Find Lawyers in Sydney, Australia for Insurance Law

Practice Area Overview

Insurance is a wide practice area covering a range of insurance policies, industry sectors, and areas of legal expertise.

Specialist insurance lawyers typically act on behalf of insurers in the investigation and defence of claims made against parties who hold insurance policies, and/or in providing related coverage advice as to whether the relevant insurance policy (or policies, in the case of dual insurance) responds to those claims.

Where coverage advice is required, some insurers prefer to split the role of ‘defence’ and ‘coverage’ counsel, while others will engage lawyers to perform a dual role. In the event of a coverage dispute (and therefore a conflict of interests) between the insurer and insured, separate representation is required to ensure a timely identification of the relevant issues and resolution of the dispute.

The types of policy vary widely, including for example Professional Indemnity, Medical Malpractice, Directors’ and Officers’ Liability, Management Liability, Employment Practices Liability, Statutory Liability, Cyber Risks, Crime, General (Public and Product Liability), Aviation, various Broadform policies covering a range of risks, and various policies relevant to the construction industry, such as Contract Works.

Within each class of policy are a number of sub-specialities. For example, Professional Indemnity policies are issued to accountants, barristers, doctors, engineers, financial advisers, mortgage brokers, real estate agents solicitors, valuers, and many more.

With such a broad range of policies, lawyers advising in this area require a detailed understanding of the industries in which they practice and the relevant legislation, in addition to expertise in insurance law (for example, Insurance Contracts Act 1984 (Cth)), contract law, tort (primarily negligence), and the Australian Consumer Law, and of legal practice and procedure in State and Federal jurisdictions.

Industry expertise will include a thorough knowledge of the relevant disciplines involved in the underlying conduct or transaction giving rise to the claim, to advise on the technical issues arising in the context of the applicable legal framework. This will ensure the ability to quickly identify the relevant issues and the most appropriate resolution strategy, whether by way of an early compromise, alternative dispute resolution or court proceedings and a trial.

The commercial discipline for any insurance lawyer is to be able to distil often complex technical and legal issues as quickly as possible, to enable the most appropriate resolution to be identified and achieved as cost effectively as possible for the benefit of all the interested stakeholders (insurers, insureds, and intermediaries).

Mark Brookes, Partner Carter Newell

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Nearby Cities: Newcastle
Related Practice Areas: Financial Institutions
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