Garth Gallaway

Garth Gallaway

Garth Gallaway

Partner, Christchurch

Litigation & dispute resolution

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T:+64 3 353 0111

M:+64 27 507 5390


LLB, University of Otago


1989, New Zealand

Garth specialises in civil litigation, insurance work and health and safety (H&S).

One of New Zealand’s leading legal experts in H&S, Garth acts for employers in investigations and prosecutions, both on direct instructions and through insurers. He has been involved in some of New Zealand’s highest profile coronial inquests and provides strategic legal advice to leading corporates and boards on H&S matters.

With broad litigation experience, Garth acted for Athenberry Holdings Limited in the only successfully defended prosecution under the Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA) 2015. He appeared for Oceana Gold Limited in the leading reparation appeal decision from the High Court and he has successfully argued two other reparation appeals in the High Court. He also acted for two of the three parties who appealed sentences under HSWA 2015 before a full bench of the High Court; which consequently delivered its guideline decision.

Garth also has extensive experience advising clients on professional indemnity, statutory liability and public liability insurance. He has a broad civil litigation practice and has appeared before all levels of the court system and numerous specialist tribunals. He frequently acts for solicitors, accountants, real estate agents, valuers and a range of organisations in professional negligence proceedings and disciplinary matters.

He is also experienced in alternative dispute resolution, especially mediation.

Recognised as a leading individual in Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2020 and as a leading lawyer by Chambers Asia Pacific 2020.

Recent experience

  • Successfully defended Athenberry Holdings in the only prosecution by WorkSafe under HSWA 2015 which has gone to trial.
  • Successfully acted for Oceana Gold in the High Court appeal, considered the leading authority on reparation, and for two other clients on winning reparation appeals.
  • Acted on a range of complex, and often lengthy, insurance matters arising out of the Canterbury earthquakes. This includes acting for major insurers such as QBE, Lumley and Vero on a broad range of professional indemnity, statutory liability and public liability claims. It also includes acting for Canterbury District Health Board on a $320m claim for 22 damaged buildings and Housing New Zealand Corporation on a review of its claim with Vero Liability Insurance.
  • Successfully defended a real estate agency in a test case brought by the Commerce Commission on vendor bidding. The case was won in the Court of Appeal after the Commission appealed the High Court decision.
  • Successfully defended a midwife charged with medical manslaughter before a High Court jury and a commercial jet boat driver involved in a fatal accident before a District Court jury.
  • Acted for the New Zealand Mines Rescue Trust in the Royal Commission hearing into the Pike River tragedy.


Chair of the Arts Foundation of New Zealand

Board member of Creative New Zealand

Chair Maia Health Foundation

Chair W A Sutton Charitable Trust

Trustee NZ Football Trust

Honorary President of New Zealand Football

Member of Radio Sport’s cricket commentary team (since 1995) 

Litigation & dispute resolution; Insurance; Health & safety