John Cavanagh

John Cavanagh Profile Photo
John Cavanagh Profile Photo

John is a partner with 40 years' experience in the areas of accident compensation, employers' liability and personal injuries litigation, with a particular focus on dust diseases, acting for WorkSafe Victoria, insurers & employers in all jurisdictions.


John was admitted to practice in 1980 and, since then, has practiced in the area of workers' compensation and industrial accident common law claims, acting both for insurers under the Workers Compensation Act 1958 (Vic) and for WorkSafe Victoria. He has also considerable experience acting for personal injuries liability insurers.

For over 20 years, John has had a special interest in dust disease claims, especially claims arising from asbestos exposure and silicosis claims. His asbestos practice is one of the largest employer/occupier based practices in Victoria. He is highly respected by both plaintiff and other defendant practitioners in the area.

In 2008, John's experience and standing in his asbestos practice was recognised by the State, when he was engaged to advise on the legislative work leading to the passing of the Asbestos Diseases Compensation Act 2008.

John has also been a longstanding member of both the Supreme Court Dust Diseases and Personal Injuries List Users Groups.

John has been recognised in The Best Lawyers in Australia since 2012 for his expertise in Occupational Health & Safety Law and Personal Injury Litigation, for which he was named "Lawyer of the Year" in the publication's 2022 and 2025 editions. He is also recognised in Doyle's Guide as a Leading WorkSafe & Workers Compensation Lawyer and Defendant Asbestos and Dust Diseases Lawyer.

In 2016, John received the WorkSafe Barrett-O'Connor Hall of Fame Award.