Philip Bremer

Special Counsel - Construction and Infrastructure

Philip is a specialist construction disputes lawyer, with particular expertise in building defects claims, issues impacting bodies corporate and their managers, and property matters.

Philip has more than 30 years’ experience primarily in construction litigation and weathertightness related claims (including insurance claims – for both insureds and insurers).  He is also experienced in resolving disputes relating to commercial and residential property, trade practices (competition and fair trading), company compliance, governance, shareholder, and solvency issues, partnership and joint ventures, and contract and tort claims.

Focused on achieving the best outcome for his clients, Philip often resolves disputes using his experience and expertise in alternative disputes resolution (ADR) processes. Where alternative means of resolution have been exhausted, he is experienced with trials, appeals and adjudications in the District Court, High Court, Court of Appeal, and the Weathertight Homes Tribunal.  He has represented clients in several large, high value disputes and is adept at managing the complexities involved in multi-party litigation.

Working alongside building professionals, contractors, consultants, and owners for many years, Philip has built up subject matter expertise that allows him to understand and apply the construction terminology and methodology.

Philip is passionate about achieving outcomes best suited to his clients’ needs.  Effective at resolving claims involving many parties with disparate motivations, he takes a collaborative approach to disputes.  He endeavours to reach a common ground with opposing parties to identify, early on, what issues really matter.  Not afraid to test the evidence, he is also known for coming up with innovative solutions.

Prior to joining MinterEllisonRuddWatts, Philip was a Partner at a specialist litigation and dispute resolution law firm.  He has international experience, having worked at a leading City of London firm, Rosling King, and at Downings Legal (now HWL Ebsworth) in Australia.

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Professional background

Recent work

Significant negligence claim following earthquake damage

Acting for large bank and group of co-insurers in multi-million-dollar claim arising from Kaikoura Earthquake.

Defective building claim

Acting for the owners of a defective property in a High Court claim against the vendor and real estate agents.

Multi-party weathertight homes litigation

Acting for Bodies Corporate and owners in numerous multi-party claims brought in relation to leaky buildings throughout New Zealand.  These claims allege failings by multiple defendants involved in the design and construction of residential and commercial buildings.

Construction Contracts Act claims

Acting for contractors in various claims under the Construction Contracts Act 2002 in various projects including the design, supply, and installation of a ventilation system in a substantial coolstore, the construction of a complex cement silo, and a large motor vehicle showroom.

Body Corporate obligations

Advising Bodies Corporates of their duties and obligations in repair schemes under section 74 of the Unit Titles Act 2010.


  • 1990, New Zealand


  • LLB, Victoria University of Wellington


  • Member, Society of Construction Law New Zealand


  • Body Corporate Governance and Disputes
  • Construction Litigation
  • Contractual Disputes
  • Insurance Litigation


  • Member of Litigation and Dispute Resolution team, ranked Tier 1 by The Legal 500 Asia Pacific