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DLA Piper Appoints New Partners in New Zealand

6 September 2018

DLA Piper Appoints New Partners Brad Cuff And Misha Henaghan in New Zealand

DLA Piper has promoted two new partners. Brad Cuff and Misha Henaghan are experienced litigators, with in-depth backgrounds in insurance law.

Misha Henaghan acts for clients across the New Zealand insurance industry. She has experience in the District Court, High Court and Court of Appeal. Her background spans: assisting medical practitioners in complaints; coronial inquiries; disciplinary proceedings; professional negligence claims involving brokers, construction professionals, accountants and lawyers; product and public liability, and regulatory work (including investigations).

Misha predicts further increases in construction defect disputes, insolvency disputes and cyber breach incidents on the horizon. She is also interested in the impact of digital transformation on insurance and legal liability.

“Artificial Intelligence, for instance, is developing exponentially and is advanced to the point where some AI can learn after it is built. This could give rise to novel liability issues if or when something goes wrong with the use of this technology. Urgent clarification is required on whether the existing law is adequate to deal with these issues and what regulation is required to ensure the safe development of these technologies. Governments around the world are giving consideration to these issues and how to address them, globally and nationally. This is demonstrated, for example, by the UK House of Lords select committee report released in May which recommended an international ‘AI Code’”.

Brad Cuff is a solicitor of the High Court (Australia); Supreme Court of New South Wales; and Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand. He also holds qualifications in Business Studies and Corporate Governance.

Brad has extensive experience in insurance and civil litigation in Australia and New Zealand, often dealing with those countries’ most contentious disputes. His background acting for clients includes: litigation, arbitration, investigations, disputes, inquests and disciplinary proceedings. He also has insight from a client perspective following an in-house counsel position in a multi-national insurer in Australia.

Brad says that New Zealand needs to prepare and brace for changes in the civil litigation landscape. “In the wake of the Christchurch earthquake, New Zealand is no longer sheltered from litigation funders and the types of proceedings they bring,” he says. “As practitioners we will need to adapt and change as will our civil procedure rules to deal with them. For example, in Australia the class action rules contained within Part IVA of the Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 dictate how class actions are managed and dealt with. New Zealand does not have any similar rules, and will need to catch up.”

Martin Wiseman, DLA Piper New Zealand Country Managing Partner says: "We're delighted to appoint Misha and Brad as Partners in our leading New Zealand insurance practice. They add to the network of Insurance partners throughout DLA Piper and bring the benefit of global expertise and insights to our local clients. This adds to our bench strength as the only global law firm operating in New Zealand."


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