Philippa is widely regarded as one of New Zealand’s leading litigation and dispute resolution lawyers.  She was named a Leading Individual in the 2018 Legal 500 Asia Pacific edition.

Her principal specialist area is the representation of professionals in connection with claims for negligence and disciplinary complaints. The parties she routinely assists include lawyers, chartered accountants, engineers, architects and insurance brokers.

She also regularly acts in claims against directors and officers, including (recently) those brought by liquidators, receivers or regulators arising from corporate financial collapse.

She routinely represents insurers and their clients in property damage claims which are covered under public and products liability policies.

Other areas of specialty include construction disputes (including leaky building litigation) and regulatory prosecutions.

Contact details


DDI | 09 373 0052      MOB |  021 899 066
Email |
Legal Assistant | Sarah Bates
Legal Assistant’s DDI | 09 366 5803
Legal Assistant’s Email |

What makes Fee Langstone different? Philippa shares her thoughts in this short clip.



Work highlights

  • Being counsel for one of the successful parties in a Court of Appeal decision which is widely regarded as the leading case on the duty of care in negligence – Attorney General v Carter & Wright [2003] 2 NZLR 160.

  • Successful defence of law firm for negligence in context of a claim against a real estate agency – Messenger v Stanaway [2015] NZHC 1795.

  • Advising an interested party in respect of the Commission of Inquiry into the Whey Protein Concentrate Contaminated Incident (2014).

  • Acting for an engineering company in connection with a leaky building – Judge v Dempsey [2014] NZHC 2864.

  • Successfully acting as solicitor for one of the defendants in the Feltex shareholder class action High Court trial (Houghton v Saunders [2014] NZHC 2229).

  • Acting for a major accounting firm in connection with an alleged negligent audit (damages in excess of $300m).

  • Acting and appearing as counsel in the High Court on a solicitor’s negligence claim involving multiple parties and complex issues of taxation (damages in excess of $100 million).

  • Representing an insurer in a claim on a professional indemnity policy in Timtech Chemicals Ltd v QBE Insurance (International) Ltd – successful in both the High Court and Court of Appeal ([2012]NZCA 274).

  • Defending the auditor of a failed finance company in civil proceedings and a disciplinary complaint.

  • Acting for a large number of lawyers defending claims of negligence – eg Seimer v Illingworth (2008); Fifer Residential v Knight Coldicutt (2007); Pangani Properties v Owens Transport (2002); Westpac v Neumegan (2008).

  • Representing numerous insured defendants in respect of charges laid against them under the Resource Management Act, Fair Trading Act and Health & Safety in Employment Act.

  • Acting for solicitors, real estate agents and accountants in relation to complaints and disciplinary matters.


  • Expert Evidence – Australia and New Zealand Insurance Law Association Conference in Christchurch, September 2007

  • Public Liability Insurance – Lumley Liability Symposium in Auckland 2007

  • Insurance Arrangements in Construction Contracts – NZ Law Society “Building Law Intensive” in Auckland and Wellington in November 2008

  • Emerging Liability Issues for Lawyers – the Auckland District Law Society Auckland 2008

  • Directors’ and Officers’ Risk – Lumley Liability Symposium, September 2009

  • Presented two seminars to the IBANZ Conference in Auckland 2010. One on the liability risk from exporting and importing goods, and another providing advice on the liability issues that arise from claims and how best to handle them.

  • Presented a seminar on the insurance cover available in respect of Government inquiries and regulatory proceedings for Lumley General Insurance at their “The Edge Liability Seminar” in 2011.

  • Presented a paper on Insurance cover available in the context of construction contracts at the New Zealand CLE Intensive on Construction Law in August 2016.

  • Has presented numerous times to NZ Law, an association of independent legal practices, on emerging liability issues for lawyers. In particular recently presented to the NZ Law General Meeting in Queenstown in March 2016 on conflicts of interest.

Professional associations

  • Member of the Society of Construction Law

  • Regular speaker to industry groups on legal issues relevant to the commercial sector, such as risk management, liability of professionals and company directors/officers, insurance law, and developments in the law (particularly tort law)

  • Has been a very active member of the Auckland District Committee of the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance, holding positions on various subcommittees responsible for professional development of the insurance industry

  • Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Kristin School, one of New Zealand’s largest independent schools (

  • Authored the New Zealand chapter of International Product Liability, a text published by the Centre for International Legal Studies

  • Member of the Arbitrators’ & Mediators’ Institute of New Zealand (AMINZ)