Richard Hargreaves

MA (Oxon), Inner Temple, Senior Associate

Richard has an honours degree in Law from Oxford University.  He was admitted to the bar in England in 2010, and started at Wynn Williams in 2012.

Richard is a civil litigator with a background in insurance law.  He acts in a wide range of insurance and commercial disputes, with a focus on professional indemnity work.

The Legal 500 Asia Pacific describes Richard as "personable, technically sound'...play[ing] a key role in the practice." 
"I take a practical approach to factual disputes, and an academic approach to questions of law."

Recent Projects

  • Defending professional engineers, builders, building inspectors and real estate agents in the High Court, District Court, and professional disciplinary hearings.

  • Defending lines companies and international insurers in respect of large-scale forest fires and power surges.

  • Advising an international insurer in respect of a property claim concerning arson and murder.

  • Defending real estate agents in a case concerning the sale of a property contaminated by methamphetamine.

  • Defending a leading domestic insurer in numerous High Court Earthquake List proceedings.

  • Acting for residential and commercial policyholders in the High Court Earthquake List.

  • Defending a significant domestic insurer in tribunal claims regarding fraudulent claims on credit contract indemnity insurance policies.

  • Debt recovery work for builders against large, government-backed, construction management companies.

Recent Articles

2/06/2020

Personal liability of building inspectors

There is currently a trend amongst plaintiffs to commence proceedings against building inspectors personally in defective building cases. This is only appropriate in very specific circumstances.

Keep reading...



10/07/2019

Supreme Court decides reinstatement benefits cannot be assigned

The Supreme Court has decided the case of Xu v IAG NZ Ltd against the homeowners by a 3:2 majority.

Keep reading...



13/06/2019

Real estate agents – can you believe what your clients tell you?

This article focuses on two topics: agents’ liability for passing on a third party’s report, and agents’ liability for passing on incorrect information told to them by the vendor.

Keep reading...



10/01/2018

Tenants' liability for damage – High Court ruling

The Court of Appeal in Holler v Osaki confirmed that a residential tenant who damages their landlord's property carelessly can not be sued by their landlord in respect of the damage. In November 2017, the High Court released a new judgment on tenants' liability, in Linklater v Dickinson.

Keep reading...



15/01/2016

Legal Defence Costs and the Limits of Professional Indemnity Insurance

The Court of Appeal confirmed last month that professional indemnity insurers can apply a very strict interpretation of which business activities are insured under a PI policy. Just because an activity is part of a business enterprise does not mean cover applies for any and all professional liability which may arise.

Keep reading...



17/04/2013

Insurance Contracts to be bound by fairness?

On the evening of Wednesday 17 April, Craig Foss, Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, proposed without prior announcement an amendment to the Consumer Law Reform Bill, specifically targeted at insurance contracts. A Supplementary Order Paper released on 10 July 2013 makes substantive amendments to the Consumer Law Reform Bill, alleviating the concerns raised in the following article.

Keep reading...



8/04/2013

Behind the media coverage: the impact of O'Loughlin v Tower Insurance

The impact of the Christchurch Residential Red Zone on insurance claims was clarified on Friday (5 April 2013) by Justice Asher of the High Court in O’Loughlin v Tower Insurance.

Keep reading...



24/10/2012

The Insurance and Savings Ombudsman: Challenging your Insurer following the Canterbury Earthquakes

When choosing house insurance, you place your trust in the insurance company.  So when an earthquake damages your home, and the carefully-selected insurer does not respond in the way you expect, the financial loss, disappointment and frustration can be devastating.

Keep reading...


Reported Decisions

  • Kraal v Earthquake Commission [2015] 2 NZLR 589
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