Mediating Post-Disaster Insurance Dispute


Mark Kelly - Barrister and Commercial Mediator


Mediating Post-Disaster Insurance Dispute


Mark Kelly 

Mark will be speaking on the use of mediation schemes for natural disaster insurance disputes.  He draws on his own experience mediating Canterbury earthquake insurance disputes, and international research.

The Canterbury earthquakes have resulted in over 500,000 insurance claims, with many contested.  Suits against insurers are still being filed in the Christchurch High Court now, over six years after the worst of the earthquakes.  Such litigation has its own massive economic and human costs – on all sides. Mediation has been used to resolve many Canterbury earthquake insurance disputes.  But mediation has been introduced to that litigation dynamic in a largely ad hoc way, and often very late in the piece. 

In the US, natural disasters, particularly hurricanes, have also caused vast numbers of insurance
disputes.  Since Hurricane Andrew in 1992, individual states have reacted to specific disasters with dedicated mediation schemes for insurance disputes.  Such schemes were put in place in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and Storm Sandy.  These US schemes have had real success, in that mediations were
convened quickly, and settlement rates were high.  Some states now have schemes set up for dealing with
future natural disasters. But aspects of the US schemes have been criticised.

Mark will speak about what a mediation scheme set up in advance of future natural disasters might best look like.  In this context he will look at what can be learnt from the US experience.



Mark Kelly

Mark Kelly 

Mark Kelly is a New Zealand barrister and commercial mediator, with over 23 years of experience in resolving commercial legal disputes.

Mark has trained in mediation at Harvard Law School. He is a Fellow of the Arbitrators’ and Mediators’ Institute of New Zealand, and an AMINZ Council member. Mark is also a Resolution Institute-trained and accredited mediator.

He is on mediation panels for AMINZ, the New Zealand Health and Disability Commission, the New Zealand Dispute Resolution Centre and the New Zealand Law Society. He is also an appointee on the World Intellectual Property Organisation Center’s List of Mediators.

He has successfully mediated disputes involving: company, construction, contract, earthquake, 
education, employment, finance, insurance, intellectual property, property, relationship property, rural, tortious, trustee and weathertightness issues. He has worked with local and international parties.

Mark was the winner of the Resolution Institute's 2015 award for contribution to dispute resolution by an emerging practitioner. In 2016 he was recognised as one of the top 10 mediators in New Zealand by LawFuel. He was also awarded the AMINZ Ann Edge Memorial Award for Excellence in Fellowship Mediation and the Fellowship Mediation Prize.

He has also presented widely, and written, on mediation. See



5:45pm-6.00pm: Registration

6.00pm-7.00pm: Seminar

7.00pm-8.00pm: Light refreshments


CPD Accreditation

1 Public CPD Point

Practice Area: Alternative Dispute Resolution

Training Level: General


Attendance Policy

“Participants who wish to claim CPD Points are reminded that they must comply strictly with the Attendance Policy set out in the CPD Guidelines. This includes arriving punctually, not leaving the activity before it has ended, and signing in on arrival and signing out at the conclusion of the activity in the manner required by the organiser. Participants who do not comply with the Attendance Policy will not be able to obtain CPD Points for attending the activity. Please refer to for more information.”

SILE Accredited CPD Activity Landscape Color Logo

We are no longer accepting registration for this event.