Rising Stars

Insurance in Australia

Clyde & Co LLP

The powerhouse insurance practice at Clyde & Co LLP leverages the strength of its global network and hugely experienced team to advise major multinational and domestic insurers, underwriters, corporates, brokers, and marker syndicates, on a diverse spectrum of matters. These include class actions, civil penalty proceedings, management liability, cyber claims, regulatory compliance, product recalls, litigated coverage, professional indemnity claims, and business interruption test cases. Headed in Sydney by Lucinda Lyons, the group works with an impressive range of prestigious clients. The team is backed by corporate insurance expert Dean Carrigan and John Moran in Sydney, and Nicole Wearne in Melbourne. The arrival of Patrick Boardman from Wotton + Kearney in Feb 2021 has also strengthened the team.

Practice head(s):

Lucinda Lyons

Testimonials

‘The depth of expertise makes us feel comfortable when dealing with new issues or industry-wide issues that are open to varied interpretation. The advice we receive is practical and we are confident in taking changes to market emanating from them.’

‘We have found the team at Clydes responsive when we need assistance at short notice. This is complemented by at times putting in very long hours when we are working to tight and/or uncontrolled timeframes.’

‘Our organisation has had a relationship with individual members of Clydes over many years and in some instances with individuals from firms that have been acquired. The teams that we deal with have excellent reputations in the market, deep expertise, and a pragmatism on our issues that helps to bring them to completion in a reasonable timeframe’.

‘One of the leading insurance law firms in Australia.’

‘Dean Carrigan is without a doubt a leading individual – superb knowledge of the law and the industry, very user-friendly and responsive.’

Key clients

Insurance Council of Australia

Beazley

Blue Zebra Insurance

Former directors of Forge Group

AUB Group

AXA XL

Dual Group

360 Underwriting Solutions

Chubb Insurance Australia Limited

Arch Worldwide Reinsurance Group

Work highlights

  • Acting on behalf of the Insurance Council of Australia and various insurers in the Quarantine Act business interruption test case, the determination of which will be of importance to the insurance market.
  • Advising Arch Re on its acquisition of a majority stake in data-driven marketing and distribution solutions provider, Precision Marketing Asia Pacific.
  • Acting on behalf of two former directors of Forge Group after the well-publicised collapse of the company.

Herbert Smith Freehills

The team at Herbert Smith Freehills combines a long-established reputation in the Australian market with comprehensive international capabilities, enabling it to effectively support major insurers, brokers, and policyholders on a broad spectrum of contentious and non-contentious matters. These include business interruption issues, regulatory compliance, trade credit insurance policies, market entry, cross-currency swaps, class actions, D&O renewals, indemnity insurance for M&A transactions, and divestment of group insurance entities. Headed by experienced commercial litigator Mark Darwin in Brisbane, and regulatory expert Michael Vrisakis in Sydney. the group is backed by Guy Narburgh and senior associate Tamanna Islam in Sydney.

Practice head(s):

Mark Darwin; Michael Vrisakis

Other key lawyers:

Guy Narburgh; Tamanna Islam

Key clients

UK FCA

Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc

Lendlease

Willis Australia

Mount Gibson Iron Ltd

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Allianz Australia Limited

Suncorp Group

TAL Limited

Credit Suisse

Work highlights

  • Acted for the UK’s FCA when it brought a test case involving 9 insurers which reviewed 21 policies and how they should respond to 6 categories of businesses affected by the pandemic.
  • Acts for Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc in relation to two separate funded class actions against a subsidiary, JLT Risk Solutions Pty Ltd (JLT) (formerly called Jardine Lloyd Thompson Pty Ltd) in the Supreme Courts of NSW and Victoria.
  • Acting for Lendlease in relation to recoveries against its former insurance broker for professional negligence in relation to the placement of a First Party Professional Indemnity insurance policy in respect of the Northern Territory Security Facility project.

Kennedys

UK-headquartered insurance leader Kennedys has had a presence in Sydney since 2006, and recently launched in Perth with the hire of a large team from Clyde & Co. The practice, which also includes a fast-growing Melbourne team, works with major insurers, reinsurers, brokers, and policyholders on a diverse span of insurance law issues. The team is led from the Sydney office by international insurance and re-insurance authority Matt Andrews, where he is supported by professional indemnity expert Raylee Hartwell and special counsel Llinos Kent.

Practice head(s):

Matt Andrews

Other key lawyers:

Raylee Hartwell; Llinos Kent; Jonathan Wyatt

Testimonials

‘The team are quick to respond and provide advice regarding notification requirements under the Privacy Act. In addition, if a notification is not required, they do not drag out their involvement. They provide continuous and relevant updates during more complex matters and keep the client updated with plain English advice.’

Key clients

London Market insurers: Liberty Specialty Markets, Axis, Beazley, Brit, CV Starr & Co., Newline Group, Pembroke, Talbot, Tokio Marine HCC, Antares, CFC

International Insurers: Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance (BHSI), Allied World Insurance, Aspen, SOMPO

Reinsurers: Everest Re Group, Munich Re, Swiss Re

Aeolus Capital Management Ltd and Aeolus Re Ltd

Healthscope Operations Pty Ltd

HDI Global SE

Proclaim

Work highlights

  • Acting for Swiss Re and a large market of international reinsurers in a high value, specialised and complex coverage dispute with Newcrest Mining, following the collapse of a large tailings dam in 2018 at Newcrest’s Cadia Valley Mine in Orange, NSW.
  • Advising a market of reinsurers on coverage matters in view of the findings of the Banking Royal Commission involving NAB and the costs incurred in responding to the Royal Commission and all subsequent claims (including class actions and ASIC investigations) brought against NAB and its subsidiaries.
  • Acting on behalf of Albany Capital Investors Pty Ltd in proceedings relating to the acquisition, development, and funds management business of Ashington encountering difficulties in raising construction finance and capital.

King & Wood Mallesons

The team at King & Wood Mallesons advises on regulatory investigations, compliance, professional indemnity, D&O insurance and major insurance disputes, working with market-leading insurers, reinsurers, and policyholders. Headed by veteran insurance litigator Travis Toemoe in Sydney, the group’s client portfolio includes top industry names as Zurich and QBE Insurance. The group also includes professional indemnity claim expert Peter Yeldham, special counsel and warranty and indemnity insurance specialist Mandy Tsang, and senior associate Emma White.

Practice head(s):

Travis Toemoe

Other key lawyers:

Peter Yeldham; Mandy Tsang

Testimonials

‘We used Travis Toemoe and Peter Yeldham’s team on a large dispute. The team bent over backward to help and demonstrated great technical as well as soft skills, good objectivity and challenge, extensive capability and experience along with good commercial acumen. They worked incredibly hard, remained calm and professional at all times, and never gave any hint of complaint or negativity – not once. Great team and very happy to recommend.’

Key clients

Legal Practitioners’ Liability Committee

The Star Entertainment Group Limited (and other entities in The Star group)

Westpac

Qld Bulk Water Authority / Seqwater

Comcover

Suncorp Group

QBE Insurance Group Limited

Zurich

Lloyds Underwriters

Work highlights

  • Advised The Star Entertainment Group Limited (and other entities in The Star group) in its claim against the insurers of its Industrial Special Risks (ISR) insurance policy for business interruption losses suffered in connection with COVID-19.
  • Advised Resolution Life Services Australia Pty Ltd (Resolution) on the impact and scope of the unfair contract terms (UCT) regime under subdivision BA of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001 (Cth) (ASIC Act) on Resolution’s life insurance contracts.
  • Advised the CSJ joint venture on its potential recovery strategy following its completion of its D&C contract on Sydney’s WestConnex M4 east project and potential for different insurance recoveries from the CSJ’s insurers as well as the insurers of third parties.

Minter Ellison

The insurance and corporate risk group at Minter Ellison remains an important market player, with a substantial practice advising major insurers, underwriters, brokers, as well as corporate and finance clients, on a diverse range of insurance law matters. The team is praised for its 'consistency across practice areas and geographic locations'. Led by Peter Coats in Melbourne, the team acts for key market players like Westpac General Insurance and Willis Towers Watson. The group includes professional indemnity expert Chern Tan and reinsurance specialist Kemsley Brennan in Sydney.

Practice head(s):

Peter Coats

Other key lawyers:

Kemsley Brennan; Chern Tan

Testimonials

‘Kemsley Brennan and Kathryn Rigney both provide an outstanding level of technical expertise on complex coverage issues and approach the defence of claims with the right mix of solid commercial practicality.’

‘Consistency across practice areas and geographic locations is excellent.’

‘Good practical legal advice with an understanding of managing the client relationship and protecting insured’s interests.’

‘Greg Carfoot – commercial and good focus on insurers concerns, very quick to understand engineering/technical construction complexities.’

‘Chern Tan is a highly skilled legal practitioner that has exquisite knowledge of insurance law as one of the authors of the highly regarded Insurance Contracts Handbook. Chern has been a partner of our business for several years and his knowledge and commitment to our clients is commendable.’

‘Minter Ellison is Australia’s premier insurance advisory firm. With staff like Kemsley Brennan and Chern Tan, the insurance practice is an industry leader.’

Key clients

AIG Australia Limited

Allianz Australia Insurance Limited

AMP Limited

Ansvar Insurance

Insurance Australia Group (IAG)

Legal Practitioners’ Liability Committee

National Australia Bank (NAB)

Suncorp

Westpac General Insurance

Willis Towers Watson

Work highlights

  • Acting for Allied World Assurance Co in a large and significant class action that was commenced in the Supreme Court of NSW against various companies that operated The Cosmetic Institute (TCI) clinics in NSW and Queensland.
  • Acting against Western Power for the owner of land damaged by a bush fire through her liability insurer, Westpac General Insurance.

Wotton + Kearney

Wotton + Kearney is part of the Legalign Global alliance, which also includes insurance specialist firms in the UK, US, Germany and Canada. These connections enable the firm to provide an even more joined-up service to major insurers, brokers, and corporate policyholders, on a broad spectrum of insurance law matters. The team is headed by founding partner David Kearney, general liability practice leader Charles Simon, property and energy practice leader Adam Chylek, and head of product liability Belinda Henningham, head of workplace and EPL Chris Mossman, head of cyber Kieran Doyle in Sydney, and financial lines practice leader Cain Jackson in Melbourne. The group is backed in Sydney by financial institution claims expert Andrew Moore.

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Moore

Testimonials

‘I have high regard for most of the partners who I consider conduct themselves with integrity and provide good quality legal advice. They understand insurance well and are commercial but also some have acted as defence counsel or have worked within the top tier firms and so understand how things work on that side of the fence as well. Customer service is high on their priority list.’

‘Andrew Moore and Charles Simon are great partners to work with, but also they are good to deal with when they are acting for the opposition. I have high regard for their work and for their integrity.’

 

 

Key clients

AIG

Allianz

AXA XL

Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance

Chubb Insurance Australia

DUAL Australia

Liberty Specialty Markets (LSM)

Zurich Australian Insurance

More than 20 London Underwriters (Lloyd’s of London)

Work highlights

  • Acting in a securities class action against the world’s largest grower of Indian sandalwood.
  • Acting for more than 20 global market insurers that provide the Contract Works project insurance for the construction of the onshore facilities for Inpex’s Ichthys LNG project in Darwin.
  • Acting for Halifax Vogel Group in cladding class action proceedings brought against the manufacturer and importer of Alucobond branded aluminium composite panels widely used across Australia in numerous building applications.

Clayton Utz

The experienced insurance group at Clayton Utz is known for being 'one of the few practices in Sydney focusing on policyholders', and is known for having 'high-quality lawyers available to advise on the full range of insurance matters'. Headed in Sydney by 'deep thinker' David Gerber, the group’s reach extends across a variety of sectors, working with top clients in areas such as aviation, technology, and energy. The team is backed by reinsurance expert Fred Hawke - a long-serving ex-partner who since 2019 has been a part-time consultant to the firm - and policyholder disputes specialist Lucy Terracall at the Melbourne office.

Practice head(s):

David Gerber

Other key lawyers:

Fred Hawke; Lucy Terracall

Testimonials

‘David Gerber has deep domain expertise in the insurance field. Very thorough/detailed oriented, and very responsive/quick to respond where necessary. Has a good perspective on the tradeoff between legal and commercial outcomes.’

‘Clayton Utz’s insurance team is excellent. They have a number of high-quality lawyers available to advise on the full range of insurance matters. Having worked with them for more than five years I have no hesitation in recommending them.’

‘David Gerber is a deep thinker and has an excellent knowledge of the law and practice of insurance. His advice was indispensable to our successful resolution of a long-standing and complicated PI insurance claim. Simply put, without David’s advice, we would have failed.’

‘One of the few practices in Sydney focusing on policyholders.’

‘David Gerber has a calm and client-friendly manner. In addition, because of his solid in-house experience, he understands how to deliver advice to and deal with internal stakeholders.’

Key clients

Nuix

Virgin Australia Administrators

Natixis

AusNet Services

Woodplex Timber Pty Ltd

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

AMP Limited

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Australia Pacific LNG Pty Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised Nuix in relation to the insurance aspects of its initial public offering (IPO) on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) – the listing was the largest IPO in Australia in 2020.
  • Advised on a number of insurance matters in relation to the administration of Virgin Australia, Australia’s second-largest airline.
  • Acting for two groups of insureds in group “test case” proceedings brought by insurers with the approval of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA).

Colin Biggers & Paisley

The insurance group at domestic firm Colin Biggers & Paisley is known for being both 'practical and very commercial', working with domestic insurers and reinsurers, brokers, claims managers, underwriting agencies, and policyholders, across a comprehensive range of issues. Headed by professional indemnity experts Gavin Creighton in Sydney, and Cathryn Prowse in Melbourne, the group represents key insurance market players like Chubb Insurance and Zurich. The group is backed in Sydney by insurance litigation authority Patrick Monahan, infrastructure specialist Jonathan Newby, and Keith Bethlehem, who advises on cyber risk.

Testimonials

‘Colin Biggers & Paisley’s strength lies in the breadth of experience and technical knowledge of the team. They are a go-to firm for complex matters. They’re priced competitively as well.’

‘Jonathan Newby’s technical legal knowledge is exceptional. His advice is succinct and he summarises the key issues, even when very complex, to make digesting advice easier for clients. He is excellent at putting across complex arguments and legal points during the dispute resolution process.’

‘This team, especially with Jonathan Newby, are not only really excellent specialists in all insurance areas, and in particular with the very complex claims, but are practical and very commercial. CBP also has the ability to have excellent lawyers around the partners who are on top of their matters and great to deal with.’

Key clients

Chubb Insurance Australia

Liberty Special Markets

Zurich Australian Insurance Limited

Argo Global

Catholic Church Insurance

McGrath Nicol

QBE Insurance

Neon Underwriting

ProRisk

Downer EDI

Work highlights

  • Acting for DSHE Holdings Limited (Receiver and Manager Appointed) (In Liquidation) in its defence of two shareholder class actions commenced in the NSW Supreme Court in relation to the $600m collapse of Dick Smith.
  • Acting for London market D&O insurers in their exposure to claims surrounding the collapse of Quintis, Australia’s largest agri-business managed investment scheme.
  • Acting for L.U. Simon Builders in proceedings resulting from the high-profile building facade fire at the Lacrosse Building in Melbourne’s Docklands related to combustible cladding.

DLA Piper

The insurance group at DLA Piper recently received a major boost with the arrival of industry leader Tricia Hobson from Norton Rose Fulbright in May 2021. The ‘contemporary, dynamic‘ team advises major domestic national and international insurers and reinsurers, underwriters, policyholders, industry bodies, and regulators across the wide spectrum of matters across the practice area. These include class actions, business interruption cases, D&O disputes, W&I claims, regulatory investigations and enforcement. The team is headed by insurance regulatory authority Samantha O’Brien in Brisbane and commercial litigation expert James Morse in Sydney, and backed by professional liability specialist Carmen Elder at the Sydney office, and senior associate Ann-Marie Coleman in Brisbane.

Other key lawyers:

Tricia Hobson; Carmen Elder

Testimonials

‘DLA Piper represents great value for money given the amounts at stake in the matters where they have been instructed. They have unmatched expertise in providing coverage advice on complex and high-value warranty & indemnity insurance claims.’

‘My main contacts are James Morse and Clancy O’Donovan, and they are a great team together. James and Clancy are incredibly commercial and provide clear and realistic advice. They will always make sure strengths and weaknesses in a claim are fully explained and you can depend on them to advise you correctly.’

‘James Morse is the master of client care – even though we have instructed him from London, he is always incredibly responsive. It is not uncommon to email him in the afternoon (London time) and receive a response within minutes, even though it is late at night in Sydney. This means that we do not lose a day each time we correspond, as can be the case with other law firms that we instruct in the APAC region.’

‘This is a contemporary dynamic team that work particularly cohesively without ego, enabling a very high standard and high level of carefully considered advice being provided. Their level of collaboration brings huge benefits and certainty around advice that is provided making the partnership with this practice very cost-efficient for us and our clients. Every insurance partner is a stand-out practitioner in their own right but collectively they are a group to reckon with.’

‘James Morse, Sophie Devitt, Cameron McLean, Sarah Fountain. All of these partners are always available to any of my team. Our clients feel protected by the umbrella of their knowledge and commitment. Importantly they have all taken a great deal of time to ensure that they understand our business to its core and our values. Their knowledge of the law their own values that match our corporate values makes them stand out and very different to many of their competitors.’

Key clients

Allianz Australia

Allianz Worldwide Partners

AON Australia

AXA XL

ARAG

Berkley Insurance Australia

Hannover Life Re

Liberty Mutual Insurance

ProRisk

QBE European Underwriting Services (Europe)

RACQ Insurance

Steadfast Group

Suncorp

Swiss Re

Tokio Marine HCC

Youi

Work highlights

  • Acted for Swiss Re in an industry-wide test case, a litigation in Australia with regard to business interruption claims arising from COVID-19.
  • Advised FreightSafe, InsurTech business that provides claims management services on behalf of insurers and freight companies, on the implications of the upcoming reforms which makes insurance claims handling a financial service.
  • Acting in for Chubb insurance on a construction claim, stemming from an incident where a cigarette butt was left un-extinguished on the balcony of the Lacrosse residential tower in Melbourne.

HFW

HFW - which has been present in Australia for over 15 years - works with major insurance and reinsurance companies, brokers, mutuals, and policyholders on a broad range of contentious and non-contentious matters. The UK headquartered firm now has three offices across the country in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth, and its 120-strong team handles business interruption cases, casualty claims, high-value class action litigation, property damage, and product liability claims. The team is led by Richard Jowett, who is backed by Brendan McCashin and special counsel Sophy Woodward in Melbourne.

Practice head(s):

Richard Jowett

Other key lawyers:

Brendan McCashin; Sophy Woodward

Testimonials

‘An excellent insurance team with strong market insights and significant experience in acting for both insurers and insureds in significant claims. Perceptive, responsive, and dedicated to achieving the best outcomes for their clients.’

‘Richard Jowett – significant depth of market experience and intelligence. Thoughtful and strategic advice.’

‘The whole HFW team is well across all insurance/reinsurance/claims/governance case matters. Their backup team, when a lawyer is away, is first class. Governance in insurance is always changing – the HFW team are across it.’

‘We received excellent work from Richard Jowett, Brendan McCashin and  Sophy Woodward. All met tight deadlines, especially during Covid (with six lockdowns).’

‘Deep expertise and client advocacy. Commercial rather than litigious outlook.’

‘Richard Jowett – A deeply experienced insurance lawyer with global experience and a commercial outlook.’

‘Sophy Woodward – incredibly thorough and hard working. A real eye for detail and incredible ability to retain information.’

Lander & Rogers

The insurance law and litigation group at independent Australian firm Lander & Rogers handles a wide range of work, from professional indemnity and casualty policies to construction claims and management liability claims, working with both domestic and international insurers, brokers, self-insurers, and government agencies. Led by insurance litigation expert Ari Abrahams and professional indemnity authority Julie Smith at the Melbourne office, the team’s portfolio contains such key market players as Chubb Insurance and Allianz. The group is backed in Sydney by class action specialist Jonathan Hunt.

Practice head(s):

Ari Abrahams; Julie Smith

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Hunt

Testimonials

‘Down to earth and responsive to feedback and ideas about how a matter should be run. I can trust them to be diplomatic and take the right approach with insureds. This contrasts greatly with other service providers in the construction PI area who can be rigid and are not as skilled in diplomacy with difficult insureds.’

‘Apart from their great expertise in construction PI litigation, they have a lot of diversity in their team, are very good with electronic document management (and utilising it effectively while keeping the costs of this down) and have a deep network of experts.’

Key clients

Victorian Managed Insurance Authority

AXA XL

AIG Australia Limited

QBE European Operations

The Hartford

Insurance Australia Limited

Liberty Specialty Markets – PI

BMS Group Limited

Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty

Liberty Specialty Markets – Liability

Victorian Managed Insurance Authority

Legal Practitioners’ Liability Committee

MS Amlin plc

OAMPS Insurance Brokers Ltd

Wesfarmers Limited

Brit Insurance

Coles Supermarkets Australia Pty Ltd

HDI Global SE

Zurich Australian Insurance Limited

Chubb Insurance Australia Limited

Auto & General Holdings Pty Ltd

Swiss Re International SE

CNA Hardy

Allianz Australia Insurance

Boral Procurement

Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company

Liberty Specialty Markets – Property + Energy

Manchester Underwriting Management Limited

Tokio Marine Kiln Group Limited

Human Rights Law Centre

Proclaim Management Solutions Pty Ltd

Victorian Government

Ganellen Pty Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advising insurers in relation to a class action initiated as a result of the alleged failure of Wivenhoe dam during the 2011 Queensland floods.
  • Acting as defence counsel on behalf of TfNSW in the Sydney Light Rail class action, which alleges that TfNSW’s conduct in authorising or permitting the construction of the Sydney Light Rail (SLR), and or, causing any delays associated with its construction constitutes both private and public nuisance.
  • Acted on behalf of the first excess layer Public Offering Securities Insurance insurers in the Dick Smith insurance class action (second, third and fourth defendants).

Moray & Agnew

The experienced insurance group at Moray & Agnew leverages the strength of its sizeable national team to handle a range of work, covering professional indemnity, public liability, class actions andproperty liability. The team is headed in Sydney by national managing partner and head of general insurance Geoff Connellan, head of financial lines Michael Polorotoff, head of professional indemnity Ian Denham, head of medical malpractice and disciplinary Suzanne Wallace, compulsory third party lead John Cooper, Workers Compensation head Stephen Harris, and Stephen Taylor-Jones, who leads dust and toxic tort. In Melbourne, James Collier is the head of builders warranty, and Gerry Davies and Catherine McAdam, who lead the life insurance division.

Testimonials

‘The team is very responsive, provides practical legal advice and is very friendly.’

‘The lawyers are great, easy to deal with, responsive and they know their practice areas very well.’

‘I know that when the Perth office of Moray & Agnew are on board, I am in very safe hands. t is abundantly clear that client needs are front and centre.’

‘Solid and reliable – a top tier firm on our legal panel.’

 

Key clients

QBE Insurance (Australia) Limited

Insurance Australia Group Ltd

Allianz Insurance Australia Limited

Avant Insurance Limited

AIA Australia Limited

Australian Capital Territory Government

ACT Insurance Authority

Australia Post

Auto & General Insurance Ltd

AMP Life

AXA XL / AXA Group

Allied World Assurance Group

Berkley Insurance Australia Sydney

Coles Group

Dual Australia Pty Ltd

Employers Mutual NSW Ltd

Hannover Life Re of Australasia

HDI Global, HDI Specialty

Insurance Commission of Western Australia

Jardine Lloyd Thompson Australia

Legal Practitioners Liability Committee

Liberty Speciality Markets

MetLife Insurance Limited

MDA National

OnePath Life Limited / Zurich Australia Limited

TAL Life Limited

The Colonial Life Assurance Society Limited

Motor Accident Insurance Commission (Queensland) / The Nominal Defendant

Queensland State Government new 2020 appointment to the State of Queensland’s ‘Whole of Government’ panel

Telstra Corporation Limited

Westpac Life Insurance Services Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted on behalf of Auto & General Insurance in a long-running matter in relation to a class action involving a fire that turned into a major bushfire destroying the Scotsburn area.
  • Acted for a plastic/reconstructive surgeon, and his medical indemnity insurer, against a claim for alleged physical and psychological injuries following a patient’s breast reconstruction surgery.
  • Acted in the case of a deceased Sydney man who took out a life insurance policy with OnePath, now valued at $2.63m and was found have made a fraudulent non-disclosure when he represented that he did not smoke (at least in the last 12 months) and had never used drugs.

Allens

The insurance group at leading Australian firm Allens draws on an impressive bench of talent to advise international insurers, reinsurers, brokers, underwriters, and policyholders, on work such as policy disputes, professional negligence claims, and regulatory investigations and enforcement. Since 2012 the firm has operated in partnership with UK magic circle firm Linklaters under an integrated alliance. Led by disputes and investigations practice group leader Andrew Maher in Melbourne, the team’s client portfolio features the Westpac Banking Corporation and the Insurance Council of Australia. Other key figures include insurance litigator Louise Jenkins in Melbourne and Jonathan Light in Sydney.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Maher

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Light; Louise Jenkins

Testimonials

‘Strategy and commercial capability & understanding that goes well beyond the legal aspects of the matter.’

Key clients

Sunwater

Whitehaven Coal

Infrastructure Capital Group

Metals & Minerals Insurance (subsidiary of Rio Tinto)

CIMIC

Westpac Banking Corporation

Newcrest

REST Industry Super

Insurance Australia Group

Insurance Council of Australia

Work highlights

  • Acting for CIMIC as Plaintiff in NSW Supreme Court proceedings against the Insurers of CIMIC’s 2011/12 and 2010/11 D&O insurance program (comprising a total of 10 defendants).
  • Advising IAG and the Insurance Council of Australia in relation to claims arising under business interruption insurance currently being run as industry test cases in the Federal Court of Australia.
  • Acting for Sunwater in NSW Supreme Court proceedings against SunWater’s general liability insurers concerning SunWater’s disputed claim for indemnity concerning the Queensland floods class action.

Corrs Chambers Westgarth

The seasoned team at Corrs Chambers Westgarth advises national and international insurers, reinsurers, major multinational corporations, and government bodies, on a broad spectrum of both contentious and non-contentious insurance law matters. Led by Daniel Marquet in Melbourne, the group’s client portfolio includes Chubb Insurance and Swiss Re, and spans the travel, financial services, infrastructure, mining, and construction sectors. The group includes 'outstanding' special counsel Catherine Oldenburg and veteran insurance litigator Frank Lawson, now a counsel at the firm.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Marquet

Testimonials

‘The specialist insurance practice is uniquely positioned because it is highly expert in insurance law, but credibly independent of the insurance industry yet well respected by the market and the profession. Catherine Oldenburg is outstanding, in particular.

‘Catherine Oldenburg is outstanding.’

‘A group of strong individuals with in-depth knowledge and experience on insurance law.’

‘The team is highly responsive and shows genuine care in relation to the successful outcome of the work.’

‘The quality of the advice is of an exceptional standard. Catherine Oldenberg and Michael do Rozario are responsive and always well prepared. They both show a clear understanding of our business and its operating environment and their advice speaks to this context.’

 

Key clients

Chubb

Euler

Vero

Swiss Re

American International Group (client for 6 years)

Liberty Insurance

Zurich Insurance (client for 7 years)

Allianz Insurance

Tokio Marine/HCC Insurance (client for 4 years)

Argo Insurance

IAL

Berkshire Hathaway

Hall & Wilcox

From Australian corporate insurers and clients in the Lloyd’s of London insurance market to underwriters and a range of multinationals, the experienced team at Hall & Wilcox advises clients across major markets on a diverse spectrum of issues. Such matters extend to professional liability, public and product liability, mass torts, personal injury, workers’ compensation claims, business interruption, and contracts works policies. Led in Sydney by national head of insurance Rhett Slocombe and the head of general insurance Matthew Curll, the team’s portfolio spans sectors includeing sport, transport, mining and construction. The group includes Matt McDonald and national worker’s compensation self-insurance head Ilona Strong in Melbourne, and public liability expert Rachael Arnold at the Sydney office. Philip Hopley joined the team from Herbert Smith Freehills in mid-2021.

Practice head(s):

Rhett Slocombe; Matthew Curll

Testimonials

‘The workers’ compensation team are particularly engaging, respond quickly, listen to stakeholders, and are always happy to offer assistance in the value add space. There is a high level of trust in clients with Hall & Wilcox. The brand is also widely recognised for the development of their people.’

‘They are open and engaging which promotes a high sense of trust in the people and the advice they provide. They also have a strong commercial focus on claims outcomes.’

‘User friendly with good technical skills.’

‘Hall & Wilcox are an industry leader for representing self-insurers in workers’ compensation schemes. The firm has an amazing ability to provide straight-to-the-point advice, taking into account all the relevant considerations whilst taking a commercial approach to litigation. The abundance of knowledge results in outstanding outcomes, great relationships, and ongoing development. The people are tech-savvy, friendly, and easy to get a hold of. The firm are always thinking about improving the experience for us as a client, by using new technology. The innovation strategies Hall & Wilcox implement saves us time and money.’

‘Strong on developing and maintaining relationships. Does so via regular communication at key points, sound easy to understand advice, and solid outcomes.’

‘Matt McDonald is very helpful, open to discuss issues, sets clear expectations, and gets solid outcomes. Anton Vucak is a pleasure to deal with and values the relationship. Very commercial in advice, decisions and outcomes.’

‘Ilona Strong, whilst managing a portfolio of self-insurer clients, always returns calls the same day. Ilona is able to provide on-the-go advice, thinks strategically, always puts the client first, and delivers great legal outcomes for us. Ilona provides great customer service, easy-to-read advice, is tech-savvy, maintains great relationships with other practitioners in the industry, and always takes a non-litigious approach to disputes.’ 

Key clients

Insurance Australia Group (IAG)

Tokio Marine Kiln

Sandfire Resources NL and Allianz Australia Insurance Limited

Work highlights

  • Engineered for Insurance Australia Group (IAG) a litigation-funding model, which has enabled insurer clients to share the costs and risks of high quantum, complex bushfire claims (collectively valued at over $365m) in order to achieve efficient and cost effective resolutions.
  • Acting on behalf of a successful defendant employer, involving a proceeding in the District Court of Western Australia, which narrowed the scope of an employer’s duty of care on mine sites for recreational activities and affirmed the principles of vicarious liability in a fly-in/fly-out employee setting.
  • Successfully represented IAG, Allianz, and QBE and their customers in the Supreme Court of Victoria against Powercor and its contractor in relation to the 2018 St Patrick’s Day bushfires in Terang and Garvoc in South West Victoria.

Jackson McDonald

The insurance and risk group at independent Perth law firm Jackson McDonald provides a full service to local, national, and international insurers, underwriters, and multinational corporations and executives, advising on a broad range of insurance law issues. With clients drawn from sectors including oil and gas, healthcare, and resources, typical matters concern business interruption, medical negligence, public and product liability, D&O claims, class actions, regulatory compliance, professional indemnity, and risk management. The group is led by Fiona Dempster, alongside veteran commercial litigator Stefan Sudweeks in Sydney, and, at the Perth office by mining claims expert Alex Lustig and professional indemnity specialist Phillip Lovatt.

Practice head(s):

Fiona Dempster

Testimonials

‘Stefan Sudweeks is a highly intelligent legal practitioner in the area of insurance law. He has a clarity of thinking which enables him to drill into the real issues thereby ensuring no time is wasted and irrelevant costs incurred. He is transparent and collaborative in all instances.’

‘This brand has a well-regarded insurance specialty team especially when it comes to workers’ compensation. A dedicated team well-led by Alex Lustig who commands industry-wide respect for the diligent and thorough approach he displays when working with clients. A conservative firm with a strong reputation in the AWA market known for their delivery of excellent service and advice.’

‘The people at Jackson McDonald are really easy to work with. They are outcome-focused and pragmatic in their approach. ’

‘Phil Lovatt, at his young age, is one of the best PI/D&O insurance litigators in the market. Phil’s analytical skill goes unmatched and his ability to turn his findings into outcomes for his client is impressive. He stands head and shoulders above his peers.’

Key clients

ACE/Chubb Insurance Company of Australia Limited

Arch Underwriting

Insurance Australia Group (IAG)

Insurance Commission of WA

Allianz Australia Insurance Limited

Law Mutual (WA)

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended an appeal relating to a worker evacuated from an oil and gas operator’s project site pursuant to an order under the Mental Health Act.
  • Acted for Arch Underwriting in successfully defending an appeal relating to professional negligence allegations against a mortgage broker.
  • Acted for Insurance Australia Group in successfully defending an arbitration and appeal of a PTSD claim by an employee who was found not to have been suffering from PTSD and a psychiatric condition caused by any employment-related events.

McCabes

McCabes, which recently rebranded from its former identity of McCabe Curwood, has significantly expanded in recent years following the 2018 merger of McCabes and Curwoods. A Melbourne launch in 2019 was followed by the opening of an office in Brisbane in 2020, before a merger with Perth insurance boutique SRB Law saw the firm move into Western Australia. The group is led in Sydney by the head of insurance and head of government Stuart Windybank, head of casualty and professional lines Scott Kennedy, head of statutory classes Peter Hunt, head of recoveries Paul Garnon, and head of corporate advisory (regulatory) Mathew Kaley.

Key clients

IAG

AAI Limited

QBE Insurance (Australia) and QBE Europe

Zurich Australian Insurance

Allianz Australia

Chubb Insurance

NSW Government Agencies

Insurance Commission of Western Australia

AXA/ XL Catlin

Liberty Specialty Markets

Work highlights

  • Acting for the Office of Sport in defence of a claim in NSW Supreme Court, involving a traumatic brain injury in a motor racing accident.
  • Acting on behalf of several small and large insurers and assessing the application of Financial Sector Reform changes to claims handling, complaints, and dispute resolution processes and applying to ASIC for a variation to its Australian Financial Services Licence.
  • Acting for IAG in the Carwoola bushfire class action.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright, one of the world's largest law firms, has a significant Australian presence as a result of its mergers with Deacons and Henry Davis York in 2010 and 2017 respectively. The firm's insurance practice draws on the wider firm's extensive international platform to effectively advise major international insurers, underwriters, brokers, policyholders, and government bodies on a diverse range of matters such as class actions, professional indemnity, directors’ liabilities, and regulatory compliance. Headed by Ray Giblett in Sydney, the team’s client portfolio includes key industry players Liberty Mutual Insurance and Allianz Australia. The group also includes Matt Ellis in Melbourne and associate Timothy Chan in Sydney.

Practice head(s):

Ray Giblett

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Ellis

Key clients

Claims Management International Pty Ltd

IOOF / Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Cover-More Insurance Services Pty Ltd

Dr Alan Tzer-Li Cheng, VMO paediatric otolaryngologist

Eclipx

Insurance for NSW (NSW Health)

Sompo Japan Insurance Inc.

Liberty Mutual Insurance Company

LMI Group Pty Ltd

Medibank Private

MIPS (medical defence insurer)

Pacific International Insurance Pty Ltd

AIG Australia

Allianz Australia

Work highlights

  • Advising IOOF on the insurance aspects of its AUD $1.44bn purchase of the MLC Wealth business from National Australia Bank (NAB).
  • Assisting the Commonwealth Bank of Australia establish an offshore captive for its professional indemnity exposure.
  • Helping insurers, underwriting agencies, and claimant intermediaries navigate significant change as insurance claims handling becomes a regulated activity following the Financial Services Royal Commission.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP

Elite disputes firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP has had a presence in Australia since 2013, with its Sydney base now complemented by a Perth office which opened in 2017. The firm's Australia team is led from Sydney by founding partners Michelle Fox and Michael Mills, who both joined from Herbert Smith Freehills to launch the practice; recent work has included acting for corporate insureds in relation to policy coverage and in high-stakes disputes. The team's expertise also covers mass torts, class actions and product liability. Other key names in Sydney include senior associate Nicholas Lennings.

Practice head(s):

Michael Mills; Michelle Fox

Other key lawyers:

Nicholas Lennings

Testimonials

‘The team is very professional, thorough and provides an almost immediate response. One of the advantages of the team’s strengths is the ability to make the legal analysis accessible to the client and in a clear and easy-to-understand manner.’

‘Michelle Fox and Michael Mills are extremely responsive and advise with a very broad view of the legal and commercial circumstances. They focus on the most important issues and by that assisting the customers in a clear and efficient path.’

‘Very clear communicators, highly knowledgeable and give confidence that you are in good hands. Regular updates are provided using phone and videoconference facilities as appropriate. Documents are well prepared. making it efficient to review any provided instructions on our matter.’

‘They are very good communicators, listen to viewpoints and come up with solutions.’

Work highlights

  • Acted for the Ardent Leisure Group and its insurers on a number of civil and regulatory proceedings instigated as a result of a mass fatality that occurred at an Australian theme park.
  • Acted for directors insured under the Forge group D&O insurance policy, dealing with issues relating to both the defense of the proceedings and to policy coverage.
  • Acted for the plaintiff in a claim against global insurance broker Jardine Lloyd Thompson Pty Ltd (JLT), seeking compensation in respect of financial losses suffered by certain Victorian local councils as a result of alleged breaches of general law, contract, and fiduciary duties owed by JLT in relation to insurance broking services that it provided to local councils in Victoria.

Sparke Helmore Lawyers

The commercial insurance and statutory lines team at Sparke Helmore Lawyers provides a comprehensive service to major domestic and international insurers, brokers, and multinational corporations and directors, across a wide range of issues in the insurance sphere. These include professional indemnity, financial lines, construction claims, personal injury, class actions, medical negligence, D&O liability, public liability and workers’ compensation. Led by national commercial insurance practice group leader Malcolm Cameron in Sydney and national statutory lines practice group leader James Johnson  in Melbourne, the group’s portfolio features household names such as McDonald’s and Insurance Australia. The team is supported at the Sydney office by liability claim expert Gillian Davidson and senior litigator John Coorey.

Practice head(s):

Malcolm Cameron; James Johnson

Other key lawyers:

Gillian Davidson; John Coorey

Testimonials

‘This is a strong national team with extensive knowledge and capability around the country. Sparke Helmore are at the forefront of innovative thinking when it comes to their clients and their own thinking. They are great collaborators inviting clients to participate in their thinking as a business as well as in their capacity of partner. Their service to clients is thoughtful well-considered and deliberate with a clear focus on the goal.’ 

‘Kristina Miller is exceptional and professional and I enjoy working with Kristina as she is respectful to in-house counsel and the needs of the business. She will listen and understand and her knowledge of the law is impressive. She also has a team that follows her ethos and are true partners in our legal journey.’

‘Sparke Helmore understands the insurance industry like no other firm. They appreciate the commercial drivers that make an insurance business function, and they are able to provide advice that is both commercial and legally sound. Their product is well priced, without being “cheap”. They are a class act.’

‘Sparke Helmore in Brisbane provide robust and well-researched advice. The key component for me is that the firm has a focus on the commerciality of claims, and is cognisant of the balance between the costs and risks of running a defence versus the viability of a defence. Sparke Helmore always collaborate with me regarding the conduct of the claim, and address any concerns I may have with measured and reasoned discussion.’

‘They are technically excellent and commercial.’

‘Julian McGrath – extensive knowledge about relevant areas of law and our company; ability to adapt to our company changing how we do things.’

‘The lawyers are approachable, practical, and knowledgeable. Gillian Davidson is extremely experienced and always gets to the crux of the matter.’

Key clients

QBE Insurance (Australia) Limited

Berkley Insurance Australia and XL Insurance Company SE

McDonald’s Australia Limited

Insurance Australia Group t/as NRMA Insurance (CDW)

Work highlights

  • Advised QBE Insurance (Australia) Limited on a large construction liability matter in respect of Pile and Bucket (a piling and excavation contractor) in respect of a major Sydney property development.
  • Acting for Berkley Insurance Australia and XL Insurance Company SE as coverage counsel for two of the D&O excess layer insurers in relation to proceedings issued against various insured directors of Dick Smith.
  • Advised Insurance Australia Group t/as NRMA Insurance on a claim for personal injury by Tedmund Polglase who fell four metres through a railing on the Coffs Harbour Jetty onto hard sand below.

Ashurst

The experienced group at Ashurst acts for national and international insurers, brokers, corporate policyholders, and government agencies, advising on a broad spectrum of issues. They include IPOs, portfolio transfers, reinsurance, captive insurance arrangements, D&O claims, and warranty and indemnity policies. Led by Rehana Box in Sydney, the group’s client portfolio ranges from the Commonwealth Department of Defence and Westpac to ANZ Bank and Swiss Re.

Practice head(s):

Rehana Box

Other key lawyers:

Wen-Ts’ai Lim; Con Tzerefos; Silvana Wood; Hazel Brasington

Testimonials

‘Ashurst’s team has a thorough knowledge of the shipbuilding insurance market.’

‘A very dedicated team that provides the necessary advice on shipbuilding insurance decisions that could help our organization save millions of dollars in the future.’

‘They are technically excellent.’

‘Rehana Box has unique experience acting for Commonwealth Government Agencies.’

Key clients

Swiss Re

Prudential Financial US

Willis Towers Watson

ASIC, APRA

ANZ Bank

Commonwealth Department of Defence

Deutsche Bank

Westpac

Samsung Australia

Western Sydney Airport

Work highlights

  • Advised on the completion of the share sale and portfolio transfer under Part 9 of the Life Insurance Act 1995 between AIA and Commonwealth Bank’s life insurance businesses in Australia (CommInsureLife).
  • Advised on the completion of its acquisition of AMP Life from AMP Limited for a total consideration of A$3bn (including a A$500m (20%) equity interest retained by AMP Limited).
  • Advised Toll on a very complex separation of a portfolio of risks under its self-insurance workers compensation licences following the sale of Toll’s Global Express business to Australian private equity fund manager Allegro Funds.

Barry.Nilsson.

The insurance group at Barry.Nilsson. utilises the strength of its national team of over 130 lawyers to advise national and international insurers, brokers, and policyholders on a wide spectrum of issues. Such matters extend to financial lines, class actions, public and product liability, workers’ compensation, property claims, cyber liability, professional indemnity, and catastrophic injury. Led in Brisbane by Rhett Kennedy, the group acts for key market players QBE Insurance and AIG. The team also includes infrastructure claim specialist Nicholas Andrew in Sydney.

Practice head(s):

Rhett Kennedy

Other key lawyers:

Nicholas Andrew

Testimonials

‘Very responsive and work as a team with both clients, insurers, brokers, and insurers. A large team that covers areas in insurance.’

‘The technical ability of Nicholas Andrew is a cornerstone of the firm.’

Key clients

Liberty Specialty Market

AAI Limited (Suncorp)

Insurance Australia Limited (IAG)

AXA XL

QBE Insurance Australia Limited

AIG Limited

Chubb

QBE European Operations

CFC Underwriting

SAicorp (South Australian Government Insurer)

Work highlights

  • Defending the structural engineer sued by the Owners Corporation of Mascot Towers in Supreme Court proceedings, commenced in mid-2020.
  • Successfully defended a matter in the High Court centering around the alleged mismanagement of investment funds of high-net-worth investors by a number of high-end financial advisors.

McCullough Robertson

The insurance team at McCullough Robertson represents insurers, brokers, and public and private corporations, advising on a broad range of matters. These include workers’ compensation, Contract Works, professional indemnity, D&O claims, public and product liability, and the design of programs to ensure legislative compliance. The team is headed in Brisbane by the experienced Brad Russell, who specialises in work for clients in the resources sector. He is backed by risk management specialist Stephen White.

Practice head(s):

Brad Russell

Other key lawyers:

Stephen White

Testimonials

‘The McCullough Robertson insurance team deliver real-world practical advice without dwelling on technicalities or irrelevant issues. They also have the latest information and market intelligence to protect their clients’ interests.’

‘Brad Russell is technically excellent as well as being approachable, pragmatic and reasonable in his approach to insurers and contractual counterparties.’

‘The team offers a broad range of services and is able to tap into a variety of skill sets across the McCullogh team, which appears seamless to the client.’

Meridian Lawyers

The insurance team at Meridian Lawyers is spread across offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Newcastle, and Perth, providing a comprehensive service to domestic and international insurers, brokers, underwriters, and policyholders, on a wide range of issues. Such matters include product liability, medical negligence, professional indemnity, catastrophic injury, and public liability. The team is led by Andrew Saxton in Sydney, Marianne Nicolle in Newcastle, veteran insurance litigator Robert Minc in Melbourne, Dennis Cronin in Brisbane, and Mark Birbeck in Perth. The group is backed by class action specialist Rob Crittenden and special counsel Lachlan Heather at the Sydney office.

Testimonials

‘The team’s strengths include technical expertise and ability to take a pragmatic and commercial position where necessary – they inspire trust and loyalty.’

‘I have worked with Robert Crittenden for 13 years now and would consider him to be one of the best in the insurance industry. He is not only personable and likable but a very intelligent operator who is well regarded amongst his peers.’

Key clients

Insurance Australia Group Limited (IAG)

Unimutual Limited

Guild Insurance

American International Group (AIG)

London Underwriters

HDI Global SE, Australia

Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty

Liberty Specialty Markets

Steadfast Group Limited

Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance

Work highlights

  • Acting on behalf of AIG USA in a large pollution case brought by Qantas against Jones Lang LaSalle.
  • Acting for BOC Limited and its liability insurer, Allianz Global, in a large and highly publicised case at Bankstown Lidcombe Hospital in 2016.
  • Acting for LASA and its insurer in a NSW Supreme Court case addressing sanctions issued against Rasko Holdings (proprietor of Goondee Aged Care Facility in Sydney) by aged care regulators.

Mills Oakley Lawyers

The insurance group at Mills Oakley Lawyers advises major national and international insurance, associated companies, and policyholders on a broad spectrum of matters. These include civil works liability, personal injury, professional indemnity, medical negligence, class actions, catastrophic injury, and product liability. Headed by liability dispute authority Daren Curry at the Sydney office, the team represents such key market players as Allianz and Chubb Insurance. The group is backed in Sydney by insurance litigation expert Louise Cantrell, and life insurance specialist David Slatyer in Brisbane.

Practice head(s):

Daren Curry

Other key lawyers:

Louise Cantrell; David Slatyer

Testimonials

‘This team has a high level of engagement with us as clients and our clients that we instruct them to act on behalf of. Innovation is a key part of the firms offering and are highly responsive to engaging in innovative thinking.’

‘Louise Cantrell – exceptionally intelligent and a very competent problem solver with an excellent client focus.’

‘The people at Mills Oakley are absolutely committed to providing exceptional outcomes and service to both our business and our mutual clients. The advice is provided in a concise and easy-to-understand form so all parties can focus on the issues in each case. We receive so much assistance over and above the simple running of our litigation we feel the staff at Mills Oakley are just an extension of our own team.’

‘David Slatyer is particularly impressive when handling litigated cases. He gives objective advice which covers the strengths and weaknesses of your case. Further, he seeks to resolve litigated cases on the best possible terms at their beginning so that expenditure by our fund on legal fees is minimised.’

‘I have used Mills Oakley because they are pro-active and look for the most expedient way to bring a matter to a conclusion on the most economical basis.’

Key clients

Allianz Australia Insurance Limited

AAI Limited (Suncorp Group)

Insurance Australia Limited

QBE Insurance (Australia)

Berkley Hathaway Specialist Insurance

Chubb Insurance Australia Limited

Auto & General Insurance Limited

Strata Community Insurance

Assetinsure Limited

Statewide Mutual NSW

Munich Re

HDI Gerling Industrie Versicherung trading as HDI Global SE

TAL Life Limited

QInsure

Hollard Commercial Insurance (HCi)

Work highlights

  • Acting for Allianz in the Supreme Court of Western Australia proceedings related to a policy exclusion was raised in Allianz’s defence of the claim against the contractor.
  • Advising Allianz Australia Insurance Limited and defending four personal injury claims in the District Court of Western Australia against an insured builder and six other defendants arising out of the collapse of an elevated concrete slab during construction works.
  • Acted for AAI, which was the insurer of premises with water damage that was tenanted to a retailer.