Rob Coltman


Rob is a commercial litigation and dispute resolution partner, with a focus on regulatory, construction, insurance, insolvency and recovery actions.

Admitted in New Zealand and England & Wales, Rob has extensive experience appearing both in Court and in mediation/arbitration. His is a broad practice principally servicing local and off-shore insurers but he regularly leads the provision of commercial dispute advice to the firm’s corporate and institutional clients. He is valued for his pragmatic and solution-focussed approach.

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In the insurance sector, Rob advises liability and general insurers on a wide range of issues ranging from indemnity advice, defence to claims through to recovery actions. His professional risks experience includes the defence of statutory prosecutions. His material damage experience includes advice on losses arising from fire, earthquake and flood. He also provides advice to a leading local life and health insurer.

In the regulatory area, he defends prosecutions under health and safety legislation, largely on instructions from insurers, and is a former member of the Auckland District Law Society Health and Safety Law Committee. Rob is an experienced practitioner in the field of enforceable undertakings. He also advises clients in Commerce Commission investigations and prosecutions.

Outside of the insurance sector, he acts in construction disputes, insolvency disputes and has undertaken recovery work for a range of clients.

Recent highlights

  • Advice to Lloyds underwriters; conforming off-shore insurance policies (liability, property, marine) to New Zealand conditions.
  • Advice to local insurers on policy development and drafting (including policy response to Business Interruption claims post COVID).
  • Advising Malaysian insurers, and the representation of their insured, in the defence of a product liability claim brought in the New Zealand High Court.
  • Advising Dutch insurers on a subrogated recovery in New Zealand following a fire at a grain storage facility at Port of Tauranga.
  • Advice to Japanese ship owner in respect of an accident investigation at Port of Auckland.
  • Advice to a leading New Zealand stevedoring company on all aspects of regulatory compliance, defence of prosecutions, and industrial relations (including collective bargaining).
  • Recovery advice to a Danish bunker fuel supplier following the insolvency of an off-shore oil drilling operation off the Taranaki coast.
  • Defence of a local insurer in High Court proceedings arising from an avoidance of policy for material non-disclosure.
  • Advice to a leading property developer in various High Court proceedings and an arbitration in relation to claims about commercial buildings; purchasing arrangements, construction defects, and lease disputes.

Rob's insights

Insurance law insights featured in GILC Risk Radar report 2024

24 May 2024

Duncan Cotterill Partner Rob Coltman discusses key insurance trends in New Zealand with Global Insurance Law Connect

13 July 2023

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

12 October 2022

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He tāngata

  • Former Office Managing Partner of Duncan Cotterill’s Auckland office


  • Recognised as a ‘Leading Practitioner’ in the Best Lawyers New Zealand 2025 directory for Litigation Law.
  • Recognised as a recommended insurance lawyer by the Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2022


  • Contributing author to legal texts by Chambers and Partners
  • Member of New Zealand Insurance Law Association
  • Co-lead of Duncan Cotterill’s membership of Global Insurance Law Connect (GILC)

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