Fee Langstone: Everything you need to know
Types of services: Insurance legal services
Fee Langstone is a specialist boutique insurance law firm, with its partners having practiced in the insurance legal sphere for over 30 years before founding the firm as it is today.
Founders Philippa Fee and Craig Langstone were partners at law firm Heaney Hones in the late 1980s, before becoming partners at firm Jones Fee in 1996. Fee Langstone was formed in 2015 by four former Jones Fee partners, with three more joining the firm over the course of the next few years. The firm currently has a total of seven partners, and also has six senior associates and three senior solicitors.
The firm specialises in all areas of insurance law, and has represented insurers, brokers and clients in some of New Zealand’s most complicated cases. The non-contentious side of the practice handles corporate, employment, insolvency and policy advice matters, and also advises on regulatory issues and industry-specific matters within the maritime, aviation and transportation sectors.
The firm also has a significant dispute resolution practice, where it regularly utilises mediation and arbitration methods to resolve disputes as quickly and cost-efficiently as possible.
Fee Langstone in the news
2015 – Insurance specialist Fee Langstone is founded by four former Jones Fee partners
2016 – Matthew Atkinson joins the firm as a partner
2016 – Fee Langstone shortlisted as a finalist for Professional Services Firm of the Year
2017 – Fee Langstone forms association with global insurance heavyweight Clyde & Co
2019 – Russell Stewart and Virginia Wethey join the firm, bringing the total number of partners to seven
Key people as of 2019
Philippa Fee – Founder
Fee specialises in representing professionals in negligence claims and disciplinary complaints, and is “widely regarded as one of New Zealand’s leading litigation and dispute resolution lawyers.” She regularly advises lawyers, chartered accountants, engineers, architects and insurance brokers, and also acts in claims against directors and officers. Her other area of expertise involves damage claims for property covered by public and product liability policies.
Craig Langstone – Founder
Langstone is considered to be one of New Zealand’s foremost specialists in earthquake litigation, and has appeared before the High Court, Court of Appeal and New Zealand’s Supreme Court over the course of his 34+ year career. He also has an emphasis on solving disputes through mediation, and is regularly called in to advise on policy coverage, underwriting and insurance policy wordings. He recently spoke at the Lloyds’ Library in London about New Zealand’s earthquake claims experience.
Pauline Davies – Partner
Davies specialises in maritime law, and her practice covers both “wet” and “dry” maritime work including marine insurance, sale and purchase of vessels and the international sale and carriage of goods. She also retains a number of non-marine liability insurer clients whose claims have certain maritime aspects.
Cecily Brick – Partner
Brick started practicing in 1993 and spent the early part of her career specialising in commercial litigation, before specialising in insurance. She now advises New Zealand insurers on coverage issues and claims disputes.
Matthew Atkinson – Partner
Atkinson began his career in the insurance and reinsurance sector, having worked in claims and underwriting before moving to private practice in 2005. He now acts as a civil litigator, specialising in the defence of claims against professionals and the resolution of indemnity issues.
Russell Stewart – Partner
Stewart practiced in Sydney at a commercial and insurance law firm before returning to New Zealand. He has represented clients in the legal, financial, accounting, mining and chemical sectors, among others.
Virginia Wethey – Partner
Wethey gained almost a decade of insurance expertise in London before returning to New Zealand, where she now specialises primarily in professional indemnity claims. Wethey was admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales in January 2003.