Kristal Rowe

Senior Associate | BA, LLB

Kristal is an experienced insurance litigation lawyer, with particular expertise in earthquake claims.

In the aftermath of the Canterbury earthquakes Kristal spent several months in house at a national insurer assisting the earthquake team.  She now regularly appears for insurers in the Christchurch High Court’s earthquake list.

Kristal represents insurers at all stages of the dispute, including providing advice on indemnity and liability, defending proceedings and representation for insurers at Court hearings, judicial settlement conferences and in direct negotiations.  She has successfully settled many earthquake claims and defended proceedings issued against insurers in the High Court.  Kristal was junior counsel in Jarden v Lumley General Insurance (N.Z.) Limited [2015] NZHC 1427 and Jarden v Lumley General Insurance (N.Z.) Limited  [2016] NZCA 193, where Lumley successfully defended the insured’s claim for a total rebuild as a result of earthquake damage. She also successfully sought increased costs against the Jardens in Jarden v Lumley General Insurance (N.Z.) Limited  [2016] NZHC 2820

Kristal’s experience in house and as external counsel has given her a unique understanding the challenges faced by the insurance industry and their customers as a result of the Canterbury earthquakes.   She gives practical, efficient advice focussed on her clients’ business needs.

In addition, Kristal acts for insurers and their customers in material damage, business interruption, professional negligence/disciplinary, health and safety, health and life, public liability and marine insurance claims and proceedings.

Kristal is a graduate of Otago University (LLB/BA). She has practiced insurance law in New Zealand since 2006. She also practised in Melbourne for over two years acting for insurers in relation to the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission and class actions.

Principal areas of practice:

  • Professional Indemnity – engineers, architects, real estate agents, accountants, lawyers
  • Material Damage – earthquake policy response issues
  • Regulatory and Health and Safety – Work Safe investigations and prosecutions


  • Strong client relationships
  • Provides client focussed and pragmatic advice
  • Achieves commercial and expedient outcomes
  • Advocacy, including extensive judicial settlement conferences, mediations and courtroom experience

Recent trial involvement/outcomes:

  • Ritchie v EQC and Lumley – The Rule of Uncertainty (High Court);
  • Xu v IAG and The EQC – Assignment of Insurance claims
  • Jarden v Lumley General Insurance (N.Z.) Limited [2015] NZHC 1427
  • Lewis v Real Estate Agents Authority [2014] NZREADT 59
  • Butcher v Dragon Flyte Farm Limited (in liq) and Ors [2013] NZHC 1735
  • Jarden v Lumley General Insurance (N.Z.) Limited  [2016] NZCA 193
  • Jarden v Lumley General Insurance (N.Z.) Limited  [2016] NZHC 2820
  • Successfully defending and appealing professional disciplinary complaints against professionals, including lawyers and real estate agents.
  • WorkSafe investigations, prosecutions, and sentencings.