Nick Frith

Partner - Litigation and Dispute Resolution

Nick is a general commercial litigator focused on achieving strategically significant outcomes for clients across all dispute resolution processes.

Nick is listed as a ‘Next Generation Partner’ in both the dispute resolution and insurance categories of The Legal 500 Asia Pacific directory.  He was also named one of NZ Lawyer’s 2022 Rising Stars.  His advice is described by clients as “spot on” and commercially practical.

He regularly acts for major banks, companies, boards of directors, shareholders, and insolvency practitioners on a range of disputes.  He also represents insurers, global and boutique insurance brokers, and insureds (both independently and on instruction from insurers).  His clients have included Aon, Marsh, Medical Assurance Society, Frank Risk and several Lloyd’s syndicates.

Nick advises on strategies to resolve disputes relating to distressed debt and company failures, including debt recovery and enforcement actions.  He also has extensive experience in shareholder disputes, warranty claims, and other post-sale actions in M&A and other corporate transactions.

He has substantial expertise in defending negligence claims against brokers, advising on, negotiating, and litigating property damage and business interruption claims (both for insurers and insureds), and income protection insurance claims. He also assists with placement, and with coverage and claims disputes.  Nick works closely with other practices within the firm on insurance-specific elements of major infrastructure projects and complex corporate transactions.

An experienced advocate, Nick has appeared as lead counsel in the District and High Courts and as junior counsel (often to Queens Counsel) in the High Court and Court of Appeal.  He has also resolved complex disputes in mediations and negotiations.

Nick is known for his technically excellent and strategic advice.  Clients value his responsiveness and the care he takes to understand their businesses and their desired outcomes.  He keeps his eye on the end goal and his advice is easily applied.  With secondment experience at Marsh early in his career, Nick has invaluable insight into the commercial realities and complexities of New Zealand business.

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

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Professional background

Recent work

High value complex debt recovery for large bank

Advising a major bank in a long-standing multi-million-dollar debt recovery matter involving several entities.

Numerous Canterbury earthquake claims

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 litigation funder

Acting for a litigation funder in a claim asserted by secured creditors of companies claiming an entitlement to settlement proceeds from funded litigation.

Claim by orchard management company

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

Claims brought by viticulture customers

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

Advising insureds on their insurance arrangements

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.

Admitted

  • 2011, New Zealand

Qualifications

  • LLB (Hons), BCom, University of Auckland

Affiliations

  • Member, Restructuring Insolvency and Turnaround Association New Zealand (RITANZ)
  • Member, New Zealand Insurance Law Association (NZILA)
  • Associate Member, The Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance Inc (ANZIIF)

Specialisations

  • Banking and Finance Litigation
  • Commercial and Corporate Disputes
  • Insolvency and Restructuring
  • Insurance Issues and Disputes
  • Litigation and Dispute Resolution

Awards

  • Ranked as a Next Generation Partner – Dispute Resolution and Insurance, The Legal 500 Asia Pacific
  • Named as a Rising Star for 2022, NZ Lawyer
  • Partner in MinterEllisonRuddWatts’ internationally recognised Tier 1 Litigation and Dispute Resolution team, The Legal 500 Asia Pacific