Andrea Challis

Partner | LLB, BA

Having joined McElroys over 20 years ago, Andrea became a Partner in 2000. With a wealth of experience she has acted in some of New Zealand’s most high profile, complex and largest civil litigation cases.

Andrea regularly provides advice to leading insurers on indemnity and other issues once coverage is confirmed. She has particular experience in acting for professionals facing claims for breach of duties (contractual, fiduciary and at common law) as well disciplinary processes. She also has considerable experience and knowledge in all other aspects of civil and insurance related litigation. Another aspect of her practice is to regularly associate in claims for insurers where an insured has exercised the right to instruct their own solicitors on a claim.

Andrea’s focus is to ensure that a claim, and any ensuing litigation, is conducted efficiently and effectively – whether that be as a result of a negotiated settlement at mediation or otherwise. She welcomes the opportunity to involve both insurers and their customers in her work in order to achieve a dispute resolution that achieves the best possible outcome for both parties.

Incredibly proud of the McElroys firm and its people, Andrea genuinely loves what she does. However her first love is her family and she gets great pleasure from spending time with them and supporting her children, along with reading, cooking and socialising.

Principal areas of practice:

  • Directors & Officers liability
  • Professional indemnity/liability
  • Public/general liability
  • Statutory liability


  • Delivers legal services focused on her clients’ needs and requirements
  • High quality advice on risk, strategy and resolution of claims
  • Leading directors & officers liability and professional negligence practitioner
  • Highly experienced and recognised trial lawyer and advocate in Courts at all levels from the District to the Supreme Court
  • Skilled in mediation and alternative dispute resolution

Recent trial involvement / outcomes:

  • Investors’ representative action. Successful defence of a $185 million claim when acting for a joint lead manager/organising participant in an IPO who faced claims under the Securities Act, Fair Trading Act and in negligence. The proceeding, which was filed in 2008, was a representative action brought on behalf of approximately 3,700 investors. The claim was funded by a United Kingdom litigation funder. The defendants were successful following a 14 week trial in 2014.
  • Receiver/Director. Defeating a claim against a receiver alleged to be a shadow/deemed director and to have breached duties under the Companies Act.
  • Solicitors. Decisions at all levels variously striking out a bank’s claim against a solicitor for breach of undertaking to promptly register a mortgage, obtaining contribution on behalf of a solicitor from the plaintiffs’ former solicitor in relation to negligent advice about an investment scheme, defeating a claim by a solicitor seeking contribution where an alleged undertaking was found not to exist.
  • Barrister. Court of Appeal and High Court decisions dismissing proceedings against a barrister for lost litigation rights.
  • Indemnity. Acting for an insurer to successfully defend its position on the application and interpretation of a prospectus liability endorsement under a $20m D&O policy.