Harmans Lawyers

Brian Burke

LLM (Hons), BA
brian.burke@harmans.co.nz PA: angela.baldwin@harmans.co.nz PH: (03) 379 7835

Brian has practised law since 1993, joined Harmans in 1999 and was appointed a Partner in 2002. He jointly leads our litigation and disputes resolution team.  

With extensive experience in the field of civil litigation and dispute resolution, Brian is able to provide clients with excellent advice and representation in estate, trust and property disputes (land, leases and construction), banking and insurance law and resource management law. 

Brian has appeared in most jurisdictions including the Court of Appeal, High Court, District Court, Family Court, Environment Court, the Liquor Licensing Authority, Employment Tribunal, Canterbury Earthquakes Insurance Tribunal and the Weathertight Homes Tribunal.   

Brian has presented estate litigation papers at seminars held by the New Zealand Law Society and LexisNexis. He has a special interest in wills and trusts litigation, particularly in relation to the ageing population. He is on the committee of the Christchurch Elder Law Special Interest Group.

Brian has also been a trustee and board member for various organisations over the years, associated with community and conservation projects.


Some of Brian’s recent work/projects include:  
  • Acting for and advising client on substantial Canterbury earthquake claim, with optimum settlement reached. 
  • Acting in numerous high-profile Estate and Trust cases involving large scale business assets and rural properties throughout New Zealand.  
  • Acting for and advising insurance broker in dispute with insurer in relation to professional indemnity cover. 
  • Acting for and advising shareholder in major company dispute. 
  • Acting for and advising tenant on scope of maintenance obligations for a large motel.
  • Acting as an arbitrator in a dispute between lessor and lessee of a hotel, successfully coming to an agreement.