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In Australia’s highly regulated insurance market, Gadens’ national corporate risk and insurance practice develops innovative solutions to insurance and risk issues.  It provides expertise in insurance arrangements and risk allocation and identifies the key issues in both contentious and non-contentious insurance matters.  We also advise and represent insurers and self insureds in litigated matters and in alternative dispute resolution.

A leading insurance legal team

Recommended by clients in Asia Pacific Legal 500 for ‘good response times, level of billing and quality of advice’, our team includes Wendy Blacker, described as ‘particularly good – very responsive and accessible’, ‘practical and pragmatic’, Stuart Eustice and Ray Giblett, one of Australia’s leading insurance lawyers (Chambers Asia Pacific 2011).

Our team understands the commercial and legal risks that confront organisations daily.  We work across the entire insurance life-cycle, from acquiring insurance to claims advice and dispute handling, focusing on our clients’ needs at every point.

Proven industry track record

With our extensive level of knowledge and experience, we have a proven history of advising insurers, self insureds, brokers and underwriters.

We advise on agency and broker agreements, life insurance, superannuation and reinsurance documentation, policy drafting and interpretation, product development, regulation of insurance companies and intermediaries, risk management strategies and taxation.

Our claims track record includes arson, building and construction, business interruption, class actions, directors and officers, fidelity, fraud, insolvency, motor vehicle, product and public liability, professional indemnity and malpractice.

Thought leadership

Thought leadership is an important part of our team’s contribution to the industry.  This is demonstrated by our team members’ experience lecturing and course development for the University of New South Wales’ masters program and representation on industry committees including AILA and ANZIIF.


With members of our team having over 20 years experience, there is little in public liability or workcover personal injury litigation that the Gadens Melbourne team have not previously encountered. We have also been involved in defending a number of international and interstate claims for personal injury. 

Specifically, we have acted for an individual against WorkSafe, seeking to recover compensation, by reason of this individual receiving an award of damages from a jurisdiction outside of Australia. We similarly acted for an Italian company against WorkSafe, seeking recovery for moneys it has expended on an account belonging to the Italian company’s alleged defective machinery.

Public liability matters are varied in scope, from simple section 138 recoveries instituted by WorkSafe against occupiers of properties, who alleged to be the cause of injury rather than the employer, to asbestos related injury and the more fanciful including a psychiatric injury arising from an adjacent occupier of land creating an alleged nuisance with excessive dust.

We have been particularly successful with WorkSafe Premium related matters for employers. Our advice is concise and financially responsible having regard to WorkSafe's dominant position on these issues.
Prosecutions under the Occupational Health and Safety legislation are increasing. The resulting fines are often not covered by an existing insurance policy held by the Employer. It is our attention to resolving matters promptly, where appropriate, that ensure minimal disruption to the business and little media exposure.

We otherwise regularly attend upon our self insured clients to educate their claims personnel on recent trends, litigation strategy and to keep abreast of the legislation.

  • Advising multiple clients in connection with property damage and business interruption claims arising out of the 2010-2011 Christchurch earthquakes, advising on unique issues and cross border complexities relating to the application of deductibles, aggregation and recoverable loss amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars.
  • Acting in relation to claims in connection with the HIH liquidation, representing one of the largest creditors with claims exceeding US$60M, addressing audit issues including liaising with cedants located in the USA. This matter involved complex reinsurance and retrocession issues.
  • Advising and representing insurers and self insureds in litigated multi million dollar claims, including claims involving catastrophic and fatal injuries.
  • Acting and representing insurers and self insureds in liability and other litigated claims in multiple jurisdictions.
  • Advising multiple clients in connection with the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami and related nuclear radiation issues, advising on complex causation issues and the application of nuclear exclusions with implications amounting to tens of millions of dollars.
  • Advising a big four Australian bank on submissions to Treasury regarding flood insurance reform.
  • Drafting documentation, providing sign-off and advising in connection with a revolutionary new credit card insurance offering. This involved advising on never before seen product offerings involving complex issues of insurance and compliance. Numerous stakeholders including the bank, life insurers, general insurers and reinsurers were involved.
  • Premium adjustment - saved an individual employer $1.8M in a premium adjustment sought by the Statutory Body.  The Premium adjustment was agreed as owing, however upon our office commencing recovery proceedings against the WorkSafe authorised insurer, for their negligence in incorrectly classifying the employer, WorkSafe consented to forgiving the initial debt.
  • Technical breaches - defending a number of large employers for simple technical breaches that have been non-causative of injury but nonetheless are breaches of the legislation (such as non-complying induction procedures), to fatalities.

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