Christchurch: CBD – (03) 379 7690 | Ferrymead – (03) 940 2435 | Hornby – (03) 349 5111

Insurance Law

The interpretation of insurance policies and contracts can be a complex process. Here at Saunders & Co, our team has acted for both insurers and the insured in claims against policies. They have the skills and knowledge to advise you of your entitlements.

The Canterbury Earthquakes have raised several issues in the insurance law practice. Our team has been involved in multiple insurance claims arising from the Canterbury Earthquakes advising on policy coverage and negotiating settlements for our clients.

Outside of Earthquake related matters, we advise on what coverage is appropriate for a range of individuals and businesses.

Our insurance and earthquake related services include advising on:

  • Professional liability
  • Public liability
  • Home, contents, and car insurance
  • Statutory liability
  • Business interruption insurance
  • Litigation and dispute resolution

Examples of our recent work

  • New Zealand Fire Service V Legg [2016] NZHC 1492
  • High Court Christchurch – successful claim against two insurers who rejected liability following a Christchurch fire. Please note, the decision was subject to appeal by one insurer.
  • Canterbury couple avoid $200,000 bill for fire
  • Representing clients in proceedings against the insurers after the declining of a claim under a public liability policy.
  • Negotiating the settlement of multiple earthquake related insurance and EQC claims.
  • Successfully acting for a client during an internal review after the declining of a claim against a car insurance policy.

Get further advice from

Andrew Riches

Partner

Direct dial: +64-3-963 1457
Mobile: 021 982 115
E-mail: andrew.riches@saunders.co.nz
Assistant: Donna Lake
Office: CBD

I am a litigation specialist who joined Saunders & Co in early 2008 and became a partner in 2015.

I undertake a wide variety of civil work in the District and High Court jurisdictions, and am also well versed in employment and criminal law. I have appeared as lead counsel in the Court of Appeal on civil and criminal appeals and appear regularly in the District and High Courts on these matters. I have acted for Financial Service Providers in the High Court on appeals against decisions of the Financial Markets Authority as well as successfully advancing negligence claims and claims against insurers.

I am known for dealing with disputes in an upfront, open manner and not sugar-coating my approach. Depending on circumstances, I will either negotiate a practical solution for my client or refer their problem to be resolved in court.

I enjoy all aspects of this process, from researching and developing an argument around a case, to court work, which gets me out of the office and challenges me to think on my feet.

I am a Member of the Law Council of the Canterbury branch of the New Zealand Law society and Trustee of the St Albans Shirley Club.

I specialise in the following areas:

What My Clients Say

“I shall feel honoured if you would consider my remarks regarding Andrew Riches, worthy for something. No doubt, Andrew Riches is a brilliant asset for Saunders & Co. I have lived in the USA and Canada for more that 20 years and have had an opportunity to meet lawyers in Christchurch and abroad but this young man looked to me way ahead of his age, and he is outstanding when comparing him with other lawyers in this small city. His approach and intelligence, his demeanour at this age, is bewildering. I am a very international person so please do not take my remarks for granted, you will see it to be true, he will be a big name soon in this city. I wish him a good future.”
Muhammad Ashraf Christchurch

Jessica Manson

Lawyer

Direct Dial: +64 3 265 0318
Mobile: 027 585 4533
Email: jessica.manson@saunders.co.nz
Office: CBD

I joined the Saunders & Co litigation team in 2019.  My focus is on civil litigation including insurance matters, construction disputes, debt recovery and employment matters.

Prior to joining Saunders & Co, I was a litigation solicitor with a Christchurch firm.  I developed specialised knowledge in earthquake insurance matters, class action litigation, incorporated society disputes, relationship property, employment matters and alternative dispute resolution.

During my legal studies at University of Canterbury I clerked at a local barrister’s chambers. There, I gained valuable experience with top Queen’s Counsel and barristers working on insurance disputes, professional negligence and disciplinary matters, commercial, property and family disputes, public law matters, Coronial inquests and defending regulatory agency prosecutions.

I enjoy working with clients to develop pathways through complex and thorny issues.  I endeavour to help each client achieve resolutions that are suitable for their individual circumstances; whether through negotiation, Court proceedings or alternative dispute resolution.  My clients appreciate my delivery of pragmatic advice with warmth and empathy.

I am a member of Canterbury Womens Legal Association and the New Zealand Animal Law Association.  I am also a consultant to the committee of a local animal rescue organisation.

I specialise in the following areas:

Nicola Coombes

Partner

Phone: +64 3 940 2435
E-mail: nicola.coombes@saunders.co.nz
Assistant: Stephanie Davison
Office: Ferrymead

I joined Saunders & Co in 2012 soon after my arrival from the UK and became a partner in 2017. I enjoy leading the Ferrymead office with its broad, general practice and family-focused culture. Clients benefit from the smaller office environment and although most matters are handled within the Ferrymead office, additional expertise from the firm’s corporate office can be accessed if required.

Property and commercial matters make up a large part of my portfolio, which could include anything from the sale and purchase of homes, commercial buildings and businesses, to leasing, and refinancing. I also assist clients with personal asset planning, trusts, wills and estates, and continue to handle a smaller amount of insurance and earthquake-related work.

I am genuine in my approach and aim to provide prompt efficient service and pragmatic advice, focused on clearly explaining every step of the process.

Building strong links to local communities in the east of the city and the seaside suburbs is important to me, with the Ferrymead office assisting a number of community groups and trusts.

I specialise in the following areas:

What My Clients Say

“I am writing to acknowledge the superior service we were afforded by Nicola and her team at Saunders & Co Ferrymead. Having worked with and against a number of lawyers in my career, it was a delight to finally find a team who knew their business, executed it with diligence and aplomb while never losing their sense of humor or the human touch. We were singularly impressed with Nicola’s knowledge, experience and compassion. Never once did we suffer condescension, were we treated as numpties or made to feel we were wasting a professional’s time. Nothing was too much trouble and our angst and anxiety were met with concern and genuine understanding. This is an associate, backed by a team, in which Saunders & Co can have confidence and pride..”
Robert Nimmo Christchurch

Locations:

CBD: 131 Victoria Street, Christchurch, NZ

Ferrymead: Unit 2, 987 Ferry Road, Christchurch, NZ

Hornby: 5 Goulding Avenue, Christchurch, NZ

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