Insurance in Australia

Clyde & Co LLP

Acting seamlessly as a part of the firm’s global network, Clyde & Co LLP’s full-service insurance team in Australia is led out of Sydney by personal injury specialist Lucinda Lyons. The team is adept at handling the insurance aspects of large M&A transactions in the insurance industry; Dean Carrigan is a top performer in corporate insurance, while Avryl Lattin focuses on both transactional and regulatory work. Another solid stream of instructions comes in relation to all aspects of insurance litigation, with Nicole Wearne (Melbourne) and John Moran being standout practitioners in this space. Formerly at Norton Rose Fulbright, Wearne joined the firm alongside professional indemnity expert Mark Attard (Melbourne), Ganga Narayanan (Melbourne) and Jehan-Philippe Wood (Perth) in March 2020. A Perth-based team led by Tim Searle departed to Wotton + Kearney in the autumn of 2019. Unless otherwise specified, all practitioners mentioned above are based in Sydney.

Practice head(s):

Lucinda Lyons

Testimonials

‘Outstanding insurance team. Hardworking, thorough, and outstanding to deal with.‘

Dean Carrigan is the best in industry.

Senior associate Yvonne Lam is an up-and-coming star with outstanding organisational skills.

Key clients

AXA XL

Insurance Council of Australia

Focus Underwriting

Dual Australia Pty

Beazley

Acciona Infrastructure Australia Pty

SMEC Australia

Kathmandu

Work highlights

  • Advising on the Australian insurance and other aspects of the global merger of AXA Group and XL Group.
  • Leading the defence for Acciona Infrastructure Australia and insurer AXA XL in a class action brought against Acciona relating to large city infrastructure project Sydney CBD Light Rail.
  • Defending the D&O insurers of the failed Forge Group Limited in the securities class action in the Federal Court.

Herbert Smith Freehills

Herbert Smith Freehills places a special emphasis on acting on the side of large policyholders across a wide range of sectors, including financial services, mining, energy, infrastructure, and consumer products. The team attracts mandates relating to both contentious and non-contentious matters, such as business interruption claims, regulatory issues, class actions, directors and officers liability renewals, and warranty and indemnity insurance as part of M&A transactions. For more complex matters in the mentioned areas, it routinely draws on the expertise of the firm’s class actions, M&A, and financial services teams. Mark Darwin (Brisbane) sits at the helm of the department and is ably assisted by solicitor Travis Gooding. Clients laud Sydney-based special counsel Guy Narburgh’s ‘ability to deliver commercial, targeted advice’.

Practice head(s):

Mark Darwin

Testimonials

Guy Narburgh’s extensive understanding of the industry and market practice sets him apart from his peers. I value his ability to deliver commercial, targeted advice in a timely manner and would highly recommend him.

Key clients

Marsh & McLennan Companies

Serco

Toga Group

Lendlease

Newcrest

Willis Australia

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

National Australia Bank

Work highlights

  • Acting for DMS Maritime Services, a subsidiary of Serco, in a dispute relating to a fire which destroyed the navy patrol vessel ‘HMAS Bundaberg’.
  • Assisting National Australia Bank with two insurance claims for losses arising from the sale of hedging products by its former UK subsidiary Clydesdale Bank.
  • Acting for Lendlease in relation to recoveries under a first party professional indemnity insurance policy arising from the Northern Territory Security Facility project as well as a claim against its former insurance broker for professional negligence.

Kennedys

Kennedys’ firm-wide specialism in insurance and litigation and full-service offering allows it to act for a varied mix of Australian and international insurers and reinsurers, large corporations, governmental bodies, and Lloyds’ syndicates. For cross-border work, the group benefits from the dual qualifications of multiple team members, as well as from the firm’s global network consisting of 50 offices across 21 countries. Managing partner Matt Andrews leads the team; he has accrued significant experience in property and financial lines insurance, and so has Penny Taylor. Raylee Hartwell is a go-to contact for professional indemnity and clinical negligence claims. Recently promoted special counsel Llinos Kent is also noted. The team in Melbourne has been experiencing growth; litigator Jane Kupsch joined from Piper Alderman at the end of 2019 and Emily Schneider joined as a partner in November 2020. All remaining mentioned practitioners are based in Sydney.

Practice head(s):

Matt Andrews

Key clients

Liberty Specialty Markets

Axis

Beazley

Brit

CV Starr & Co.

Newline Group

Pembroke

Talbot

Tokio Marine HCC

Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance

Allied World Insurance

Aspen

Hamilton Group

The Hartford

Sompo

Everest Re Group

Munich Re

Swiss Re

Dual

Lawcover

HDI Global SE

Proclaim

Work highlights

  • Acting for more than a dozen insurers participating in Westpac’s programmes in relation to matters arising from Austrac’s investigation; this includes three class actions and regulatory enquiries by AUSTRAC, ASIC and APRA.
  • Acting for insurers and a leading property manager in relation to a complex multi-party litigated claim concerning the fit out of a commercial property in Mascot.
  • Acting as coverage and monitoring counsel for in excess of 40 insurers participating in the programmes for CBA, ANZ, NAB, Westpac and AMP in relation to a variety of claims brought arising from the Banking Royal Commission against all five entities.

King & Wood Mallesons

King & Wood Mallesons acts on a full range of both front- and back-end insurance matters. It is known for its regulatory insurance advice provided to large insurers, policyholders, and intermediaries. The group is very active in the financial services sector, where it utilises the firm’s traditional regulatory strength; it expanded its financial services offering with the arrival of Sarah Yu from Herbert Smith Freehills' Sydney-based office in mid-2019. As a result of the global Covid-19 pandemic, the team also advises clients extensively on industrial special risk insurance policy coverage. Practice head Travis Toemoe leads the team from the Sydney office, where recently promoted partner Peter Yeldham has outstanding credentials in professional indemnity and general insurance litigation, and special counsel Mandy Tsang is also singled out by clients. The team in Brisbane stands out for its contentious work in this class action arena; Brisbane-based Justin McDonnell is highly regarded in this realm.

Practice head(s):

Travis Toemoe

Testimonials

The team has exceptional commercial sense whilst also being technically competent.

Mandy Tsang is a pleasure to deal with. Her deep knowledge of her area of law ensures that her assistance during negotiations is seamless.

Thoroughness of advice – always well-researched and reliable. Responsive. Trusted advisers.

The insurance practice delivers innovative and market-leading solutions to its clients. They are tightly integrated with other teams within the firm and take a commercial and pragmatic approach to deal-making.

Special counsel Mandy Tsang is a star performer, who pushes to ensure maximum coverage is secured but equally understands where to be commercial.

Solicitor Astrid Sugden is a rising star within the team.

Very sensible, practical, and cost-conscious advice. Each member of the team is very relatable and easy to understand and deal with. They have always delivered a top-quality service.

Key clients

Legal Practitioners’ Liability Committee

Qld Bulk Water Authority / Seqwater

Comcover

Suncorp Group

Lloyds of London

Work highlights

  • Advised longstanding client Zurich Financial Services Australia on all legal and regulatory aspects of its $2.1bn strategic acquisition of ANZ’s life insurance business OnePath Life.
  • Acting as lead legal adviser to the Legal Practitioner Liability Committee in relation to the client’s defence of significant claims against its insured firms and solicitor practitioners.
  • Advising various leading multinational and national corporations on indemnity arrangements and directors and officers liability, professional indemnity, cyber insurance policies, and on the establishment of overseas captive insurance arrangements.

Minter Ellison

The insurance and corporate risk department at Minter Ellison provides a full scope of services, including regulatory advice, corporate insurance, and all types of insurance-related claims work, including defending clients in class action proceedings. Practice head Peter Coats is based in Melbourne and has a wealth of litigation experience spanning reputation risks, asbestos claims, occupational health and safety issues, and liability claims, among others. Further, in the field of directors' and officers' liability and casualty claims, the group’s work enjoys additional credibility due to the longstanding past in-house experience of Kemsley Brennan (Sydney) at a global provider of insurance products. Chern Tan is also a key practitioner in Sydney.

Practice head(s):

Peter Coats

Testimonials

In-depth knowledge and understanding of the insurance industry.

Ability to think creatively to achieve the best possible outcome. Approaching matters proactively to maximise positive results.

Minter Ellison consistently delivers for its clients and I have complete faith that when I call them and ask for something, they will give me the right answer.

Kemsley Brennan is an exceptional talent. Kemsley brings with him an incredible degree of commercial acumen, having previously run the claims team at Chubb for almost two decades. I would recommend Kemsley to any insurance professional seeking timely, efficient, and accurate advice that is on point.

Key clients

AIG Australia

Allianz Australia Insurance

AMP

Ansvar Insurance

Insurance Australia Group

Legal Practitioners’ Liability Committee

National Australia Bank

Suncorp

Westpac General Insurance

Willis Towers Watson

Work highlights

  • Acting for Westpac General Insurance in Parkerville bushfire-related class actions.
  • Assisting AIG Australia and Tokio Marine HCC with a variety of warranty and indemnity matters.
  • Advising multiple leading Australian financial institutions on the implementation of Future of Financial Advice (FOFA), Life Insurance Framework and Trowbridge reforms.

Wotton + Kearney

Split across four Australian cities, Wotton + Kearney specialises exclusively in insurance and provides a full range of contentious and non-contentious services. The team is at the forefront of financial lines, general liability, property, and energy insurance, among multiple other areas. Name partner David Kearney chairs the national insurance group and is based in Sydney, and so are multiple leaders of the firm’s specialty insurance lines groups. The team is equally prominent in Melbourne, well financial lines practice leader Cain Jackson remains a key practitioner in the insurance class action space. Singled out by clients, Andrew Moore (Sydney) is also a noteworthy figure on the defence side of class actions. Furthermore, the team is continuing its expansion streak from previous years with multiple partner promotions – the largest round of senior partner promotions undertaken by the firm historically, which included the elevation of Kieran Doyle to the position of cyber risk practice head. In addition, the firm also bolstered its offering in Perth, where Tim Searle and his team comprising financial lines specialists joined from Clyde & Co LLP in October 2019.

Practice head(s):

David Kearney

Testimonials

They understand our business: we have many stakeholders with different requirements and they do their utmost to provide us with practical and commercial advice in a timely manner.

Andrew Moore is someone whom I have worked with for many years and he remains dedicated to ensuring that he provides the best service possible. If something requires my urgent attention, he ensures that he gives me a heads up and makes it all easy to deal with.

Key clients

AIG

Allianz

AXA XL

Chubb Insurance Australia

DUAL Australia

Liberty Specialty Markets

Zurich Australian Insurance

More than 20 London Underwriters

Work highlights

  • Acted for AIG as primary D&O insurer of Myer Limited in the landmark Myer securities class action, the first securities class action to run to judgment in Australia.
  • Advising a large global insurer regarding 10 superannuation class actions commenced against financial institutions following the Banking Royal Commission.
  • Acting for the Sydney Olympic Park Authority on its defence of the Opal Tower class action proceedings.

Clayton Utz

Led out of Sydney by David Gerber, Clayton Utz places an emphasis on assisting a varied client base consisting of large policyholders with complex regulatory, transaction, and contentious insurance issues. A particular strength of the team lies in the financial services space, where it has specialist expertise in customer remediation and compensation programs matters. The group is also very prominent in the insurance litigation realm, where it is also adept at representing clients in relation to significant class action claims; the Melbourne-based and Brisbane-based teams both stand out in this space and benefit from the experience of insurance litigators Lucy Terracall and Mark Waller, respectively based in Melbourne and Brisbane.

Practice head(s):

David Gerber

Key clients

Orica Group

Renex Op Co Pty

DJ Carmichael Pty

AMP Life

Youi

State of Queensland

Former officer of Hastie Services Pty

Kaboko Mining

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

AMP

Work highlights

  • Advising Orica Group, on instruction from Anbao Insurance Pte, in relation to circumstances which may give rise to indemnity under one of Orica Group’s insurance policies for a company which was divested years ago.
  • Acting for Renex Op Co Pty Ltd on an Industrial Special Risk insurance material damage and business interruption claim and in related Federal Court proceedings.
  • Advising two directors of DJ Carmichael Pty Ltd in relation to a directors and officers liability insurance claim arising from proceedings issued in the Supreme Court of Western Australia.

Colin Biggers & Paisley

Colin Biggers & Paisley is praised for its ‘very good understanding of what work product is valuable to an insurer’. The group is noted for its contentious high-profile defence representations of clients in insurance litigation proceedings, including class action work. The team is also known for assuming lead roles in litigation in the financial services and construction sectors; Michael Russell and Jonathan Newby (both based in Sydney) have expertise in this space, among others. Senior partner Patrick Monahan is a stalwart in Melbourne’s litigation landscape, particularly in relation to claims concerning solicitors’ negligence. Keith Bethlehem (Sydney) is highly regarded in the cyber risk space. The department is jointly led by Melbourne-based Andrew Tulloch and Sydney-based Gavin Creighton.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Tulloch; Gavin Creighton

Testimonials

Colin Biggers & Paisley understands and can identify with stakeholders involved in insurance contracting and disputes.

Seniority, accessibility, commercial awareness, and industry know-how. We have access to partners with exceptional experience; they have a very good understanding of what work product is valuable to an insurer. The ability to work with difficult issues, situations, and (sometimes) personalities and find a way through while maintaining relationships.

Experience, trust, accessibility, diligence, commerciality, and a deep understanding of our insurance industry. We work closely with Greg Skehan.’

The team is very commercial and direct. Cost-effective advice and approach. Outstanding industry knowledge and application.

Jonathan Newby and Enoch Law provide commercial advice. Their industry knowledge in relation to insurance and construction matters is outstanding. Most importantly as well, they are a pleasure to deal with on every level.

Key clients

Chubb Insurance Australia

Liberty Special Markets

Zurich Australian Insurance

Argo Global

Catholic Church Insurance

McGrath Nicol

QBE Insurance

Realcover

ProRisk

Downer EDI

Work highlights

  • Defending Spotless, as a sole defendant, in shareholder class actions commenced in the Federal Court.
  • Advising London market D&O insurers on their exposure to claims surrounding the collapse of Quintis, Australia’s largest agri-business managed investment scheme.
  • Acting for L.U. Simon Builders Pty in proceedings resulting from the high-profile building facade fire at the Lacrosse Building in Melbourne’s Docklands.

HFW

With its insurance practice being prominent at both national and international levels, HFW utilises ‘its deep understanding of the insurance market’ to provide a wide range of services to insurers and reinsurers, policyholders, and various intermediaries. The Melbourne-based team enjoys an excellent reputation in the insurance litigation arena; practice head Richard Jowett has a solid track record handling business interruption and casualty cases. Another name to note in Melbourne is Brendan McCashin, who stands out for his high-stakes insurance litigation work, as well as for the innovative nature of his work, including the insurance-related aspects of mining on the moon. Former leader of the team in Sydney, Andrew Dunn retired from the partnership in the autumn of 2019.

Practice head(s):

Richard Jowett

Other key lawyers:

Brendan McCashin; Sophy Woodward

Testimonials

Unrivalled expertise in insurance and attention to detail. HFW has a deep understanding of the insurance market and has provided us with flawless strategic advice around one of the largest insurance claims in the market. One of the best law firms I have had the pleasure of dealing with in my career.

Richard Jowett is very well-connected in the insurance market. He knows all the major players (both corporate and individuals). Richard has a deep understanding of the claims process and the likely positions which the market will take.

Special counsel Sophy Woodward is thorough, meticulous, and tireless. Extremely intelligent and able to capture and organise every technical, scientific, and factual detail relevant to our insurance claims.

Deep expertise in insurance and claims management and dispute resolution.

Richard Jowett has broad experience handling some of the largest mining insurance claims. He takes a commercial and pragmatic view and achieves agreeable negotiated outcomes for his clients.

Brendan McCashin has a wealth of experience in managing insurance claims and broader insurance issues. He is technically astute – a sponge for all the facts necessary to move claims and disputes forward.

Key clients

BHP

Allianz

AECOM Services Pty

BHP Billiton Marine & Insurances Pty

Rolls-Royce Plc

Stein Insurance

GE Power NZ Holdings Pty

Westminer Insurance Pte

Downer EDI

JKC

Work highlights

  • Representing a large engineering and construction company in a high-value insurance claim for damage arising from the failure of a coating system applied to the onshore components of an LNG plant.
  • Acting for a large international mining company on claims arising out of a dam failure in Latin America.
  • Acting for a public liability insurer of a defendant to class action proceedings in the Supreme Court of NSW arising out of flooding in Queensland in January 2011.

Lander & Rogers

The recent work of Lander & Rogers showcases its strength in insurance litigation, including class actions. Areas of particular focus include professional indemnity, casualty, construction, clinical negligence, property, and directors and officers liability insurance. The team is also prominent in front-end insurance, where it advises insurers and various intermediaries on transactions, restructuring product reviews, and licensing conditions. Additionally, the group benefits from its experience serving on the panels of multiple insurer and governmental entities. Julie Smith and Ari Abrahams share leadership of the department; both are based in Melbourne.

Practice head(s):

Julie Smith; Ari Abrahams

Key clients

Victorian Managed Insurance Authority

AXA XL

AIG Australia

QBE European Operations

The Hartford

BMS Group

Liberty Specialty Markets

Insurance Australia

Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty

Liberty Specialty Markets – Liability

IBL t/as Focus Underwriting

MS Amlin plc

Legal Practitioners’ Liability Committee

OAMPS Insurance Brokers

Wesfarmers

Brit Insurance

Chubb Insurance Australia

HDI Global SE

Coles Supermarkets Australia Pty

CNA Hardy

Zurich Australian Insurance

Auto & General Holdings Pty

Swiss Re International SE

Boral Procurement

Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company

Allianz Australia Insurance

Victorian Government

Newline Australia Insurance Pty

Manchester Underwriting Management

Enstar Australia

Ganellen Pty

Proclaim Management Solutions Pty

Tokio Marine Kiln Group

Work highlights

  • Acting for Radio Rental’s insurer joined to class action proceedings following a denial of indemnity which commenced in the Federal Court of Australia.
  • Advising multiple insurers in relation to a class action initiated as a result of the alleged failure of Wivenhoe dam during the 2011 Queensland floods.
  • Acting for global insurers on multiple claims arising out of the collapse of national retailer Dick Smith.

McCabe Curwood

McCabe Curwood benefits from a number of appointments to insurers’ panels. It acts across a wide range of contentious and non-contentious issues in the areas of financial lines, statutory classes, construction, and engineering. Notably, the team’s recent work is precedent-setting; it acted for AAI Limited in the first Supreme Court case under the Motor Accident Injuries Act 2017 (MAIA); Andrew Gorman is a go-to specialist for underwriters in motor vehicle public risk insurance. Further, the team is noted for its technologically advanced initiatives, including an app assisting clients with MAIA-related claims. Stuart Windybank heads up the wider insurance group, where Scott Kennedy, Peter Hunt, Paul Garnon, and Mathew Kaley lead teams in areas along multiple specialty insurance lines. Francesca Menniti has extensive experience handling medical negligence claims. In January 2020, principal Richard Johnson joined the team in Melbourne from Wotton + Kearney.

Practice head(s):

Stuart Windybank

Testimonials

McCabe Curwood provides timely, useful, and pragmatic advice in an easily digestible format.

Mathew Kaley is a leading insurance lawyer with 18 years of in-house experience, which enables him to provide commercially astute advice, with consideration of the business as a whole rather than reactive legal advice focused on just the issue at hand.

Key clients

IAG

QBE Insurance (Australia) / QBE Europe

Zurich Australian Insurance

Allianz Australia

Chubb Insurance

Coles Group

Wesfarmers

AXA/ XL Catlin

Lloyd’s Syndicates

Proclaim Pty

Liberty Specialty Markets

Work highlights

  • Acted for AAI Limited in Supreme Court proceedings involving interpretation of the Motor Accident Injuries Act 2017.
  • Acting for an insurance company in relation to a class action arising out of the Carwoola bushfire in NSW in 2017.
  • Representing the insured in relation to a A$15m claim in the Supreme Court relating to a fire causing extensive damages.

Moray & Agnew

Moray & Agnew is active across all lines of general and speciality insurance, with clients praising the department’s litigation expertise in the personal insurance realm. The team assists a varied mix of clients, such as leading domestic and international general insurers, specialised insurers, underwriters, brokers, and various public and private sector agencies; it is also appointed to the panels of multiple governmental entities and public sector risk carriers. Geoff Connellan sits at the helm of the wider national insurance group, where Peter Tredinnick and Ian Denham are also singled out.

Practice head(s):

Geoff Connellan

Testimonials

Moray & Agnew’s team in Canberra consistently provides excellent personal injury legal advice and always aims for a cost-effective early resolution.

The team we deal with at Moray & Agnew is experienced and respected across the industry; it always goes the extra mile to assist our team and clients within timeframes and at short notice when required.

Moray & Agnew is widely recognised as being one of Australia’s best insurance law firms. Where other law firms may focus on technicalities, Moray & Agnew first seek to understand the clients’ needs and then assesses a matter. The firm also constantly delivers accessible legal advice which breaks down complex legal issues.

Peter Tredinnick is the lawyer I would want on my team in any litigated matter. His wealth of experience and knowledge means that Peter is someone you turn to when you need a lawyer who will cut through the superfluous details and narrow in on the real issues. Peter is proactive (he regularly sends me media articles of matters and issues that are relevant to my work) and anticipates issues before they arise.

Moray and Agnew’s insurance team is smart, responsive, agile, creative, and provides solutions to complex issues. They have represented us superbly now for many years across a number of jurisdictions. They are always available and responsive. They get the big picture and provide commercially astute advice. Absolutely no complaints – they are first-class.

Ian Denham is responsive, available, engaged. Nothing is too much or too small for him. He always picks up his phone or gets back to us immediately. His advice is rock-solid and ethical while remaining commercially astute. He is a standout.

I have been dealing with Moray and Agnew both in Sydney and Canberra for over 25 years. I have always found them to be professional and a leader in their field of personal insurance.

Key clients

AAI

AIA Australia

A & G Insurance

Allianz Insurance Australia

AMP Life

Avant Insurance

AXA XL / AXA Group

Allied World Assurance Group

Dual Australia Pty

Employers Mutual NSW

Hannover Life Re of Australasia

HDI Global, HDI Specialty

Insurance Australia Group

Liberty Speciality Markets

MetLife Insurance

MDA National

QBE Insurance (Australia)

OnePath Life / Zurich Australia

TAL Life

The Colonial Life Assurance Society

Westpac Life Insurance Services

W R Berkley

Work highlights

  • Acted for Mr. Glenn Lynch in a A$5m case addressing the potential reduction of exposure to civil liability of participants in professional sport by reason of provisions of civil liability statutes across Australia.
  • Scored a win for a leading life insurer in a dispute with a 48-year-old former female officer with the NSW Police Force with a back injury.
  • Acted for a doctor in a medical negligence case brought against him in the Supreme Court of NSW by a plaintiff suffering from terminal colon cancer.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Spearheaded by Sydney-based Tricia Hobson and Brisbane-based Brett Solomon, Norton Rose Fulbright’s insurance group is a destination preferred by large insurers and policyholders. The team acts on mandates in Australia, the US, and London, for which it is able to draw on the firm’s global resources; it counts contentious, regulatory, and corporate insurance among its strengths. In particular, the team’s strong suit on the class action front stands out due to its ability to acts as both coverage and defence counsel across trendy sectors such as construction, healthcare, and directors' and officers' liability. Notably, the team is also very active in Covid-19 issues, where Ray Giblett takes the lead on acting for travel and hospitality sector clients. In March 2020, a four-partner team including Nicole Wearne departed to Clyde & Co LLP as did Jacques Jacobs who joined in March 2021.

Practice head(s):

Tricia Hobson; Brett Solomon

Key clients

Allied World Assurance Company

Allity Pty

AMP Insurance

Ansvar

Brit Insurance

Chubb Insurance Australia

CommInsure Life Insurance

Coromin

HDI Gerling Australia Insurance Company

Insurance and Care NSW

Insurance Australia Group

Liberty International Underwriters

Markel

Medical Indemnity Protection Society

Metlife Life Insurance

MLC

Munich Re

QBE Insurance Group

Sonic Healthcare

TAL Life Insurance

Westpac Life Insurance

Winsure Underwriting Pty

WSP Australia Pty

Work highlights

  • Defending premier Australian law firm in a complex class action concerning the scope of solicitors’ duties of care to shareholders during an IPO or fundraising.
  • Defending WSP Structures Pty in the large-scale, high value class action resulting from claims arising from the structural damage observed in the Opal Tower.
  • Advising and appearing on behalf of NSW Health in relation to the issues raised by the Commissioner during the Special Commission of Inquiry into the drug ‘Ice’.

Allens

Led out of Melbourne by Andrew Maher, Allens’ insurance group places a particular emphasis on acting for insurance policyholders, but also routinely acts on the side of the insurers in challenging insurance litigation. The team is adept at handling issues concerning directors and officers liability insurance, industrial special risks and business interruption, property and construction all-risks insurance, and cyber risk, among others. Melbourne-based litigator Louise Jenkins has extensive experience handling contentious insurance work. At the Sydney office, Malcolm Stephens is a go-to adviser on casualty insurance matters, while newly promoted partner Jonathan Light is also a key contact for policyholders.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Maher

Key clients

Allianz

Westpac Banking Corporation

Rio Tinto

Infrastructure Capital Group

SunWater

Newcrest

Bendigo & Adelaide Bank

REST Industry Super

AIG

QBE Insurance Group

Work highlights

  • Acting for SunWater in NSW Supreme Court proceedings against SunWater’s general liability insurers concerning SunWater’s disputed claim for indemnity relating to the Queensland floods class action.
  • Advising on the exposure of Metals & Minerals Insurance Pte, an entity of Rio Tinto, under certain general liability insurance and reinsurance policies between 1997–2012, for liability incurred by a former  subsidiary of Rio Tinto.
  • Assisting Westpac Banking Corporation and Westpac Life Insurance Services with a class action brought on behalf of customers who obtained insurance issued by Westpac Life.

Corrs Chambers Westgarth

Corrs Chambers Westgarth acts on the side of policyholders in significant insurance disputes. Large infrastructure sector projects form the core of the group’s work. Another area of specialism is contentious work in the financial services sector, particularly in relation to surety bond facilities. Melbourne-based insurance litigator Daniel Marquet heads up the practice, where Sydney-based duo Frank Lawson and special counsel Catherine Oldenburg are also noted.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Marquet

Key clients

Chubb

Euler

Vero

Swiss Re

American International Group

Liberty Insurance

Zurich Insurance

Allianz Insurance

Tokio Marine / HCC Insurance

Argo Insurance

IAL

Berkshire Hathaway

Work highlights

  • Handling a claim under professional indemnity insurance policy relating to a large infrastructure project.
  • Acting on a claim under contract works insurance policy relating to a large infrastructure project.

DLA Piper

The multi-disciplinary insurance group at DLA Piper is a popular choice among clients seeking assistance with contentious and non-contentious issues relating to warranty and indemnity insurance, financial lines claims, regulatory matters, cyber risks, and digital disruption. The team is also renowned for its representation of both policyholders and insurers. In light of the recent Covid-19 crisis, the practice is also very active in assisting clients with issues such as disease exclusion clauses, consumer credit coverage, and rent default coverage. Samantha O’Brien leads the practice out of Brisbane and acts for insurers, intermediaries, and financial institutions.

Practice head(s):

Samantha O’Brien

Key clients

Arag Australia

Suncorp

Community Broker Network

Hannover Life Re of Australasia

Insurance Australia Group

Work highlights

  • Advising ARAG on AFS compliance issues arising in relation to the establishment of its operations in Australia.
  • Successfully defended Community Broker Network in relation to an urgent injunction (commenced in the first week of the COVID-19 lockdown) brought by one of its members, DWA Insurance, to prevent the client from suspending or terminating the broker’s authorisation as an authorised representative of CBN.
  • Assisted Hannover Life Re of Australasia with regulatory issues regarding various contractual arrangements and cloud services.

Hall & Wilcox

Hall & Wilcox handles contentious and non-contentious general and statutory insurance matters for a client base consisting of state government schemes, large corporate insurers, and leading brands. The practice regularly acts in conjunction with its colleagues in the tax, funds, wealth, superannuation, and regulatory departments. It is led out of the Sydney office: Rhett Slocombe sits at the helm of the fully integrated national insurance practice, while Matthew Curll serves as head of the general insurance and the financial services and insurance industry groups. Also of note, the team stands out for its Smarter Law solutions involving legal technology, most recently launching an additional legal case management solution. Philip Hopley joined from Herbert Smith Freehills in August 2021.

Practice head(s):

Rhett Slocombe; Matthew Curll

Testimonials

No matter which person you speak with, they deliver a sound, commercial, and sometimes out-of-the-box legal advice that leads to great results. I find that I can contact the team anytime, and vice versa. This brings about a strong relationship that ensures that matters are moved along quickly, economically, and with positive results. The individual solicitors are all focused on delivering great client service, as well as sound legal advice.

Expert in self-insurer representation. Easy to contact by phone and email. An ability and capacity to provide urgent answers and legal advice. An ability to provide holistic legal advice regarding a range of jurisdictions, as well as to provide consistent advice from a national level perspective. Friendly client service. Tech-savvy.

Key clients

Allianz Australia Insurance Group

Tokio Marine Kiln

Insurance Australia Group

NRMA Insurance

QBE Insurance Australia

WorkSafe Victoria

Work highlights

  • Assisted Equestrian Australia and its subsidiaries with the inquests into the accidental deaths of Olivia Inglis and Caitlyn Fischer.
  • Acting for Insurance Australia Group in mass tort recovery actions arising from the Parkerville bushfire in Western Australia.
  • Acted for Ms. Ayre on instructions from her insurer IAG Insurance in proceedings relating to a motor accident.

Jackson McDonald

Jackson McDonald is known for its specialist expertise in the mining, oil and gas sectors. The firm is a suitable destination for clients seeking assistance with claims in areas such as general insurance, personal injury, employers’ indemnity, public and product liability, business interruption, and cyber insurance. Personal injury expert Fiona Dempster heads up the practice and is based in the Perth office, where JC van der Walt, Alex Lustig, and Phillip Lovatt. Further, the firm established a new office in Sydney in 2019; commercial litigator Stefan Sudweeks is the key contact for contentious insurance work.

Practice head(s):

Fiona Dempster

Key clients

ACE / Chubb Insurance Company of Australia

Arch Underwriting

Insurance Australia Group

Insurance Commission of WA

Allianz Australia Insurance

Law Mutual

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended an operator of an oil and gas project in an appeal relating to a worker evacuated from site pursuant to an order under the Mental Health Act.
  • Successfully defended Arch Underwriting in an appeal relating to professional negligence allegations against a mortgage broker.
  • Acted for Arch Underwriting and successfully defended an arbitration and appeal of a PTSD claim by an employee.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP

The insurance team at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP takes advantage of the firm’s traditional litigation strength and focuses on contentious insurance issues. Led by Sydney-based duo Michael Mills and Michelle Fox, the practice acts on the side of both plaintiffs and defendants; it is known for representing large corporate clients and their managers in disputes concerning contracts, insolvencies, product liability, and IP matters. Another area in which the team is particularly prominent is the class action space. Senior associate Nicholas Lennings is also a key figure in Sydney.  

Practice head(s):

Michael Mills; Michelle Fox

Other key lawyers:

Nicholas Lennings

Testimonials

The team is great at elaborating on good strategies which are also well-articulated.

Michelle and Michael are supportive, good listeners, and good communicators.’

Key clients

Marcello Cardaci/ John O’Connor / Gregory Kempton (Forge)

Malcom McHutchinson (Macquarie)

Moira Shire Council and Hobsons Bay City Council

Pitcher Partners

Richmond Valley Council

Work highlights

  • Representing three of the former directors of the Forge group of companies (Forge) in proceedings brought against them by Forge’s liquidator, Ferrier Hodgson, before the Supreme Court of New South Wales.
  • Acting for Richmond Valley Council and Group Members in the Supreme Court of New South Wales, and Moira Shire Council and Hobsons Bay City Council and Group Members in the Supreme Court of Victoria; the claims are brought against  global insurance broker Jardine Lloyd Thompson Pty, seeking compensation in respect of financial losses suffered by certain New South Wales and Victorian local councils as a result of alleged breaches of general law, contract and fiduciary duties.
  • Acting as strategic counsel for Pitcher Partners in relation to an application andd a court order concerning disclosure of insurance documents.

Sparke Helmore Lawyers

Focusing on contentious and non-contentious insurance issues, Sparke Helmore Lawyers acts for large insurers, corporate clients, government agencies, brokers, agents, and claims administrators. The team is increasingly involved in cross-border work as a result of strengthening its international offering by joining the network Global Insurance Law Connect. Other areas showing a recent uptick in instructions are medical negligence, healthcare, and cyber insurance. Sydney-based Chris Wood heads the wider national commercial insurance group and is based in Sydney, where third party liability specialist Gillian Davidson is also a key contact. In Melbourne, James Johnson leads the national statutory lines practice.

Practice head(s):

Chris Wood; James Johnson

Other key lawyers:

Gillian Davidson

Testimonials

The team is determined to get the best for their clients, combining sound legal advice with outstanding commercial and practical outcomes, and doing so whilst maintaining good professional relationships with colleagues, staff, and clients.

The individuals at Sparke Helmore that I work with are professional, kind, considerate, and hardworking.

Key clients

Arthur J Gallagher

Sydney Adventist Hospital

icare

Glencore

PDS Group

Underwriters at Interest c/- Proclaim Management

NRMA

NSW Police Force, Torts and Compensation Law

Allianz Australia Insurance

Work highlights

  • Acted for the Sydney Adventist Hospital in high-profile NSW Supreme Court proceedings brought against the client and another hospital and a clinician.
  • Defending PDS Group, the eight respondent in Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal proceedings concerning insurance issues in the construction industry.
  • Defending a client in proceedings concerning an incident suffered by the plaintiff in a motocross racing event operated and organised by the client.

Ashurst

Fully integrated within the firm’s global network, Ashurst’s recent work stands out in the life insurance sector, where the group is acting on significant M&A transactions, including the Life Group’s A$3bn acquisition of AMP Life’s businesses in Australia and New Zealand. Other main areas of expertise are reinsurance and general insurance work, with a particular focus on the marine, aviation, space, construction sectors, among others. Rehana Box heads up the team, which acts for both insurers and insureds.

Practice head(s):

Rehana Box

Testimonials

Ashurst’s insurance team combines technical and regulatory excellence with a commercial, client-driven focus.

Key clients

Swiss Re

ANZ

Comcover

Genworth Australia

AXA XL

Liberty Financial

Pacific Life

Munich Re

Marsh JLT

Mitsui

Aon

Willis Towers Watson

International Passenger Protection

Specialist Underwriting Agencies Pty

Accident & Health International Underwriting

Travelclick

Pacific Premium Funding

AGL

ANZ Bank

AGL

Aurecon

Boart Longyear

Qantas

Brookfield

Work highlights

  • Appointed for 5 years as insurance adviser to Canadian Defence for Canada’s new Canadian Surface Combatant and current Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships and Joint Support Ships.
  • Acting for Resolution Life Group on novel regulatory issues between Australia and New Zealand, on the use of reinsurance to satisfy New Zealand’s regulatory concerns, and on a potential insurance scheme under the Life Act.
  • Acting for Deutsche Bank on a transaction on negotiating a strategic Islamic trade credit policy concerning a transaction in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Barry.Nilsson.

Offering insurance legal services across six states, Barry.Nilsson.’s insurance and health group is led out of Brisbane by Rhett Kennedy. The team’s client roster notably includes national insurance companies, as well as London-based syndicates and companies. Clients laud the team’s expertise in insurance litigation, although the group’s work spans a wide range including professional indemnity, employment practices liability, directors’ and officers’ liability, and casualty insurance. Also, the group’s legal tech initiatives are worth noting, including utilising artificial intelligence to predict outcomes concerning employment practices liability claims.

Practice head(s):

Rhett Kennedy

Testimonials

Experts in insurance litigation. Excellent strategic advice.

Peter Ewin is very hands-on. He is an outstanding litigator and an excellent strategist. He has taken the time to understand us as a client and consistently delivers results to meet both our expectations, and those of our insurer.

Key clients

AAI (Suncorp)

Insurance Australia

AXA XL

QBE Insurance Australia

AIG

Chubb

QBE European Operations

Queensland Government

SAicorp

Enstar Group

Work highlights

  • Acting in a high-profile, multi-party proceeding in the Supreme Court of Victoria concerning allegation of use of non-compliant cladding on upgrade works at The Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne.
  • Acting for a corporation on a matter concerning a bushfire in New South Wales, which allegedly caused property and personal injury damage in excess of AU$3m.
  • Acting for a multinational insurance company on defending domestic insurers in the last of three recovery actions brought by a number of London market insurers in relation to an electrical fire.

McCullough Robertson

The Brisbane-based insurance and corporate risk group at McCullough Robertson focuses on a wide range of areas of commercial insurance, such as product liability, professional indemnity, contract works, property, and directors and officers’ liability. The team’s client roster is varied, including insurers, public and private corporate entities, and brokers. Brad Russell sits at the helm of the practice.

Practice head(s):

Brad Russell

Other key lawyers:

Stephen White; James Lynagh

Testimonials

A dedicated team focused on achieving outcomes for clients.

Meridian Lawyers

Meridian Lawyers acts for domestic and international insurers, companies, London-based syndicates, and brokers. Due to its significant medical negligence insurance expertise, the team also assists a large roster of healthcare sector clients. Other areas of focus include professional indemnity, general liability, and London market insurance. Sydney-based Andrew Saxton heads up the group, where Robert Crittenden is also a key figure.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Saxton

Testimonials

A firm largely dedicated to insurance in a broad range of areas and specialties. They have a broad depth of skills in allied health, liability, PI, and property.

Passionate for our business and accountable for the outcomes they deliver to our clients. Highly knowledgeable, experienced, and wise team members, who work collaboratively with our team to develop and implement defence strategies and provide sound advice.

Rob Crittenden has a wealth of experience in liability and PI, a deep analyser of issues, and someone who finds practical solutions.

Dennis Cronin is a very experienced liability lawyer, who is highly respected for his practical approach and understanding clients requirements.

Understanding clients’ objectives is Mark Birbeck‘s way of addressing challenging litigation across various lines of business.

Rob Minc is an articulate thinker when it comes to litigation strategy; Rob is driven to find the best solution for his clients.

Key clients

Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty

Guild Insurance

American Insurance Group

Insurance Australia Group

Chubb Insurance Australia

Liberty Specialty Markets

CHU Underwriting Agencies Pty

HDI Global SE, Australia

Marsh

Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance

Allianz Insurance Australia

Work highlights

  • Acting for AIG Australia and Allianz Global (London), the Malicious Product Tamper insurers of Wesfarmers on a claim that arose from the strawberry tampering crisis.
  • Acting for Cochlear in relation to the Cochlear CI512 product liability claims.
  • Acting for AIG USA in a large pollution case brought by Qantas against Jones Lang LaSalle.

Mills Oakley Lawyers

Acting nationwide, Mills Oakley Lawyers’s insurance group assists insurers and insureds with both front- and back-end insurance matters. Of particular note, the team has carved out a strong reputation in the insurance litigation realm. Daren Curry leads the practice out of Sydney, where Louise Cantrill is a go-to adviser for business management risk issues. The Sydney-based team expanded its personal injury offering with the appointment of Danny Khoshaba, who joined from Hunt & Hunt at the beginning of 2020. Further, Stuart Eustace and Nieva Connell are the key practitioners in the Melbourne-based team. Mark Civitella is noted in Perth.

Practice head(s):

Daren Curry

Testimonials

Very strong in marine insurance issues and recovery.

Frazer Hunt and special counsel Maurice Lynch are both experts in their field.

The firm’s workers compensation team understands my business and needs, and works with us towards creative solutions in complex matters involving multiple stakeholders.

Danny Khoshaba’s accessibility and commercial mindedness stand him out amongst his peers. We appreciate Danny’s understanding of the business of insurance and his partnering with us in achieving outcomes, all bringing some excellent results in recent years.

The team at Mills Oakley represents an extension of our own business unit as opposed to a simple service provider. They are invested in making our business flourish by providing top-notch legal advice to our clients and partnering strongly with us in education and marketing with clients. They are a specialist team with an unrivaled track record in providing local government tort advice.

Michael Down is accessible, knowledgeable, and invested in getting the best results for our scheme. He has a strong rapport with our clients is both respected and liked in the local government industry.

Key clients

AAI (Suncorp Group)

Allianz Australia

Chubb Insurance

Insurance Australia

QBE Insurance (Australia)

Statewide Mutual NSW

Munich Re

Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance

HDI Gerling Industrie Versicherung (trading as HDI Global SE)

Berkley Insurance Australia

Work highlights

  • Acted for a large Australian private commercial construction company on the defence of multiple personal injury claims arising out of the collapse of a concrete slab during the construction of a distribution centre building.
  • Acting for AAI, the insurer of a retail landlord, which was sued by its homewares shop tenant for breaches of the Retail Tenancies Act.
  • Acted for Danfoss Australia Pty on the inquest into the 2016 deaths of four people who died on the Thunder River Rapids at Dreamworld, a theme park on the Gold Coast.