Neil Beadle specialises in maritime law, defence of regulatory investigations and prosecutions, and insurance policy drafting.

Neil has led the insurance team in several important maritime law cases, succeeding in the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. He is a Past President of the Maritime Law Association of Australia & New Zealand (MLAANZ) and a member of the New Zealand Branch Committee.

He also has expertise in the defence of Health & Safety and Resource Management Act prosecutions. He has argued several cases under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 and resolved many investigations short of prosecution, including by negotiating enforceable undertakings with WorkSafe. He has successfully defended many charges at trial and, where a guilty plea has been appropriate, he has helped clients to achieve the best outcome in those circumstances. Neil has also dealt with many cases involving serious injury and fatalities.

In addition, Neil is experienced in reviewing and drafting policy wordings for insurers.

Neil is consistently ranked as a leading shipping lawyer in New Zealand by Chambers Asia-Pacific, with commentary including: ‘He has a strong reputation with local and international underwriters and was found by one source to provide “straightforward, very specific advice that addresses the key issues without any waffle.”



Marine + Transport

  • Maritime New Zealand v China Navigation Company Pte Limited – sentencing decision under s65 Maritime Transport Act 1994 relating to a fall from height from a bulk log carrying vessel.
  • Maritime New Zealand v The Red Boats Limited – acquittal of the defendant to charges under the Health & Safety at Work Act 2015 arising from a fatal accident in the Waitemata Harbour.
  • Department of Labour v C3 Limited and Wayne Ronald Ryder – a prosecution of a stevedoring company employer and employee for breach of the Health & Safety in Employment Act 1992, in which our employer client was acquitted and the employee convicted .

Workplace Health + Safety

  • WorkSafe New Zealand v Kerr Construction Whangarei Limited – sentencing decision under the Health & Safety at Work Act 2015 relating to a fall from a mobile scaffold.
  • WorkSafe New Zealand v Thor Electrical and Maintenance Services Limited – sentencing decision under the Health & Safety at Work Act 2015 regarding registered electricians, their employer’s responsibility for supervision and technical compliance.
  • WorkSafe New Zealand v Fresh Meats (NZ) Limited – sentencing decision under the Health & Safety at Work Act 2015 arising from unguarded machinery.

Environmental Law

  • Waikato Regional Council v Trinity Lands Limited & Ors – successful application for discharge without conviction of a contract milker for breach of the Resource Management Act.
  • Gisborne District Council v A&R Logging Limited – not guilty plea to RMA charges arising from discharges of forestry debris to waterways. GDC withdrew all charges against our harvesting client before the two week trial.
  • Chisholm Farms Limited v Waikato Regional Council – successful appeal from an order of the District Court requiring, at sentencing under the Resource Management Act, the defendant to disclose particulars of its insurance cover.
Areas of Expertise
  • Environmental Liability
  • Inquiries, Investigations + Prosecutions
  • Marine + Transport
  • Workplace Health + Safety

Industry Representation
  • Marine + Transport
  • Construction + Manufacturing
  • Primary Industry
  • Insurance Litigation
  • Policy Drafting

Professional Affiliations
  • New Zealand Law Society
  • New Zealand Insurance Law Association
  • Auckland District Law Society Health & Safety Committee
  • Maritime Law Association of Australia & New Zealand (MLAANZ) – Past President and New Zealand branch committee member