Mark Dennett

Mark Dennett

Partner Auckland, New Zealand

Mark is a partner in Kennedys’ Auckland office. Mark graduated from the University of Otago and was admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand in 1988.

Mark has extensive insurance litigation experience, including mediations and alternative dispute resolution. He worked in Kennedys’ London office for three years before returning to New Zealand to work as an associate at a specialist insurance litigation firm, and was a founding partner of Kennedys’ Auckland office in 2000.

Mark specialises in professional indemnity, public/product liability, statutory liability and fire and general insurance. In the professional indemnity sphere he regularly acts for solicitors, accountants, insurance brokers, financial intermediaries, real estate agents, architects, valuers, surveyors, engineers and other construction professionals. He has acted for defendants in numerous large multi-party “leaky building” proceedings, and for insurers and reinsurers on issues and proceedings arising out of the Christchurch earthquakes, and more recently, the Port Hills fires. He also acts for insurers on subrogated recovery proceedings.

Mark also provides coverage and policy advice, and advises a broad range of commercial and insurance clients including international and Lloyds based insurers.

He is a member of the New Zealand Insurance Law Association and served on the National Committee from 1998 to 2013.

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended a New Zealand insured science company against a $15M negligence claim brought against it in the United States in relation to kiwifruit.
  • Providing policy advice on indemnity and issues arising from the 2011 Christchurch earthquake on large losses including the Christchurch Hospital carpark and the Christchurch City Council’s Ferrymead Bridge.
  • Advising insurers on charges under the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 in relation to a 2013 gas explosion which resulted in one fatality and six serious injuries to insured’s employees.
  • Successfully striking out significant claim in the Court of Appeal against an engineering company on the basis of limitation.
  • Acting for insurers of the electricity lines company in the defence of claims against it in relation to the Port Hills fires in 2017.