Steve Keall barrister is an experienced civil and commercial barrister based in Auckland, New Zealand. 

Steve provides legal advice and advocacy for general civil and commercial disputes. Steve has a particular interest in insurance. He has qualified as a barrister and solicitor in New Zealand, and as a solicitor in England. He now practises as a civil barrister in Auckland, New Zealand.

Steve is a founding member of FortyEight Shortland, commercial and civil barristers’ chambers in Auckland.

As an experienced insurance barrister, Steve assists clients resolve insurance disputes. Experience includes resolving insurance claims as well as advising on commercial and relationship issues arising out of insurance product distribution. Clients include insurance brokers, policyholders and solicitors seeking advice or assistance in respect of insurance issues affecting their own clients.

"Clients tell me they appreciate the energy and enthusiasm I bring to my work."

— Steve Keall, civil barrister.




Steve Keall barrister 
Civil litigation: experience | expertise

  • Insurance (see further below)

  • General civil and commercial litigation including disputes of a commercial nature

  • Legal opinions on legal rights and remedies

  • Breach of contract claims:

    • Distribution agreements

    • Supply agreements

    • Commercial agreements

    • Sale and purchase of property

  • Shareholder/partnership disputes including joint ventures

  • Building and construction disputes

  • Commercial drafting, including terms and conditions

  • Negligence claims (bringing and defending) with a focus on professionals, such as lawyers, accountants, valuers, architects, engineers and local authorities

  • Personal litigation, such as relationship property disputes and challenging a will

  • Legal and strategic advice regarding the termination of contracts

  • Professional discipline including advising and representing lawyers in respect of claims and complaints against them

  • Advice on New Zealand law for non-New Zealand businesses including judgment registration and enforcement in NZ

  • Personal injury advice

  • Firearms: advice in respect of the Arms (Prohibited Firearms, Magazines, and Parts) Amendment Regulations 2019 and the Prohibited Firearms Buy-Back Price List and exemptions/ exceptions.

  • Advocacy in the District Court, High Court, Court of Appeal and various non-court tribunals.


Steve Keall barrister: insurance advice 

Steve Keall is an experienced insurance barrister. He provides legal advice about insurance to commercial and individual policyholders as well as insurance providers and intermediaries. Steve’s experience includes eight years in the London insurance market working as a lawyer specialising in insurance claims.



  • Policy coverage issues: whether a claim or event is covered by an insurance policy

  • Professional indemnity claims: against professionals such as lawyers, accountants, valuers, architects and engineers

  • Credit insurance: the insurance of credit issued to customers

  • Brokers/intermediaries: issues around insurance intermediaries and their relationships with policyholders, insurers, and reinsurers

  • Business interruption

  • Distribution of insurance products. Steve has experience of dealing with issues between insurers, distributors (such as banks) and intermediaries

  • Directors and Officers (D&O) Insurance

  • Life insurance/disability benefit insurance: Steve has acted for both insurers and policyholders with regards to disputes over this kind of cover

  • General (non life) insurance: Steve has advised both insurers and policyholders on a wide variety of general insurance coverage issues, including material damage policies in respect of commercial and residential buildings

  • Construction project/ Contractors All Risk ("CAR") insurance

  • Subrogated claims

  • Cyber Insurance.


Steve Keall is an experienced civil disputes lawyer based in Auckland, New Zealand. 

Steve has significant experience in providing general legal advice for civil and commercial claims and litigation. Steve is also available to provide advice and representation for relationship property matters.

"I have a particular interest in receiving instructions which involve forensic work, including tracing and valuing assets."

Steve has a particular interest in equitable or trust claims, and relationship property disputes involving business assets. He has experience in issues involving the valuation of assets and property. Claims of this kind tend to be heard in the High Court

Steve offers independent legal advice in respect of relationship property agreements.

Contact Steve using the details below.


Track record | Testimonials

All 2018 & 2019 Court decisions:

Selected recent work and settlements/ outcomes:

  • Negotiating 100% settlement of disputed entitlement under life insurance policy with a NZ life insurer (recovery: approximately $100,000)

  • Negotiating 100% settlement of disputed entitlement under life insurance policy in respect of a disputed trauma claim, with a NZ insurer (recovery: approximately $850,000)

  • Successful defence of a solicitor facing a NZLS complaint to a local standards committee

  • Successful appeal to the Legal Complaints Review Officer (“LCRO”) for a solicitor in respect of a NZLS complaint

  • Negotiated commercial outcome in respect of a claim arising out of fire damage to a property, dealing with the at-fault party’s insurers after the commencement of proceedings

  • Negotiated settlement of approximately $400,000 in a relationship property context—in a relationship of short duration

  • Providing advice to an insurance brokerage and its client in respect of insurance issues arising out of a significant fire at a commercial property resulting in material damage and business interruption issues

  • Providing advice to an insurance brokerage and its client in respect of insurance issues arising out of a product recall

  • Providing independent legal advice in respect of relationship property agreements

  • Providing independent legal advice to an accounting professional in respect of a professional indemnity claim, where there were insured and uninsured components

  • Acting as counsel in respect of a shareholder dispute, resolving the claim at mediation

  • Acting as counsel in ongoing litigation involving a brokerage and departing insurance brokers/ financial advisers.

Legal work and litigation in particular is complex and difficult. After about twenty years of practice, I have been involved in cases where things have not gone to plan, and people have been unhappy. When you engage a barrister, it is wise to seek balanced information about that person’s track record and experience. That means not focussing solely on the cases that have gone entirely to plan. I am happy to have that discussion with you, as any good, experienced lawyer should be.


"Getting Steve’s assistance was invaluable.  His submissions were clear and succinct and were key to obtaining a favourable outcome.  Thanks Steve for your assistance.  You really helped put the matter in perspective.  Your words of wisdom were key to maintaining my sanity."
— JH, solicitor, 2018

"I was in need of advice as to a direction on a somewhat involved a historic legal matter involving negligence by a conveyancing lawyer.  I had few options, but when I contacted Steve, I found him both communicative and forthright. Overall, I was impressed with his very detailed advice and practical approach as to how to bring about proceedings in the relevant Tribunal; his strategies for presenting the case assisted me greatly and resulted in a win at the high end of the jurisdiction limit. I would strongly recommend him." 
— Ian P., lay-client, 2018

"I have been referring clients to Steve Keall for several years now, with successful outcomes. Some of the clients I have referred to Steve have been involved in litigation and others have been seeking to avoid it. I have always been impressed by Steve’s knowledge, competence, and enthusiasm; his strategic and technical advice and skills have been invaluable. I highly recommend Steve to other instructing solicitors and their clients."
— Sue Stodart, solicitor, 2018

Steve is one of the most erudite, energetic, resourceful and decisive barristers I have had a pleasure of working with. The clients of our firm always get delivered a combination of critical thinking, sound judgment and advancement of their cases, through quality advice and advocacy, when Steve is onboard.
— Doug Cowan, solicitor, 2018


Steve Keall barrister: contact details

Telephone: +649 283 0689 / mobile +64 223 179 127

Local number if calling within NZ: (09) 283 0689


Chambers: FortyEight Shortland Barristers: level 34, 48 Shortland Street, Auckland, 1010, NZ


Find Steve Keall barrister on a map

Generally, I require an instructing solicitor.  I find I work best when a solicitor remains actively involved in an instruction; managing the relationship with the client and providing a sounding board for strategy. I welcome new queries from solicitors. Where a query is made by someone who does not have a solicitor, generally I will have a discussion about whether that person should first consult a solicitor, who will then be the person who instructs me.

In some cases, I may accept a direct instruction. Below are my Terms of Engagement, and also my “Information for Clients” document. These apply where I have agreed to be instructed directly without an instructing solicitor, in accordance with the applicable rules of professional conduct.


I welcome inquiries from new clients. To make an inquiry, please fill out the form below.

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