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 insurance and health & safety related civil litigation.

Garth has extensive experience in advising clients on professional indemnity, statutory liability and public liability insurance and is one of New Zealand’s leading legal experts in the Health and Safety (H&S) area.

Insurance-related and other civil litigation

He has a broad civil litigation practice and has appeared before all levels of the court system and before numerous specialist tribunals. He frequently acts for solicitors, accountants, real estate agents, valuers and a range of organisations in professional negligence proceedings.

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

He is recognised as a leading individual in Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2020 and as a leading lawyer by Chambers Asia Pacific 2020.

Health and safety

Garth acts for employers in H&S investigations and prosecutions, both on direct instructions and through insurers. He has been involved in some of New Zealand’s highest profile coronial inquests, provides strategic legal advice to leading corporates and Boards on H&S matters and is regularly called on to speak on health and safety and insurance issues at industry conferences.

He is recognised as a leading individual by Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2020.

Garth has been elected chair of the Arts Foundation of New Zealand and is a former member of the Film and Literature Board of Review. He is a trustee of the Christchurch Art Gallery Foundation and Honorary President of New Zealand Football.

Garth has been a member of Radio Sport’s cricket commentary team (since 1996).

Recent experience

Garth has:

Insurance-related and other civil litigation
  • 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 as well as acting for Canterbury District Health Board on a $320m claim relating to 22 buildings that suffered damage in the quakes and Housing New Zealand Corporation on a review of its claim with Vero Liability Insurance for the earthquakes

  • successfully defended a real estate agency in a test case brought by the Commerce Commission in relation to vendor bidding. The case was won in the Court of Appeal after the Commission appealed the High Court decision

  • acted for an architect / designer on a substantial claim (involving complex issues of both structural and mechanical engineering) brought against it by a local authority

  • acted for the receivers in the successful defence of a High Court claim brought  by a shareholder/director

  • acted for a prominent real estate agency in successfully defending allegations of misleading and deceptive conduct in the High Court

Health and Safety
  • defended numerous employers/employees charged under the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992, including the successful defence of a commercial jet boat driver involved in a fatal accident

  • successfully defended a number of medical professionals in inquiries and inquests including a midwife charged with medical manslaughter and two nurses relating to the death of Clinton Botha at Christchurch hospital

  • acted for Ngāi Tahu Tourism arising out of an accident involving two jet boats

  • advised Over the Top Helicopters on reducing any hazards and installing safety precautions for a new venture operated by Dart River Jet Safaris on the Dart River

  • acted for the New Zealand Mines Rescue Trust in the Royal Commission hearing into the Pike River tragedy

  • acted for a number of professional organisations in relation to claims arising from the Christchurch earthquakes, and

  • provided several leading New Zealand corporates and Boards with health and safety advice.

Litigation & dispute resolution; Insurance; Health & safety; Employment