Paul Smith


Paul is a seasoned litigator with over 30 years experience specialising in insurance-related litigation. Throughout his career, he has represented insurers in a wide range of civil cases, from coverage disputes to subrogated recoveries and complex construction litigation.  His expertise has been sought after in high-profile cases involving arson, fraud, disputes arising out of the Canterbury earthquake sequence, leaky buildings, and health & safety prosecutions.  With a successful track record in litigation at all Court levels, including up to the Supreme Court, he’s a trusted legal advisor to his clients.

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Paul has recently been involved in several high-stakes cases, including commercial and residential property disputes stemming from earthquake damage and defective remedial work, large fire claims at industrial premises, and business interruption claims.

His achievements have earned him recognition from Legal 500 Asia Pacific as a recommended lawyer for insurance.

Recent highlights

  • High Court litigation involving disputes over the extent of earthquake damage (and defective remedial work) to large commercial buildings, as well as residential dwellings.
  • Large fire claims at industrial premises, including disputes over the amount of insurance cover available.
  • Disputed business interruption claims.

Paul's insights

The Shaw case: an authority on “loss” of possession?

29 November 2022

Insurance law insights featured in GILC Risk Radar report 2024

24 May 2024

Limitation of liability clauses upheld by the High Court

18 April 2024

We're driven by our values

They drive our client relationships and connections with our community, and underpin our achievements.

He tāngata

  • Regularly undertakes pro bono work through Te Ara Ture (A Bridge to Law), a service created by the Community Law Centres
  • Board Member of Auckland City Football Club

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