The depth and breadth of our insurance practice sets us apart.

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​​​​Bell Gully's Insurance team acts for a wide range of insurers, insureds, brokers and reinsurers. 

What sets us apart from other firms is the depth and breadth of our insurance practice, spanning cutting-edge litigation, claims work, products and policy wording advice, regulatory work and transactions involving the insurance sector.

We have extensive experience in complex commercial transactions involving the insurance sector. We advise clients on mergers and acquisitions involving insurers and reinsurers, restructuring their insurance businesses, the transfer of insurance portfolios, as well as advising overseas insurers seeking to establish insurance operations in New Zealand.

Our significant experience in this extensive range of practice areas means that we provide our clients with responsive, commercial, and solutions-focused advice.​​


Our team has represented clients in some of the most significant New Zealand insurance litigation cases over the past few years, including the Supreme Court Steigrad case and the Supreme Court fire service levy case.

We act for both insurers and insureds in a wide variety of claims work, including general and fire insurance, liability insurance (including professional indemnity and D&O), life and medical insurance, and reinsurance.

Products and policy wording
We regularly advise insurers and insureds on insurance product issues, policy wording, white label insurance products, and the development of new product disclosure documents.

Our team has significant regulatory expertise, including in relation to the Insurance Prudential Supervision Act and Reserve Bank insurance requirements.​

Recognition of our insurance expertise
​At Bell Gully, "the service is excellent, with appropriate and experienced resource to meet deadlines". 

"The advice is always on-point and easily understood, and clients get the benefit of extensive depth of knowledge and experience across all legal disciplines".
The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2020 - Tier 1

"They're really good, they do a good job and when I ask them to do something they always get on with it. They're a top firm in insurance."​

Chambers Asia Pacific 2020 - Tier 2

Our corporate insurance work highlights include:

Resolution Life acquisition of AMP Life's wealth protection and mature businesses 
Advised Resolution Life on the New Zealand aspects of its acquisition of AMP Life's wealth protection and mature businesses for total cash and non-cash consideration of A$3.3 billion.​

​AIA acquistion​ of Sovereign
Advised AIA on the acquisition of the Sovereign life insurance businesses (New Zealand's largest life insurer). The transaction was part of AIA's acquisition of the Australian and New Zealand life insurance businesses of CBA for A$3.8 billion.

ACE Insurance global merger
Advised ACE Insurance on the New Zealand aspects of the global merger of The Chubb Corporation and ACE, a US$29.5 billion transaction​.

Sale of AMI Insurance to IAG
Advised AMI Insurance on the separation and the sale of its ongoing insurance business to IAG for NZ$380 million.​ ​

AMI insurance Crown support package
Advised AMI Insurance on its change to Crown ownership and the establishment of Southern Response Earthquake Services.

Blackstone life insurance investment
Advised the Tactical Opportunities unit of US private equity firm Blackstone on its NZ$200 million investment in New Zealand life insurance company Partners Life. 

Cigna Corporation acquisition
Advised American worldwide health services organisation and specialist insurer, Cigna Corporation, on its acquisition of life insurance company, OnePath Life, from ANZ Bank New Zealand for approximately NZ$700 million. ​

Southern Cross Medical Care Society investment portfolio
Advised ​Southern Cross Medical Care Society on outsourcing the investment of a NZ$100 million investment portfolio to an external investment manager for the first time. 

Suncorp New Zealand sale of motor vehicle insurance business
Advised Suncorp on the sale of the majority of its Autosure motor vehicle insurance business to Turners, in which Turners acquired the Autosure brand, mechanical breakdown insurance and payment protection insurance portfolios. Suncorp received Turners' motor vehicle insurance portfolio and retained the Autosure motor vehicle insurance portfolio.

​​Our litigious insurance work highlights include:

Southern Response Earthquake Services class action
Successfully represented Southern Response in opposing an application by insureds for High Court approval to proceed as a representative class action. The customers alleged that Southern Response misrepresented its obligations under insurance policies, unreasonably delayed in processing and settling claims, and understated the true costs of rebuilds and repairs.

Steigrad Supreme Court decision
Acted for PwC in the Steigrad case which involved successfully obtaining a ruling from the Supreme Court that a D&O insurance policy was subject to a charge, preventing the directors from accessing defence costs under the policy. The decision had significant effect on the insurance industry in both New Zealand and Australia, with the case described as a "landmark" and "ground-breaking" decision which has "dramatically changed the landscape for D&O (and E&O) indemnity insurance in New Zealand".

Supreme Court fire service levies on insurance
Acted for the Insurance Brokers Association of New Zealand and Vero Insurance New Zealand in a Supreme Court appeal concerning fire service levies payable on material damage insurance policies. Partner David Friar presented oral argument on behalf of the insurance industry alongside former partner Ralph Simpson.

High Court earthquake claims insurance litigation
Advising Southern Response Earthquake Services on 23 separate High Court cases concerning claims for insurance cover as a result of damage caused by the Canterbury earthquakes.

EQC Increased Flooding Vulnerability Policy Declaratory Judgment
Successfully represented Southern Response Earthquake Services in proceedings concerning earthquake damage to land and buildings resulting in increased flooding vulnerability. The case was heard by a full bench of three High Court judges. The Court accepted partner David Friar's argument on behalf of Southern Response that houses that were susceptible to increased flooding vulnerability as a result of the Canterbury earthquakes were not damaged, and that as a result, increased flooding vulnerability was not covered by EQC (and by extension, also not covered by private insurers).

New Zealand Local Government Insurance Corporation
Acted for R+V Versicherung AG, a German reinsurance company, in relation to a dispute with New Zealand Local Government Insurance Corporation (trading as Civic Assurance) arising out of claims under a reinsurance contract following the Canterbury earthquakes.

​Kiwi Property – Northlands insurance claim
Advised Kiwi Property on its insurance claim for damage to the Northlands Shopping Centre resulting from the Canterbury earthquakes.

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  • Simon Ladd

    Partner Auckland
  • Glenn Joblin

    Partner Auckland
  • David Friar

    Partner Auckland