About Toby Gee

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Toby Gee has more than 24 years’ experience as a trial lawyer and specialist counsel. He completed his training as a barrister in the Inner Temple, London in 1992-1993.  From 1993 until 2013, he practised as a barrister at Crown Office Chambers in London, instructed by many leading UK firms of solicitors to represent insurers, other corporate entities, government entities and individuals in civil claims at all levels up to and including the Court of Appeal.

Toby’s main specialisms are in insurance, commercial/contractual disputes, professional liability, medico-legal matters, product liability (medical and non-medical), engineering and construction, and health and safety.

He is a member of Lambton Chambers in Wellington.

In 1997 Toby was a Pegasus Scholar at Chapman Tripp Sheffield Young (as it then was) in Wellington. While on a sabbatical from his London practice in 2005-2006, as well as working in the policy group at ACC he worked with several Wellington barristers on a variety of civil disputes.

Since moving to New Zealand in 2013, Toby has represented a wide variety of corporate, professional and public clients, in relation to dispute avoidance, resolution and litigation, in commercial civil matters, insurance and health & safety. Clients have included banks, insurance companies, lawyers, real estate agents, crown entities, national and industry bodies, large and small companies, trusts and individuals. He has appeared as lead counsel in the Court of Appeal, High Court and District Court, and at mediations, in claims valued up to and over $10M. During this time Toby has been lead or co-counsel in a wide variety of disputes including:

  • Representing an insurer in a technical liability insurance claim by a financial institution with a value of some $7.5M
  • Representing a corporate tenant and its insurer in a complex multi-party claim arising out of earthquake damage to a modern commercial building
  • Advising in a breach of warranty claim valued at some $60M
  • Representing a law firm in a professional liability claim, in the Court of Appeal
  • Acting for a company making a substantial claim against its electricity supplier for overcharging over several years
  • Acting for an aeronautical engineering and services company in relation to a commercial dispute with an airline over provision of services
  • Acting for a bank, including advising its board on strategy, in relation to a substantial commercial relationship dispute with another major national company
  • Advising the trustees of a trust managing the proceeds of a Treaty of Waitangi settlement on mediation and dispute resolution procedures.

Toby is also an experienced negotiator, having been accredited as a mediator in the UK (ADR Group, 2004) and in New Zealand (LEADR, 2005). He was recognised as a mediator and Corporate Panel Member by the Dispute Board Federation in 2009, and as a mediator and dispute board member by TECBAR (the London Technology and Construction Bar Association) in 2011.

In 2014, 2015 and 2016, Toby acted as a judge in the New Zealand Law Society’s High Court Litigation Skills course in Wellington, run by Paul Radich QC.

In 2017 Toby moved from being Special Counsel at MinterEllisonRuddWatts in Wellington into independent practice as a barrister at Lambton Chambers.

Toby also has significant governance experience through having been Chair of the trustees of UK charity Porters’ Progress UK (2007-2012), Deputy Chair of the the Lambeth Law Centre (2004), and a school governor at the Dulwich Village Church of England Primary School (2012-2013).

His work has included public policy, assisting ACC in devising new policies on matters such as the strategic management of appeals, and leading the development and implementation of an ethical framework for ACC’s interactions with external entities.

Toby is a member of the Inner Temple, and remains an associate member of Crown Office Chambers.

A little bit more about Toby Gee

Toby lives in Wellington with his wife Heather and their three children.

He has climbed, ski toured and hiked in the European Alps, Pyrenees, Himalayas, Southern Alps and Patagonia. He has led treks in various mountain ranges including the Himalayas and Transylvanian Alps, taken part in adventure races, and run a few marathons at an unimpressive pace. In 2016, he carried his youngest daughter, then 3, halfway across Stewart Island. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, where his travel photographs have been exhibited.

Toby’s love of music started at an early age, later developed through a choral scholarship at Cambridge and singing in the choir of Southwark Cathedral in London. He sings countertenor with Aurora IV, a Wellington-based male quartet of singers specialising in renaissance music. He has sung solo roles in Bach Cantatas, the St John Passion, Handel operas and oratorios including Messiah. He occasionally plays the bassoon and piano, but not at the same time.

Favourite activity:
Ski mountaineering.

Favourite place:
Any wilderness, but especially snowy mountains.

Most incongruous moment:
Walking ankle-deep through the surf on the beach at Margate in England, eating fish and chips, while wearing a suit and carrying court documents, having just come out of a court hearing.

Most surprising achievement:
Swimming in the Cook Strait every day (bar one) for a year, when living in Island Bay, Wellington.

Favourite courtroom anecdote:
When his client fainted in the witness box in a trial. Toby went and caught the client as he fell, put him in the recovery position and then, from a kneeling position, asked for a short adjournment. The judge agreed, got up onto his crutches (he was missing a leg), and left the courtroom.