Alan Sherlock

Alan is a consultant in our Disputes Team.

Alan has a wide ranging commercial litigation practice, now predominantly focused on resolution of insurance claims but over time including banking and finance, insolvency and construction law as well as more general claims in contract and tort.

Alan’s insurance law expertise includes marine insurance, fire and general, reinsurance and third party liability (especially directors’ and officers’ liability insurance and professional indemnity cover).

Alan also has a specialist interest and expertise in maritime law, and has acted for a wide range of marine insurers and commercial shipping enterprises.

Before joining Hesketh Henry in 1998, Alan practised for a total of five years in London, and worked for four years with a national law firm.

Alan is a member of the Maritime Law Association of Australia and New Zealand, and the New Zealand Insurance Law Association.  He has written a number of articles on marine and insurance law topics in New Zealand and in England.

Need to get in touch with Alan?
Send a message to Alan

Examples of work completed by Alan include:

  • Acting for major national insurers on a large number of complex policy claims arising out of the Canterbury Earthquake Sequence.
  • Advising directors and officers’ insurers in respect of claims alleging the misleading of investors in public offerings and breach of the anti-cartel provisions of the Commerce Act.
  • Advising the insurers of an aquaculture feed producer in respect of a $50m claim alleging that incorrect manufacturing techniques had led to major detriment to production and quality levels at a series of salmon farms.
  • Prosecuting a $20m claim for losses incurred by the head contractor for the Spark Arena due to defects in the design.
  • Defending a claim that deficiencies in the repair of the stern seal and exhaust system on a luxury 120 foot sailing yacht led to the yacht being unable to reach safe harbour in time and thereby suffering extensive damage from passing through a tropical cyclone.  The claim was settled on advantageous terms part way through a four week trial.
  • Enforcing a possessory lien over the sale proceeds of a vessel in priority to the ship’s mortgagee: Babcock Fitzroy Ltd v The Ship “Southern Pasifika” [2012] 2 NZLR 652.
  • Gaining a ruling in the High Court that a claim in Admiralty by Hesketh Henry’s shipping agent clients (following the arrest of a vessel) took priority over rights asserted by the South Korean administrator of the ship owner’s parent company under cross border insolvency rules:  Kim and Yu v STX Pan Ocean Co Limited [2014] NZHC845.
  • Acting for the owners of a cargo vessel in respect of salvage, general average and hull insurance issues following the vessel grounding on a reef while under guidance by tugs.
  • Prosecuting a claim against repairers in respect of the breakage of a connecting rod and consequent disintegration of a super yacht main engine.
  • In a large confidential information case, obtaining orders for search and seizure of electronic and paper records at three sites in New Zealand, co-ordinating those steps to take place at the same time as searches in Australia pursuant to parallel proceedings there, and pursuing the subsequent litigation against the defendant parties.

Insights & Opinion / Alan Sherlock

Where the Consequences End – Fair Trading Act, Negligent Misstatements, and Recoverable Loss
It is a common idiom that ‘mistakes have consequences’, and when it comes to the Fair Trading Act 1986 (“FTA”), it appears the idiom is ‘misrepresentations bring damages’. But how much is ...
22.06.2023 Posted in Disputes
ASIC Takes Aim at Insurance Companies for Unfair Terms – Should New Zealand Insurers be Worried?
Recent court actions by the Australian regulator against insurers for unfair contract terms are a sign of what may be to come for New Zealand if the proposed Insurance Contracts Bill is enacted here.
25.05.2023 Posted in Insurance
Arbitration Act 1996 – Reconstructing the Agreement to Arbitrate
The recent stream of alternate dispute resolution methods is part of the zeitgeist where disputants are shying away from Courts and attempting to settle their differences outside the Courtroom steps. ...
09.07.2014 Posted in Disputes & Regulatory
Dotcom v United States of America [2014] NZSC 24
Kim Dotcom’s anticipated Political Party aspirations may have taken a hit when the Supreme Court delivered a judgment against Dotcom.  Most New Zealanders are no strangers to Dotcom and the storm o...
07.05.2014 Posted in Disputes
The New Giant – plotting the course between Admiralty and cross border insolvency rules
Admiralty proceedings against a vessel are necessarily territorial in nature. A debtor’s vessel may sail into a certain jurisdiction and be arrested and sold for the benefit of creditors who both ha...
Competing claims scuppered: A ship repairer’s priority rights following the ship’s arrest and sale
Alan Sherlock, Partner at Hesketh Henry, has been involved in a number of Admiralty cases, and has experienced the following recent success. In Babcock Fitzroy Limited v The Ship “The M/V Southern ...
11.08.2012 Posted in Disputes & Trade and Transport