Matthew Flynn

Consultant | LLB

Matthew is an experienced litigation lawyer specialising in maritime law and marine insurance law. He is a specialist advisor to a wide range of participants in the marine industry both here in New Zealand and abroad. A former Partner in the firm, Matthew is now a consultant here at McElroys.

Admitted as a NZ barrister and solicitor in 1989, Matthew was admitted as a solicitor to the Supreme Court England and Wales in 1991. His maritime career started with ten years in the City of London with M.F.B. and Fishers, before he joined McElroys in 1999, becoming a partner in 2004. A member of the New Zealand branch of the Maritime Law Association of Australia and New Zealand, he is also a supporting member of the London Maritime Arbitrators Association and an accredited tutor on maritime law for the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers. Matthew is also a part time Lecturer at the University of Auckland, teaching an undergraduate course on Maritime Law he has written and developed over the last few years.  Matthew has volunteered as a lawyer for the Citizens Advice Bureau for many years and continues to enjoy assisting the community with all manner of legal issues.

Matthew has advised numerous marine insurers, P&I Clubs, ship owners, charterers and exporters on a wide range of maritime issues. He has a particular focus on cargo, international trade, charter parties, bills of lading, FD & D disputes as well as a full range of indemnity issues including hull and machinery and cargo insurance. He also provides advice to the NZ marine industry, including advising on sale and purchase, new building projects and ship repair work. Matthew has acted on many well-known maritime law matters including the Rena, Tasman Pioneer and Jodi F Millennium.

Not unsurprisingly, when not at work Matthew enjoys sailing and being out on the water. Sailing to Antarctica and white water rafting in Columbia are among his intrepid adventures, alongside leading teams for Habitat for Humanity builds in various earthquake affected parts of the world when he is able. Matthew also plays guitar in a jazz group and loves spending time with his family.

Principal areas of practice:

  • Maritime law
  • Shipping and trade related law
  • Admiralty law
  • Marine insurance
  • Marine related criminal defence work


  •  Immediate response to maritime casualties.
  • Appointment of appropriate specialist surveyors and experts.
  • Early identification of factual and legal issues to develop case handling strategy.
  • Developing in-depth understanding of client’s business.
  • Pro-active and client focused legal training.

Recent trial involvement / outcomes:

  • Glencore v The Ship “Lancelot V” – sale and Admiralty
  • Casualties – “Southern Phoenix”– capsize in Suva, advising cargo interests and insurers.
  • “Kea trader”– container vessel aground in Noumea, advising cargo insurers.
  • “ Maersk Honam “ container vessel fire, advising  cargo insurers.
  • “Ever Given “ container vessel grounded and detained in Suez. advising cargo insurers.
  • Charter party– disputes on stevedore damage, general average and timely delivery of cargo.
  • Contracts–  advising on yacht construction contracts, contract of affreightments, charter party terms and refit contracts.
  • Recoveries– pursuing cargo claim recoveries for marine insurers.
  • Defending maritime users involving vessels sinking, collisions, fisheries offences and health and safety (marine related) charges.
  • Has acted on many well-known maritime law matters including the Rena, Tasman Pioneer and Jodi F Millennium