Ross v Southern Response [2019] NZCA 431

In May 2018 Mr & Mrs Ross (Ross) issued proceedings against Southern Response Earthquake Services Ltd (SR) claiming that SR provided incomplete information relevant to the settlement of their residential earthquake claim. The causes of action largely reflect those recently determined in Dodds v Southern Response Earthquake Services Ltd [2019] NZHC 2016.

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Dodds v Southern Response Earthquake Services Limited [2019] NZHC

Southern Response had thought it had settled the Dodds’ insurance claim, in December 2013. It had provided the Dodds with the costing to rebuild their home that the Dodds were entitled to be paid under their policy. But it did not provide them details of the costs they were not entitled to.

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90 Day Trials and Payments in Lieu of Notice

Trial periods can be useful tools for employers to assess whether an employee can meet employment expectations and is the right fit. As of 6 May 2019, they are permissible only for employers who employ fewer than 20 employees

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Robt. Jones Holdings Ltd v McCullagh [2019] NZSC 86

Bob Jones was in the news again recently, not as might be expected for an incendiary newspaper column or an airline fracas, but the more mundane business of voidable insolvent transactions and another twist in the sorry saga of Blue Chip NZ.

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Busby Trust v IAG NZ Limited

When will a Court transfer a proceeding to the Canterbury Earthquake Insurance Tribunal?

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Canterbury Earthquakes Insurance Tribunal (CEIT) has been launched!

The CEIT, chaired by former District Court Judge Chris Somerville, has been established with the objective of resolving longstanding Canterbury earthquake insurance disputes in a “speedy, flexible and cost-effective way”.

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Disclaimers Won’t Exclude Liability For Breached Undertakings

In Bushline Trustees Limited v ANZ & England [2019] NZCA 245, the Court of Appeal has reversed the High Court judgment.

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Xu v IAG Assignment of Reinstatement Rights

The entitlement to replacement benefits is conditional on reinstatement by the insured and cannot be assigned.

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You shoal not pass!

The English Admiralty Court recently released a judgment illustrating the application of established principles regarding seaworthiness following the grounding of a cargo ship. For the first time, a Court held that a defective passage plan prepared prior to the commencement of the voyage rendered the vessel unseaworthy.

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Dual Retainers and Conflicts of Interest

A claim is made against an insured, who turns to its insurer for cover. The insurer instructs a lawyer to act in the defence of the claim. Normally this tri-partite relationship works well, because there is a common interest in defeating the claim or reducing the damage. However, tensions can arise due to the differing interests and obligations of the parties.

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Is the ship owner liable for losses to cargo interests even if the crew deliberately lights the fire – the “Lady M”

The UK Court Appeal has recently again considered the Hague Visby Rules and in particular the meaning of the potential defence of Fire and the burden of proof on Carrier. In this case a fire was stared deliberately by the Chief Engineer, and Cargo interests sought to say the deliberate nature of the crew’s actions meant the Carrier could not rely on the fire defence.

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When is enough, enough? Broker and insurer’s duties to inform insureds

What duties do a broker and an insurer owe to an insured to tell the insured about the extent of their insurance cover and if that cover is adequate for their changing needs or to cover their claim? Would it be enough to place the insurance requested by the insured and tell the insured?

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What do I have to do to cancel this policy?

Sometimes, an insured does something that breaches the fundamental obligation of good faith that underpins all insurance contracts. In those circumstances, the insurer may wish to bring an end to the insurance contract and its obligations.

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Written out of the will

Mr Sandman sued Wilson McKay for dishonest assistance. He alleged that Wilson McKay had knowingly assisted the daughter of, and an attorney for the testator in producing a will that significantly reduced the benefits that were provided for him in a prior will.

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When should what the parties say be used to interpret contracts?

If negotiations are the evidence of what a contract means, why write the contract at all?

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Sexual Harassment In The Workplace – Did You Know?

On the topic of sexual harassment what usually comes to mind is an employer, employee or client/customer making sexually suggestive remarks to an employee, or touching another employee inappropriately.

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What is insurance and why do we still not agree about that?

Globe Church Incorporated v Allianz Australia Insurance Ltd [2019] NSWCA 27 the NSW Court of Appeal determines this issue in Australia.

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Burden of Proof in Cargo Claims under the Hague and Hague-Visby Rules

Volcafe v CSAV [2018] UKSC 61 – Burden of Proof in Cargo Claims under the Hague and Hague-Visby Rules – The Supreme Court in the UK clarifies the Legal Test.

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Craft beer and craftier words: sometimes beer is just beer as words are just words

Malthouse Ltd v Rangatira Ltd [2018] NZCA 621 (20 December 2018) the Court of Appeal clarifies the role of “commercial sense” in contract interpretation.

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Insurance Council/IBANZ Marine Workshop

The workshop provided an opportunity to keep abreast of topical issues and meet with colleagues across the marine and insurance industry.

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When Ships Collide

Which collision rules apply when one vessel is simply drifting, awaiting a pilot?

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To Repair Rubble or Not to Repair Rubble

A recent High Court decision, gives some guidance to insurers and insureds on what “when new” vs “as new” policies require of insurers and what repairs are required to rubble foundations

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McElroys Wins Insurance Specialist Law Firm of the Year

McElroys is proud to announce that it has won the Insurance Specialist Law Firm of the Year award.

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Liability for Wasted Costs when Withdrawing as Counsel

The High Court in Bligh v Earthquake Commission [2018] NZHC 2392 has quashed orders that a solicitor pays costs incurred after the solicitor withdrew as counsel.

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Supreme Court’s Decision in Feltex Litigation

On 15 August 2018, the Supreme Court delivered its judgment in the long-running Feltex litigation.1 This was a representative action brought by Eric Houghton on behalf of approximately 3,600 shareholders.

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Sentencing in the Age of HSWA 2015

Three companies appealed against sentences imposed on them for breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA), Stumpmaster, Tasman Tanning and Niagra Sawmilling.

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Invercargill City Council v Southland Indoor Leisure Centre Charitable Trust

In September 2010 the Southland Stadium roof partially collapsed following a heavy snowstorm. The Stadium required extensive repairs costing over $15 million. Southland Indoor Leisure Centre Charitable Trust (Trust), the owner, brought proceedings against AS Major, the engineer responsible for the Stadium’s structural design, and Invercargill City Council (Council).

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Prattley v Vero – Supreme Court

Prattley owned a commercial building in Worcester Street, Christchurch. It was insured for indemnity value only with a sum insured of $1,605,000. It was damaged in the 4 September 2010, 26 December 2010 and 22 February 2011 earthquakes.

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Trustees Executors v Fund Managers Canterbury

Trustees Executors Ltd (TEL) issued proceedings against Fund Managers Canterbury Ltd (FMC), its directors and officers, and auditors, in the Wellington High Court. The claim against FMC and the D&Os concerned alleged negligence and breach of the Fair Trading Act arising from lending decisions in conjunction with the Canterbury Mortgage Trust Group Investment Fund (CMT) which was wound up in 2009.

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Montecillo Trust v
Stevenson Brown Ltd – High Court
Jardboranir HF trading as Iceland Drilling v Summit Hydraulic Solutions Ltd – High Court

In the first case the Montecillo Trust engaged Mr Rutter for the purposes of design, project management and supervision for the construction of a rest home in Dunedin in 2005.

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Prattley v Vero – Court of Appeal

The settlement agreement should not be re-opened as the mistakes alleged by Prattley were the kind contemplated by the parties and therefore covered by the release clause.

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Hotchin v The New Zealand Guardian Trust Co Ltd

Mark Hotchin, a director of Hanover Finance Ltd and other collapsed finance companies (referred to collectively as Hanover), faced proceedings by the Financial Markets Authority (FMA). The FMA alleged that the Hanover directors, including Hotchin, distributed offer documents containing untrue statements on which investors relied when purchasing securities or rolling over their investments.

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