Find Lawyers in Newcastle, Australia for Professional Malpractice Litigation

Practice Area Overview

Professionals and commercial organisations operate in increasingly regulated environments, subject to general and specific laws, industry and professional association rules, standards and guidelines and requirements set by regulators. 

Individuals that operate in these areas are held accountable by regulators, industry and professional associations, as well as in some instances by compulsory dispute resolution bodies and ombudsmen and, of course, tribunals and courts. The threat of potential claims and litigation is very real — with claims usually arising from unforseen events. There also is a growing trend in disciplinary hearings or other administrative proceedings by regulators and professional associations. 

As a result, professionals and commercial organisations often obtain insurance with the intention that it will respond to these events, and particularly to any liability that the insured professional may have and to their costs of defending themselves or being represented in regulatory investigations. 
Civil liability cover (as professional indemnity insurance is often now termed, given that it extends to operations beyond traditional professions and to matters beyond a breach of professional duty) covers a range of disciplines including those involved in insurance broking, financial services, engineering and construction, architecture and design, medical/health, accounting, legal, and valuation. This class of insurance is sold principally through brokers either as a stand-alone product or bundled with other products, such as management liability or directors’ and officers’ liability.

In Australia, “professional indemnity” is a recognised area of specialty for lawyers and it is the name usually preferred to the term “professional malpractice” in Australian usage. Professional indemnity lawyers specialise in acting for insured organisations and individuals, and for insurers, in a range of related ways:

  • litigation defence — both in formal court proceedings and in tribunals and external dispute resolution scheme
  • coverage advice — including acting in coverage disputes under policies
  • representation in regulatory investigations — including investigations by the securities regulator
  • defence of disciplinary proceedings — an emerging sub-speciality in the broader field of professional indemnity/professional malpractice
  • advice on insurance and risk transfer in corporate transactions — including advice on insurance clauses in commercial contracts, as well as related issues such as caps on liabilityand due diligence, and
  • commercial advice — including preparing or reviewing policy wordings, and related advice outside the dispute context.
Malcolm Cameron, Partner

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