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Paul Cogswell

Paul Cogswell graduated with a Bachelor of Laws from Auckland University in 1992 and was admitted to the New Zealand Bar later that year.  He has 30 years' legal experience and has practiced in the litigation and dispute resolution area throughout that time. 

Prior to setting up his own firm in 2006 with an experienced corporate and commercial law colleague, he was a partner in the litigation and dispute resolution team of an Auckland city law firm.

Paul is able to bring his skills to the prompt, focused resolution of disputes, drawing on three decades of experience in Aotearoa New Zealand’s Courts and Tribunals, in arbitrations, in adjudications under the Construction Contracts Act or in alternative dispute resolution forums.

Paul also gives advice on strategy and risk management in the context of contentious transactions and disputes for both commercial and private clients.

Paul Cogswell is a recognised expert in his respective specialist areas and applies that experience to provide timely, commercially pragmatic advice to his clients.  Paul acts for a wide range of commercial and private litigants.  He has acted for some of Aotearoa New Zealand’s leading corporates in his areas of expertise.

Paul has particular expertise in building & construction law - including leaky homes and defective building cases - property and contract disputes and insolvency.

In addition to acting on leaky building cases, he regularly advises on Body Corporate issues, including interpretation and validity of Body Corporate Rules, disputes arising from Body Corporate Rules and other issues arising in the Body Corporate context.

Paul advises on contract and tort claims, property disputes, commercial lease disputes on behalf of landlords and tenants,

construction and building disputes and company and partnership disputes. He also advises on insurance law, trade practice law and director's reckless trading issues.

He has conducted cases as counsel in Adjudications under the Construction Contracts Act.  

In the insolvency area, he has acted both for and against financiers, receivers and liquidators on the myriad of complex issues raised by business failure.  He was counsel in the Portacom case, New Zealand's first case under the Personal Property Securities legislation.  He has also acted for the Official Assignee in reckless trading actions against directors following liquidation and acted for directors resisting such claims.

Paul also assists finance companies and other business clients on the timely and economic recovery of bad debts and management of defaulting customers. He advises on mortgagee sales for clients in that area.

In addition to his barristerial practice, Paul holds a Judicial Warrant as the Chair of the Weathertight Homes Tribunal.  This is a specialist Tribunal set up as part of New Zealand's Court system designed to deal with the determination of "leaky homes" claims.  That role sees him hearing and deciding the often complex claims brought in the Tribunal by the owners of leaky homes and apartments.

Paul also held a Judicial Warrant as a foundation member of the Canterbury Earthquakes Insurance Tribunal, a specialist Tribunal established to resolve long-standing earthquake claims in the Canterbury region.  That role, too, saw him hearing and deciding claims involving complex insurance and technical building failure issues arising following the Canterbury Earthquake Sequence.

Paul has appeared in the Coroners Court and prosecuted criminal cases on behalf of the Crown.

Paul is a regular conference presenter on his areas of expertise and a contributor to articles on construction and insolvency issues.  He has presented at both LexisNexis and Conferenz conferences, both of whom are leading legal education providers and for the ADLS.  He has also presented to NZIA, the New Zealand body regulating architects and to members of the construction industry.

Paul is an Affiliate member of AMINZ, a member of the Society of Construction Law New Zealand Inc. and a member of the New Zealand Bar Association.

When not engaged in legal practice, Paul relaxes by mountain biking, golfing, enjoying our fantastic beaches and grappling with kikuyu on his 10 acre lifestyle block.

Qualifications & Memberships

  • 1992 LLB Auckland University
  • 1992 Admitted to practice as Barrister & Solicitor
  • 1995 Mediation Training Centre – Introduction to Mediation
  • 1996 LEADR Three Day Mediation Training Workshop
  • 1997 NZLS Litigation Skills Programme
  • 2011 Weathertight Homes Tribunal Members’ Training
  • 2012 Settlement Conference Training by Jane Schaverien
  • 2013 Prof James C Raymond course on Judicial Writing
  • 2014 Associate membership of AMINZ granted
  • 2015 AUT University, “Introduction to Conversational Maori”
  • 2018 Narelle Bell - Decision Writing Course
  • Member of the Society of Construction Law New Zealand Inc.
  • Affiliate member of AMINZ
  • Member of the New Zealand Bar Association
  • Chair of the Weathertight Homes Tribunal
  • Foundation member of the Canterbury Earthquakes Insurance Tribunal

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