispute resolution and insurance law. I am admitted in England and Wales and a former recipient of the Cleary Memorial Prize.