Nick Frith


Nick is listed as a ‘Next Generation Partner’ in the dispute resolution and insurance categories of The Legal 500 Asia Pacific directory, as well as being rated as a ‘Rising star partner’ in the IFLR-1000’s Restructuring and Insolvency Guide. He was also named one of NZ Lawyer’s 2022 Rising Stars. His advice has been described in the Legal 500 directory by clients as “spot on” and “commercially practical”.

Nick regularly advises clients on a broad range of contentious and non-contentious matters. He represents domestic and overseas clients, including major banks, other financial institutions and their stakeholders; insolvency practitioners, companies in financial distress and their stakeholders; and insurers, global and boutique insurance brokers, and insureds (both independently and on instruction from insurers).

Nick regularly appears as counsel in the High Court and has appeared in the Court of Appeal. He also resolves complex disputes by mediation and direct negotiation.

Specialising in general commercial litigation, Nick has a particular focus on insurance and restructuring and insolvency matters. He also has significant experience in contentious trusts litigation and shareholder disputes.

Nick co-edits the firm’s insurance legal industry magazine, Cover to Cover, and he regularly presents on insurance and restructuring and insolvency issues.

Career highlights

Advising and representing BNZ in a long-standing multi-million-dollar debt recovery action against George Kerr and related entities - Bank of New Zealand v Lothian Partners Capital Ltd [2022] NZHC 2489 and [2023] NZHC 196. This case is one of the largest summary judgment awards in recent High Court history.

Acted for DGC in successful High Court litigation, obtaining substantial damages awards against the vendor and covenantors under a sale and purchase agreement. DGC also obtained a substantial damages award against the vendor’s accountant in negligent misstatement and under the Fair Trading Act - Dangerous Goods Compliance Ltd v Farquhar Lelean Holdings Ltd (in liq) [2022] NZHC 3041. The case has been cited several times.

Acting for PF Group in a claim asserted by alleged secured creditors of companies and other associated plaintiffs claiming an entitlement to settlement proceeds from funded litigation. The case was heard in the High Court in early 2024.

Working closely on litigation and strategy with our IP team handling a wide range of disputes including IP ownership, enforcement, oppositions and infringement. Wide experience in advising on and obtaining injunctions and other court action.

Regularly acting for insolvency practitioners in applications necessary for their day-to-day operations – e.g. Khov v NZDMG Ltd (in rec and in liq) [2022] NZHC 1563.

Acting as sole provider of Medical Assurance Society’s Canterbury earthquake claims resolution and litigation legal services. This role involves advising on the full spectrum of issues including policy interpretation, indemnity issues, and loss quantification as well as claims processing, management, and resolution.

Acting for a major orchard management company seeking recovery of multiple millions of dollars as insured under a professional indemnity insurance policy.

Acting for an international horticultural company, on instructions from its Lloyd’s Syndicate liability insurers, in defending numerous claims brought by customers.

Acted as junior counsel in defeating an application for a mandatory injunction brought by a former contractor to Marsh Ltd - City Brokers Beasley Ltd v Marsh Ltd [2016] NZHC 282.

Part of the team advising the receivers of Crafar Farms entities. Appeared as counsel in the Court of Appeal - Stockco Ltd v Gibson [2012] NZCA 330.

Trusted adviser to a number of large New Zealand businesses (including listed companies) on the legal issues arising in the placement of their insurance arrangements.

  • Member, Restructuring Insolvency and Turnaround Association New Zealand Inc (RITANZ)
  • Member, New Zealand Insurance Law Association (NZILA)
  • Member, Institute of Insurance and Finance Inc (ANZIIF)
  • Associate Member, The Australian and New Zealand
Achievements and recognition
  • Next Generation Partner, Dispute Resolution, The Legal 500 Asia-Pacific
  • Next Generation Partner, Insurance, The Legal 500 Asia-Pacific
  • Tier 1 team, Litigation and Dispute Resolution, The Legal 500 Asia-Pacific
  • Rising Star Partner, Restructuring and Insolvency, IFLR1000
  • Recognised, Litigation Law, Best Lawyers