Marine Law

Navigating the complex issues that are specific to maritime law and marine insurance takes many years of experience and a specialist skill set. From General Average and Admiralty to finding an economically viable means of achieving recovery is all part of a day’s work for McElroys’ Marine Law team.

Even in an area of law such as this where the complexity of language can become overwhelming, our people cut through any confusion and make things plain, clear and simple. Transparent communication with our clients is vital to ensuring we can achieve our role as problem solvers. So too are our close collaborative relationships with the major players in maritime and marine insurance – both here in NZ and internationally. On any given day our people are advising insurers and brokers on legal and practical issues relating to marine insurance and the domestic and international carriage of goods. They pursue subrogated claims for recovery following cargo, vessel or property damage claims and defend marine industry operators against civil liability claims and statutory prosecutions. Our team also regularly give Marine Law seminars as a value added service to our clients.

Property Insurance

Few businesses have a comprehensive understanding of the true purpose of their property insurance. Without that inherent understanding it’s impossible to know if your business’ proper commercial value is fully realised, or not.

Our specialist Property Insurance team tackle property insurance issues from all angles. By tapping into the perspectives of technical experts, alongside that of the insured and the insurer we can then settle on a strategy to resolve the problem and affect a positive outcome. Our people are experts in their field and are fully equipped to provide the best legal advice to assist both insurers and the insured to work through issues as accurately and as quickly as possible. McElroys have experience across a range of major natural disasters in NZ, having worked extensively with insurers through some intensely challenging and difficult times. Whether it’s a natural disaster or a construction related issue, we achieve positive outcomes for material damage, business interruption, specialty risk and contract works policies on a regular basis.

Public & General Liability

NZ businesses are in a constant state of evolution. So naturally, their insurance policies must evolve with them. It’s our job to understand that evolution from the perspective of every party relevant to each insurance policy. Only then can we make sure that the insurance policy does its job – and does it well.

Our specialist Public & General Liability team work to understand the factual and technical issues at the heart of each issue that comes across their desk. By collaborating closely with our clients, their insurers and New Zealand’s leading experts we can devise a strategy to enable momentum and work to resolve the issue and achieve a positive outcome.

From policy response to product liability issues, to construction or horticulture liability, we have worked with all forms of liability policies. We understand how they work, but more importantly we also understand what they are designed to achieve.

Statutory Liability

The arm of the regulator is growing longer in New Zealand. With this extended regulatory reach, our Statutory Liability team work hard to keep informed and ahead of the latest changes in regulatory policy and legislation.

Our job is to ensure we’re in the best position to manage our client’s exposure to risk – both prior to accidents and events and during investigations. In the event of an investigation, our team are incredibly focussed on presenting our client’s perspective as early and as clearly as possible. In order to put our client’s best foot forward, our people have a range of experts on hand with whom they consult and collaborate closely with. Likewise our relationships with regulators are something we build proactively and maintain carefully. The most common issues our team address relate to health and safety, where significant recent changes to legislation have led to a six fold increase in fines.

IT & Cyber Liability

With information technology evolving at a rate faster than our ability to adapt, more and more businesses and individuals in New Zealand are exposed to cyber risks and liability. Cyber attacks cause significant disruption, financial loss and reputational damage - particularly to organisations that store their customers’ money and personal information.

McElroys knows that all organisations will continue to face increasing regulation and compliance requirements in managing and protecting their customers’ information and data. With a clear understanding of the IT landscape and its transgression into Cyberspace, our team can advise on policy response and claims in this ever changing field.

We are constantly keeping astride of advances in the IT space. Our experience encompasses a broad range of disputes including claims against a professional services firm following a security breach, a dispute between an IT provider & their customer and a wide range of contractual issues.

Directors & Officers Liability

Balancing your role as a director bound by statutory obligations with your drive to advance a business using your entrepreneurial skill isn’t always easy.

McElroys’ team of specialists step in when needed to guide a director or officer through an alleged breach of duties – either to the company itself or to a third party, such as a creditor. We bring many years of well-considered experience advising both insurers and their insured directors and officers when they face claims, either in respect of civil liability or as a result of regulatory non-compliance.

The volatility brought about by the Global Financial Crisis saw our people acting for both insurers and directors, particularly in relation to the collapse of finance companies. We also have comprehensive experience in defending health and safety prosecutions where directors are often named individually in addition to the corporate entity.

Our team also work in an associated liaison role between insurers and their insured director/officers. Here we collaborate closely with the director’s counsel on defence strategy, whether that be civil or criminal.

Professional Indemnity

For many, receiving a disciplinary complaint or professional negligence claim isn’t just a professional blow, but also a personal one. It affects your belief in your ability and can make you doubt your moral compass, particularly if there are issues relating to a conflict of interest, or alleged personal benefit.

McElroys have successfully acted for hundreds of professionals in the area of Professional Indemnity. With a fully transparent and hands on approach, we keep our client fully updated about any developments and progress as we work. By providing clear advice from the outset and working closely with our client we can achieve an outcome that resolves the claim as quickly as possible.

Our team’s broad and extensive experience in Professional Indemnity sees us working with professionals from a wide range of disciplines. From lawyers and accountants, to engineers and architects, to valuers and real estate agents. We are comprehensively versed and well practiced in in both civil claims and the various disciplinary processes brought by different industries and their official bodies.

Employment & Education Law

Employment disputes can be stressful and difficult for both the individuals involved and the organisation as a whole. Disputes divert from leadership and organisational growth. What’s more, they can be time consuming, requiring consultation with employment advocates, unions, professional disciplinary bodies and the Police.

McElroys’ Employment and Education team approach employment disputes objectively and pragmatically. We aim to resolve the dispute quickly and efficiently for employers so that they can return to focussing on their core business. Managing a difficult or poorly performing employee is challenging for employers and frequently results in personal grievance actions.

Education is specialised area of expertise for McElroys, with so many factors at risk in a dispute. Today’s Boards of Trustees are faced with not just an employment issue and the potential for disciplinary action from the Education Council, but also negative publicity for the school, its staff and students.