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Melissa Borcoski

LLB (Hons)
Melissa is a member of our Litigation Team and specialises in commercial and civil litigation. She has specialist expertise in insurance law having acted for both insurers and policyholders throughout her career.

Melissa graduated from the University of Canterbury in 1996 with a Bachelor of Laws with Honours.  She commenced practice in 1997 at a national firm in Christchurch before moving to Auckland in 2001, where she worked for a large national firm and then specialist insurance litigation firms.  Melissa returned to Christchurch in 2009 and continued to work for an Auckland firm leading their Christchurch office.

She joined Saunders Robinson Brown's litigation team in 2014.  Melissa specialises in civil and commercial litigation, including contractual disputes, negligence claims, disputes involving professionals, shareholder disputes, construction disputes and estate claims.  She has particular expertise in insurance law and insolvency matters.  Melissa has acted for both insurers and policyholders.  She has significant experience in dealing with liability claims, including professional indemnity, public liability and statutory liability claims, as well as insurance claims arising from the Canterbury earthquakes.  She also regularly advises clients on issues relating to personal and corporate insolvency, including advising and representing liquidators.

Melissa has appeared in the Court of Appeal, High Court, District Court, as well as various specialist tribunals.  She has also been involved in numerous arbitrations and mediations, and is an Associate Member of the Arbitrators' and Mediators' Institute of New Zealand (AMINZ). 

Some of Melissa's recent work includes:

  • Successfully representing the insureds in New Zealand’s leading case on the obligations of insurers relating to remedial works to a damaged property under a house policy (Sleight v Beckia Holdings Ltd [2020] NZHC 2851)
  • Representing a group of investors in a failed finance company in opposition to an application made by the liquidators in the High Court
  • Acting for liquidators in High Court proceedings against shareholders in relation to shareholder debts
  • Acting for policyholders in disputes with their insurers relating to property damage as a result of the Canterbury earthquakes
  • Advising clients involved in regulatory investigations and prosecutions, and disciplinary proceedings
  • Acting for bodies corporate in relation to their material damage claims as a result of the Canterbury earthquakes
  • Acting for corporate clients in relation to their business interruption claims
  • Acting for a body corporate in High Court proceedings against third party professionals
  • Acting for clients in relation to claims and complaints against real estate agents and other professionals
  • Acting for clients in dispute with insurers and contractors over defective work to their property
  • Acting on claims relating to weathertightness issues
  • Acting for insurers and insureds in relation to claims against insured professionals and businesses


  • Associate Member of the Arbitrators' and Mediators' Institute of New Zealand (AMINZ)
  • Member of the New Zealand Insurance Law Association National Committee
  • Member of the Institute of Directors New Zealand
  • Member of the New Zealand Law Society
  • Member of Restructuring Insolvency & Turnaround Association of New Zealand (RITANZ)
  • Board member of the Justitia Mutual Association Incorporated
  • Board member of the Burnside Rugby Football Club
View all posts by Melissa Borcoski