recognised leaders in the development of the law of negligence

 

 

Sarah has 23 years experience acting for insurers and their insureds defending professional indemnity and general liability claims. 

She commenced her career in 1996 with Heaney & Co, the predecessor firm to Heaney & Partners.  In 2013 she became a partner of the firm. 

She has significant experience as a successful trial lawyer and in representing clients in mediations and judicial settlement conferences, achieving very favourable outcomes. 

Sarah regularly appears in the Weathertight Homes Tribunal, District Court, High Court and Court of Appeal. 

Sarah has represented a range of professional clients including mayors, councils, architects, farmers, sonographers, psychiatrists, marinas, engineers, insurers, planners and real estate agents.  The subject of the claims she has managed in her career have primarily involved negligence allegations in circumstances involving flooding, planning, fire, contamination, building, advice, misrepresentation, sale of land, and street vending. 

She also has experience in successfully representing clients who have had defamation claims brought against them. 

Sarah is a member of the Auckland Women Lawyers Association, New Zealand Insurance Law Association and the Auckland Medico Legal Society.

Latest Work

May 1 2018
SHADOWCLAD & COUNCILS

Third party claims and 10 year limitation periods tested in court.

December 14 2017
Southland Indoor Leisure Centre Charitable Trust v Invercargill City Council (SC)

The appeal from the Court of Appeal was allowed in part. The council succeeded in establishing that the Southland Indoor Leisure Centre Charitable Trust had contributed to its own loss and damages were reduced by 50%.

September 1 2017
SOUTHLAND STADIUM

At the Senior Building Control Officer's Forum we convened a panel on the lessons that could be taken from the Stadium Southland case.

August 2 2017
WHAT'S THE LIMIT?

An issue we encounter when representing councils in claims about defective building work is that the plaintiff sometimes amends the claim to include an entirely new category of building defects.

April 1 2017
DUTY TO WARN OF CONCERNS?

The decision of Andrews Property Services Ltd v Body Corporate 160361 & Ors [2016] NZCA 644 was an appeal of a High Court decision.

November 1 2016
BUILDING CLAIMS

When a property is fully repaired does it suffer an ongoing diminution in value or stigma?

July 1 2016
DEFECTIVE PROPERTIES - CONTRIBUTORY NEGLIGENCE OR NO CLAIM?

The WHT and the courts have leant towards findings of contributory negligence on the part of claimants where claimants have purchased property which they know is defective or is potentially defective.

March 1 2016
THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAIL - CONSENT CONDITIONS

Southland Indoor Leisure Centre Charitable Trust v Invercargill City Council and A S Major [2015] NZHC 1983.

November 1 2015
THAT SINKING FEELING

Claims against builders and councils concerning inadequate foundations were more common in the 1980s and the early to mid-1990s than in the 2000s.