Wotton + Kearney: Everything you need to know
Types of services: Insurance law
Offices: Auckland, Wellington
Employees: 230+ across Australia and New Zealand
Wotton + Kearney is a boutique law firm specialising in insurance law, and currently employs over 230 people across its Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth offices in Australia, along with Auckland and Wellington in New Zealand.
It has geographic coverage across the Australasian region, and offers its clients a global reach through its partnership with Legalign Global – a worldwide alliance of international insurance law firms. The firm advises on the full spectrum of contentious and non-contentious matters ranging from policy advice, liability issues, cybersecurity and dispute resolution. It has consistently been ranked as a Tier 1 insurance firm in both Chambers & Partners Asia Pacific and The Legal 500 Asia Pacific.
Wotton + Kearney’s client base includes some of the world’s largest insurers and reinsurers active in Australasia’s insurance markets, and also acts for smaller Lloyd’s syndicates who write insurance business within this region. Other clients include local underwriting agencies, insurance brokers, TPAs and other insurance market participants.
Wotton + Kearney in the news
2002: Wotton + Kearney is founded by its two name partners and commences operations
2017: Wotton + Kearney announces the integration of its New Zealand operations with UK law firm DAC Beachcroft, a move made as part of the development of Legalign
2018: Wotton + Kearney partners with NZbrokers and Ando Insurance to bring the first ever Dive In Festival to Auckland
Key people as of 2019
David Kearney – Firm Chairman
Kearney is one of the founding partners of Wotton + Kearney, and has been practicing across various areas of commercial insurance for over 25 years. He has seen the firm grow from one office of six lawyers into a major firm of six offices and over 230 employees. Kearney has been integral to the conception and development of international insurance firm network Legalign Global, and has actively developed the firm’s Pro Bono and corporate social responsibility programme – Community Footprint.
Antony Holden – New Zealand Managing Partner
Holden has practiced across New Zealand, the Pacific Islands, the UK and the Channel Islands, and previously led the response of a number of global insurers and reinsurers to the Canterbury and Kaikoura earthquakes. His areas of expertise include professional and D&O liability, construction and first party property claims, and he has defended insurers in high-profile D&O claims following the collapse of Nathans Finance and Hanover Finance. He is also known for a number of major wins in New Zealand’s highest courts across various precedent-setting cases.
In 2012, Wotton + Kearney established the Community Footprint programme – a pro bono and corporate social responsibility programme which offers legal expertise to vulnerable members of society, and participates in fundraising and volunteering efforts for various causes.
Its pro-bono practice particularly focuses on self-represented litigants – inherently vulnerable outsiders in the court system facing a represented party – along with seniors’ rights, refugees, and not-for-profit organisations. The firm has also partnered with International Justice Mission Australia, a global organisation protecting the poor from violence, and its New Zealand-based work includes supporting the ‘Dress for Success’ programme in Auckland – an organisation helping women achieve economic independence through access to support, professional attire and development tools.
Wotton + Kearney’s Wellington office also supports Porirua College, and works with the school on working bees, volunteer days out and yearly scholarships.