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Insurance

We have longstanding relationships with many of our clients, an intricate knowledge of our clients’ business, their area of insurance risk, and their needs

The Finlaysons Insurance team is a recognised leader in the provision of legal service to the insurance sector and a major provider of legal services in Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance. We act for national clients, both in the public and private sector.

The insurance sector will continue to undergo significant transformation surrounding technology (including Insurtech, blockchain, AI and robotics), cybersecurity, climate change and catastrophic events, market consolidation, foreign investment and regulatory agendas.

Finlaysons have a deep understanding and strong engagement with the Insurance industry.

How can we help you?

We understand the need for efficient, precise communication to ensure that clients are always fully informed of the options for resolving and managing matters.

We have specialist expertise in the area of CTP, professional indemnity, asbestos liability, fraud and catastrophic injury claims. We manage matters in a wide range of jurisdictions including Magistrates, District and Supreme Courts, Coroners Court, SA Workers Compensation Tribunal and Professional Disciplinary Tribunals.

We are a First Tier Law Firm relating to CTP Insurance and are widely regarded as market leaders in providing information and advice to the insurance industry. Our team hold leadership positions and membership in a range of key industry bodies, such as:

  • Australian Insurance Law Association (AILA)
  • Australian Professional Indemnity Group (APIG)
  • Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF)
  • Sponsor, Committee Member and regular presenter at the Crash CTP Seminar
  • Accident Compensation Committee of the Law Society of South Australia

By virtue of our size, we have the capacity to manage high volumes of work efficiently and effectively. South Australia’s ‘fused’ legal profession allows our in-house counsel to appear in court and conduct trials meaning it is not always necessary for Finlaysons to brief external counsel. This allows us to provide a more cost-effective service when managing advocacy and also allows for flexibility and efficiency when obtaining specialist counsel opinions and advice on evidence.

Finlaysons have access to market-leading experts across legal practice areas to ensure the appropriate knowledge and skills are applied to the successful resolution of our clients’ claims.

Recent Experience

  • Advising the insurer of a national construction and engineering company in respect of indemnity and contractual liabilities relating to the collapse of a 3,000-ton cement powder silo at Osborne, South Australia.
  • Acting on instructions from the insurer of one of the world’s largest tyre manufacturers in respect of several claims under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) for property damage arising out of heavy vehicle accidents consequent upon steer tyre failure, allegedly due to tyre manufacturing or design defects.
  • Acting on instructions from the insurer of one of the world’s largest manufacturers of vertical access equipment in respect a claim under the ACL following death and personal injury connected with the use of a scissor lift and alleged design defects.
  • Advising upon and negotiating the liability, insurance and indemnity clauses in client contracts for construction, property development, labour hire, leasing, and the supply and purchase of goods and services;
  • Providing advice and representation to a major supermarket chain in South Australia and Queensland. The public liability claims for our client principally involve injury arising from incidents in supermarkets. We have also provided advice concerning liability issues arising from equipment breakdown and mechanical failure as it may affect supermarket stock and flow on business loss.
  • Some of our practitioners have undertaken off-panel work in South Australia for national insurers involving public liability claims. The most recent involved a transformer that had not been isolated at a demolition site and had caused harm to a third-party contractor
  • We have provided advice and representation for government departments on common law claims. involving consideration of liability in relation to industrial accidents which involved investigation in relation to liability arising from the use of machinery and more general industrial hazards.
  • Successfully defending Queen’s Counsel in proceedings brought in the NT Supreme Court involving alleged breaches of duty in the conduct of earlier commercial litigation in the Federal Court of Australia.
  • Defending a high-profile orthopaedic surgeon in a $4.1m personal injury claim relating to alleged negligence in the performance of hand/wrist surgery.
  • Defending an allied health professional in 18 actions by former patients who allegedly contracted mycobacterial infections following the administration of biomesotherapy treatment (including coverage issues arising out of alleged breaches of infection control protocols).
  • Defending a consulting actuary in respect of the application of the anti-detriment provisions of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 to a major industry superannuation fund.
  • As panel solicitor for Law Claims (SA), acting for a law firm in respect of claims by three former clients that its breaches of duty allowed the manager of their protected estates to defraud them of their entire personal injury settlements totalling more than $4M.
  • Advising the insurer of a national building company in respect of indemnity and contractual liabilities relating to defective design and construction of footings and towers for the support of wind turbines.
  • Acting for financial advisors and mortgage brokers in respect of wrongful advice claims, including the defence of legal proceedings and submissions to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
  • Advising and appearing regularly in coronial inquests involving multiple medico legal issues (i.e. recent “chemotherapy bungle” inquest).
  • Reviewing the adequacy of global Directors & Officers insurance cover maintained by a multi-national agribusiness company including the review of the North American (primary layer) policy wording with 26 endorsements and four separate excess layers each with their own wording and multiple endorsements.
  • Reviewing the adequacy of the insurance coverage for a large private school with particular reference to privacy issues.

Finlaysons has a proven record of obtaining successful outcomes on CTP matters involving fraud, including multiple instances where claimants have discontinued their claims and often been subjected to significant cost penalties.

  • Harman principle working group – navigating its impact on CTP claims
  • In-house counsel able to act on short notice and attend specific arguments without having to brief the file out, and prepare arguments on scheme critical matters
  • We have expertise in defending claims, where extensions of time are sought, and John Ward has particular expertise in this area
  • We advise on care issues in the case of catastrophic injury clams, and have wide experience in navigating through the public and private care sector settings
  • We have expertise on the area of costs, and regularly conduct educational sessions on costs in all jurisdictions
  • Mental harm and dependency claims – Luke Gray, Partner, has specific expertise having acted in a matter which created a relevant high court authority
  • Secondments as needed – we have provided solicitors to assist in-house at times of need
  • We represented a renewable energy company in relation to determining which state worker’s compensation legislation applied to a Western Australian worker’s claim for compensation arising from a workplace injury in that State. We were successful in establishing that South Australia was the state where the appropriate connection was for the purpose of compensation payments being made. The case was heard before the South Australian Worker’s Compensation Tribunal now South Australian Employment Tribunal.
  • We represented our client in relation to a claim for a workplace injury said to have been suffered by a serving officer on the APY Lands. The injury being as a consequence of a viral infection. We were successful in establishing that the viral illness did not arise out of or in the course of the worker’s employment with our client and hence the claim for compensation remained denied.

Industry Recognition and Awards

  • “First Tier” South Australian Defendant CTP and Motor Accident Insurance Law Firm – Doyles 2016, 2017, 2018
  • Kathryn LincolnInsurance Law & Medical Negligence SA Best Lawyers of Australia 2021, 2020
    Insurance ‘Lawyer of the Year SA’ Best Lawyers of Australia 2020,  Preeminent Leading Compulsory Third Party Insurance Lawyers (Defendant) Doyles 2018
  • Chris SweetMedical Negligence SA Best Lawyers of Australia 2021Preeminent Leading Medical Negligence & Malpractice Lawyers (Defendant) – South Australia, 2019
  • Mark Wood – Insurance Law Best Lawyers of Australia 2021, 2020
    Market Leader in the category of Defendant CTP and Motor Accident Insurance Lawyers (South Australia) Doyles 2018
  • Luke Gray – Insurance Law Best Lawyers of Australia 2020
    Recommended Compulsory Third Party Insurance Lawyers (Defendant) Doyles 2018
  • Guy Biddle – Insurance Law Best Lawyers of Australia 2020
    Leading Workplace Health & Safety Lawyers SA Doyles 2018
  • Fiona Holdsworth – Insurance Law Best Lawyers of Australia 2021, 2020
    Leading Dust Diseases Liability Lawyers (Defendant) SA and Leading Medical Negligence & Malpractice Lawyers Doyles 2018
  • David Rostron – Insurance Law and Professional Malpractice Litigation Best Lawyers of Australia 2021, 2020
    Leading Recommended Professional Indemnity – Doyles Guide South Australia, 2019
  • Ralph Bönig – 2018 SA Law Society Brian Withers award recipient

Related Sectors & Services

 

Key Services

  • Major motor accident claims (CTP)
  • Professional indemnity risk
  • Medical negligence
  • Public liability
  • Health risk management
  • Asbestos exposure
  • Catastrophic injury and infant claims
  • Fraud claims and prosecutions
  • Insurance contract and indemnity disputes
  • Coronial inquiries
  • General insurance