Civil Appeals
Civil Litigation
Commercial Litigation
Company Law
Construction Disputes
Creditors Remedies
Professional Disciplinary Issues

Gary Davis

027 777 0014


Canterbury Chambers
Level 11, Anthony Harper Tower
62 Worcester Boulevard
PO Box 44
Christchurch 8140, New Zealand

View Gary Davis on LinkedIn

I graduated from the University of Canterbury with degrees in Law and Arts and commenced practice at the independent bar shortly after admission in late 2015.  I started as an employed barrister with Jai Moss and joined Canterbury Chambers with Jai in May 2021.  I have been in sole practice since October 2023.  Having practiced as a barrister for my whole legal career to date, I have a strong belief in the values of the independent bar—fearless advocacy, independence, fairness, and quality.

I have a broad civil and commercial litigation practice, and am regularly instructed on contract disputes, tort claims, building disputes, debt recovery matters, bankruptcy and liquidation applications, and equitable claims.  I have appeared as counsel in the Court of Appeal, High Court, District Court, arbitrations and mediations, and in various tribunals and quasi-judicial bodies.  I have also been appointed amicus curiae / counsel to assist the court.

I have particular experience in insurance litigation arising from the Canterbury Earthquakes, having begun my career working almost exclusively in this area.  I have acted for close to 150 residential and commercial property owners and have appeared in dozens of negotiations, mediations and judicial settlement conferences.  My experience spans the full breadth of earthquake-related issues, from original claims against the Earthquake Commission and all major insurers to defective repair cases (including claims against builders and project managers) and EQC on-sold claims.

My recent work/experience includes:

  • appearing (as junior counsel) in a two-and-a-half-week arbitration involving a complex commercial lease dispute;
  • acting (as junior counsel) for a defendant company in an ongoing class action involving a number of hearings in the High Court and Court of Appeal since 2018.
  • acting for an engineer on successful appeals to the Chartered Professional Engineers Council (as lead counsel) and the District Court (as sole counsel) in a dispute against the Registration Authority of Engineering New Zealand concerning the engineer’s continued registration as a CPEng;
  • appearing (as junior counsel) in 5-day trial in the High Court successfully defending claims of breach of contract, misrepresentation and breach of fiduciary duty;
  • acting on a variety of insolvency cases, including making and opposing applications for liquidations and bankruptcy, insolvent proposal applications, applications to set aside statutory demand, and advising companies navigating COVID-19 business debt hibernation;
  • acting both for and against various professionals on disciplinary matters;
  • successfully challenging the jurisdiction of an arbitral tribunal to hear a building dispute;
  • acting for an Auckland property owner in High Court proceedings against the Earthquake Commission for damage caused by a series of landslips;
  • volunteering as a judge at the 2021 and 2023 University of Canterbury Witness Examination and Mooting competitions.

Outside of work, I enjoy travelling, camping, skiing, and spending time with my wife and our dog Alfie.  I am also a dedicated Vipassanā meditator.