Hugh is a Senior Associate in Wotton + Kearney’s Auckland office with over 10 years’ experience in insurance law and dispute resolution.

Hugh acts for insurers and their insureds across various sectors, with a focus on indemnity advice, professional liability and disciplinary, directors and officers and construction claims. He is a former Judges’ Clerk to the High Court at Auckland and has previously worked as a civil litigator for law firms in both New Zealand and Australia.

Hugh has undertaken post-graduate studies in law at the University of Toronto and New York University.

  • Providing coverage advice to insurers and excess layer insurers in relation to various leaky building claims, including advice on the meaning and timing of property damage and the operation of defective product and wet building exclusions.
  • Acting as defence counsel for architects and architectural designers in numerous leaky building and subsidence claims.
  • Acting as defence counsel for solicitors, valuers and brokers in various negligence claims.
  • Defending solicitors against complaints to the Law Society alleging over-charging and negligence.
  • Defending a solicitor in judicial review proceedings challenging Law Society determinations and successfully obtaining permanent name suppression.
  • Advising insurers and defending insureds following large product liability claims, including in relation to vessel collapses and failures of reinforcing steel.
  • Acting for excess layer insurers in relation to a representative action again carpet manufacturers following an issue of securities to the public.
  • Acting for the insurers for directors of a high profile finance company involved in civil proceedings and regulatory investigations by the Financial Markets Authority and Serious Fraud Office.
  • Providing advice to insurers in relation to coverage issues arising from Canterbury earthquakes and methamphetamine-related damage.
  • Acting for an insurer in relation to a policy dispute over business interruption loss caused by a Maui gas pipeline disruption.
Areas of Expertise
  • Directors + Officers Liability
  • Industrial Special Risks
  • Inquiries, Investigations + Prosecutions
  • Product Liability + Recall
  • Professional Liability

Industry Representation
  • Construction + Infrastructure
  • Financial Institutions + Services
  • Professions + Business Services
  • Manufacturing + Consumer Goods

Professional Affiliations
  • New Zealand Insurance Law Association