Andrew Colgan

Partner | BCom, LLB, LLM

Andrew is an experienced litigator with a practice focusing primarily on insurance, maritime law, professional liability and statutory liability. As well as frequent involvement in mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution, he has experience conducting defended hearings and trials in the District Courts, High Court and Court of Appeal.

Andrew leads our marine team – for which McElroys is recognised as one of New Zealand’s leading specialist maritime, admiralty, transport and marine insurance law firms. Here, he is an indispensable source of advice for his marine insurance and marine industry clients. This work frequently involves resolving disputes internationally, working with clients and opposing parties across different jurisdictions. He is regularly involved in representing the interests of marine insurers and operators following maritime accidents, including through regulatory investigations and prosecutions.

Andrew completed degrees in Commerce (Economics) and Law before undertaking an LL.M. looking at the international legal framework for preferential trade agreements, for which he received First Class Honors from the University of Auckland in 2008. He was admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand in 2009 and joined McElroys in 2010.

In mid-2018 Andrew took a year’s leave to undertake a second LL.M. degree at the University of Chicago. The focus of his study (and the reason for his chosen school) was law and economics – in particular, the economics of litigation and civil procedure. Among other areas, he undertook research into litigation funding of class action lawsuits and the role of behavioural economics in civil litigation. These areas in which Andrew is continuing to research, write and present.

With a strong interest in international development, Andrew co-founded ADC Microfinance, a New Zealand-based charitable organisation supporting the provision of financial services in poor communities, primarily in Myanmar. Since its inception, ADC Microfinance has provided over 13,000 loans (totalling more than $3.5 million) to small businesses owners (over 85% of whom are women) empowering them to forge a pathway out of poverty.

Andrew is a member of the Law & Economics Association of New Zealand (LEANZ) and the Maritime Law Association of Australia and New Zealand (MLAANZ), having served on the NZ Branch Committee of MLAANZ for a number of years. He also enjoys both football and running, not to mention organising our McElroys’ Trivia Nights.

Principal areas of practice:

  • Marine Insurance – cargo, hull & machinery, statutory liability, freight forwarders, boat builders and repairer.
  • Cargo and transport – carriage of goods (domestic and international), storage and bailment, carriers’ liability, subrogated cargo recoveries.
  • Professional Indemnity – lawyers, valuers, accountants.
  • General and liability – motor, material damage, marine industry liability.
  • Regulatory and Health & Safety – particularly investigations and prosecutions by Worksafe and Maritime New Zealand.


  • Quality advice on risk, strategy and resolution of claims.
  • Knowledge of and experience in civil procedure.
  • Negotiation, mediation and alternative dispute resolution.
  • Guiding clients and insured parties through the litigation process.
  • Good working relationship with trade industry and international shipping lines, and access to leading marine industry experts.