Professor Rob Merkin KC

Special Counsel

I am Professor of Commercial Law at the University of Reading in England, Honorary Professor of Law at the University of Auckland and Distinguished Professor in the School of Comparative Law at the China University of Politics and Law in Beijing. In addition, I am a visiting Professor at the University of Sydney, teaching an intensive insurance law module to Masters’ students. I have taught insurance law in a number of other institutions, including the University of Queensland, Hong Kong University, City University in Athens and National University of Singapore.

I am past president of the British Insurance Law Association, honorary life president of the International Association of Insurance Law (AIDA) and I served as consultant to the English and Scottish Law Commissions for their project on the reform of insurance law 2006-2016. In 2009 I was Distinguished Visitor for the Singapore Academy of Law, in 2010 I was awarded a prize by the Australian Insurance Law Association for my contribution to insurance law and in 2012 I was appointed to the Hotung Fellowship by the University of Canterbury to deliver a series of lectures on earthquake insurance. In 2014 I was awarded a higher doctorate (LLD) by Cardiff University and acted as Special Adviser to the House of Lords Special Public Bills Committee on the Insurance Bill (now Act). In 2015 I was made a KC honoris causa by the Crown. 

As well as advising insurance companies and brokers, I give seminars to lawyers, the insurance industry and national insurance law associations worldwide. In particular I have spoken on a number of occasions for the NZ Insurance Law Association and the Australian Insurance Law Association, and I give regular updates for the Lloyd's Market Association and the British Insurance Law Association. I am presently acting as consultant to Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment for the ongoing project to reform New Zealand insurance law.

I sit as an arbitrator, and I have had a number of appointments in England, Hong Kong and Singapore. I am a fellow of AMINZ (Arb.). I am also a member of the Disciplinary Committee of the Financial Services Council of New Zealand.

I have written a number of texts including:

  • Colinvaux's Law of Insurance in New Zealand (2nd edition, December 2017),
  • Insurance Contract Law,
  • Reinsurance Law,
  • Arbitration Law
  • Insurance Law in Hong Kong,
  • Marine Insurance Legislation, 
  • the Law of Motor Insurance, and
  • Marine Insurance: A Legal History

My books have on three occasions won the annual prize from the British Insurance Law Association. I am also co-author of Sutton's Law of Insurance in Australia. I edit the Journal of Business Law, the Lloyd’s Law Reports, Lloyd’s Maritime Law Newsletter, Arbitration Law Monthly and Insurance Law Monthly. From 2005 to 2011 I was co-editor of Legal Studies, the journal of the Society of Legal Scholars.

I have been recognised as a leading international insurance lawyer in the New Zealand section of Who's Who Legal: Insurance and Reinsurance publication every year since 2019.