As a leading provider of legal services to the insurance industry, our Insurance Law & Litigation group has successfully managed and resolved matters for Australia's major insurers for more than 50 years.
We believe that legal services should be about more than just the law - exceptional client service is equally important to our clients and to us. We understand the importance of insurers' relationships with their insureds and intermediaries, and the need to keep all parties fully apprised of all significant aspects of claims.
Our insurance teams, located in Melbourne and Sydney, are widely regarded as leaders in the field and offer expertise in all areas of litigated and non-litigated claims.
We are currently involved in much of the leading litigation in Australia and New Zealand, including class actions, major property disputes, multi-party professional indemnity actions, and D&O claims.
We are the leading insurance lawyers in Australian class actions, acting for the lead insurers in:
- Media World
- ANZ/Opes Prime
- Oz Minerals
- Babcock & Brown
- Grant Thornton
We have been involved in large scale fishing, crop and agriculture failures. We also acted for the plaintiffs in Longford, the defendant in Concept Sports, and are currently representing the first defendant in the Australian Olives litigation.
We have developed Australia’s pre-eminent D&O insurance practice providing coverage advice, acting as monitoring counsel, conducting the defence of claims and dealing with ASIC investigations.
We currently act in most of the major D&O claims in Australia, including ION, Octaviar, Timbercorp, Allco, Babcock & Brown, Media World and AWB. Our previous experience includes advising the lead underwriter in Australia's first securities class actions, GIO and Aristocrat.
We are experienced in managing the complexities of D&O claims, including:
- multiple insured party conflicts
- excess layers and association protocols
- defendant strategy
- close liaison with defendant lawyers
We provide expertise and services in all areas of litigated and non-litigated claims, across the entire financial services market.
We act for insurers and insureds in matters involving:
- claims arising out of investment, financial planning and credit advice
- claims against participants at all levels of the entire financial services market (including major financial institutions, brokers, fund managers, mortgage managers, advisers and planners)
- recovery actions on behalf of banks
- insolvent trading
- fidelity claims (theft, embezzlement and employee fraud)
- unit pricing errors
- misleading and deceptive conduct in product disclosure statements.
We act for lead insurers in many of the current substantial financial claims around the country. We have also developed substantial expertise with disputes lodged with the Financial Ombudsman Service, a jurisdiction which is expanding and evolving.
We act for a number of life insurers and trustee liability insurers in NSW and Victoria, in the areas of income protection, TPD, group life, trauma and death claims.
We have assisted insurers in many complex fraud and non-disclosure disputes, as well as providing policy drafting advice and preparing FOS submissions.
We provide practical and accurate advice to insurers, health services and hospitals in a broad range of professional indemnity claims against health professionals.
Our dedicated team not only defends a large portfolio of litigated claims against health professionals, but also provides specialised services in coronial investigations, disciplinary hearings and complaints resolution processes.
Our team acts for many local and overseas insurers representing a range of professions, including engineers and other building professionals, lawyers, finance professionals, brokers, real estate agents, valuers and accountants.
We manage claims in every Australian jurisdiction and in New Zealand. We are currently involved in much of the leading litigation in Australia and New Zealand, including class actions and multi-party professional indemnity actions.
An important element of our strategy is active management of stakeholder relationships. We invest significant time and energy in maintaining a good knowledge of industry developments, as well as developing strong relationships with regular opponents, counsel and insureds to encourage communication and cooperation.
We have extensive experience advising insurers operating in the area of Property and Industrial Special Risks in the Australian market.
We have a specialist team led by five partners in this field, covering all aspects of Commercial Property insurance. We regularly act for both Australian insurers and offshore insurers, providing advice and representation in relation to both coverage and recovery.
We are acting in numerous major actions, both litigated and non-litigated. Our specialist expertise covers claims involving:
- oil and gas processing
- generation and pipeline claims
- mine collapse
- machinery breakdown
- catastrophic loss
With more than thirty years of experience in this field, our lawyers have unrivalled knowledge of the players and major policies operating in the Australian market. This experience sets us apart from our competitors.
Our lawyers are quickly able to identify the critical issues, and establish a strategy for delivering efficient and cost effective resolutions. Our clients appreciate and rely on our expertise in this often complex area of law.
Over the past 20 years, our team has been involved in some of the most significant public and product liability litigation in Australia.
Our success relies upon our ability to make a speedy evaluation of the merits of a claim, resolve it early if instructed but defend strenuously and strategically where appropriate. We take a commercial approach to litigation and recognise that in determining whether to defend a claim, the amount involved and potential costs need to be considered, as do wider strategic considerations.
We have, where appropriate, run cases to judgment for our clients, and have secured some notable successes, including litigation arising out of major fires, the collapse of a hotel balcony and various outbreaks of food poisoning leading to class actions.
We practise in all jurisdictions and our clients include insurers, Government departments, schools and universities.
Client success story
We acted on instructions from an insurer for their client, a tenant in a shopping centre. The shopping centre was destroyed by a fire originating from the tenant's premises. Actions were commenced by the landlord, seeking damages associated with the loss of the building and associated rent, as well as two other tenants claiming business interruption losses.
There was some dispute about the cause of the fire, and technical arguments about the terms of the lease and whether these defeated the landlord's claim. However, perhaps most critically, significant issues arose due to the plaintiffs' claims totalling an amount which exceeded the relevant policy limit. As such, it was necessary to consider the possibility of uninsured components, requiring even greater liaison and association between insurer and insured than is typically the case.
We achieved an outcome which involved a considerable reduction on the quantum sought and the claims resolving within the indemnity limit - a great result for both our insurer and their client.