Michael Thornton | mike@thornton.net.nz

Michael Thornton | mike@thornton.net.nz

Michael has had direct involvement in leaky building claims since their beginning in the mid 1990’s. While working at a leading insurance practice he was involved in defending leaky building claims against local authorities.

Since 2005, our team has acted for numerous home owners and bodies corporate in securing compensation from liable parties to repair their leaky houses, apartments and units. Our emphasis has always been on achieving the best possible outcome for clients, and advising them on all aspects related to the difficult and stressful circumstance of owning a leaky home.

We also act for parties being sued in relation to leaky buildings. These are generally:

Mike represented me when a home I had previously owned became leaky and I was subject to a claim. He was very detailed in his advice and the matter was settled in a calm and orderly fashion. Given this was not my area of expertise and my understanding of the process was limited, it was great to have him in my corner getting me through the claims process. I would personally endorse Mike in this area and would happily talk to anyone directly about him.
- Pip Mayne
  • construction companies;
  • directors of these companies;
  • sub-contractors (e.g. plasterers or waterproofers); and
  • architects.

We have provided advice on many different aspects of leaky building litigation including applications to the High Court by bodies corporate pursuant to s.74 of the Unit Titles Act 2010 to sanction schemes of repair of multi-unit leaky buildings. Such applications have become necessary where agreement is not possible between the members of a bodies corporate, where the court must intervene to ensure repairs are carried out in a timely, economic and fair manner. We also act for parties who have had to issue proceedings against insurers in respect of leaky building claims against them.


A guide to the common issues arising in leaky building claims can be found in the attached paper written by Brendan Cash.

The paper has been reproduced with the kind permission of NZLS CLE from a session at the CPD Top Up Day held in Auckland, Leaky Buildings and Insurance Litigation, Brendan Cash (Feb 2015). 

Full PDF.