Sarah

Is a highly skilled litigator with over 15 years’ international experience. She has represented clients from all backgrounds in more than 50 mediations in New Zealand. Sarah acts for: insurers, corporates, individuals and trustees. She has recovered over $21 million for 100+ homeowners in building defect cases, including leaky buildings.

Sarah has a First Class honours degree (MA) in law from Cambridge University and was admitted to the Bar of England and Wales in 1998, winning a prestigious scholarship from Gray’s Inn. Sarah has appeared at every tier of the UK judicial system up to the Court of Appeal, specialist tribunals and the Coroner’s Court. She was admitted as a barrister and solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand in 2011. Sarah is an experienced trial advocate and an astute and determined negotiator.

Skills & Experience

  • Insurance litigation – property damage, including representation of plaintiffs and defendants in earthquake claims, business interruption, health and life insurance, liability cover.
  • Leaky building claims – Sarah represented a body corporate in its $8 million Weathertight Homes Tribunal claim.
  • Insurance fraud – Sarah acted for the defendant insurer in a high-value accident at work case in the UK. Cross-examination exposed a fabricated claim seeking damages for an unrelated injury. Represented a New Zealand insurer in a claim concerning fraud on a life policy.
  • Professional Negligence and claims under professional indemnity insurance.
  • Property and Construction disputes: Leaky buildings, Construction Contracts Act claims, Body Corporate disputes, Vendor warranty claims – Sarah acted with senior counsel for the owners of a multi-unit complex in Christchurch claiming over $25 million in an earthquake and construction defects dispute.
  • Inquests – Sarah secured “lack of care” verdict against three London Hospital Boards in a jury Coroner’s Inquest concerning death of a 30-year-old man whose blood test results were mishandled.
  • Pleas in mitigation on breach of statutory duty claims.
  • General commercial and civil litigation including liquidations and contractual disputes.

Recent Cases

  • T.K. (Hong Kong) Ltd v Diamond Milk Formulas Ltd [2016] NZHC 2642

Memberships

  • New Zealand Insurance Law Association
  • Auckland Women Lawyers’ Association
  • Society of Construction Law New Zealand
  • Auckland District Law Society
  • National Association of Women in Construction
  • New Zealand Law Society
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