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Insurance Law Prize
Nominees include insurers, reinsurers, adjusters, brokers, consultants, academics, judges and lawyers.


Congratulations to Vic Ron Shorter winner

Congratulations to Alexander Morell, from Colin Biggers and Paisley Lawyers, Melbourne, who won the inaugural Victorian Ron Shorter Memorial Award.

Alexander’s chosen topic was: Conflicting duties – The tripartite relationship between insurer, insured and defence counsel

Runners-up were:

  • Danielle Blaschuk, from Catholic Church Insurance: The influence of customer service on the personal lines insurance sector
  • Laura Gaffey, from Gilchrist Connell Lawyers: Insurance – let’s get visible. Her presentation explored potential issues facing the insurance and legal industries because of inadequate representation of women in senior positions.

The judges were:

  • Justice Emilios Kyrou, Supreme Court of Victoria
  • Donna Walker, Executive General Manager, Broker Business, CGU
  • Noel Condon, Chief Executive Officer, AIG

There were 22 applicants for the first workshop, 12 from industry and 10 lawyers.

At the end of the workshop each participant used their newfound skills to speak on their selected insurance topic for two minutes. All successful applicants benefited from participating, many applying to help overcome a fear of public speaking. Others found their confidence had increased because of the intensive coaching and guidance received from Polaris Coaching.

The three finalists were selected after the first workshop.

About 90 people attended the 30 July final, despite an APIG cocktail function being on the same night. Representatives of the award sponsors, CBP Lawyers and Unisearch, were included.

Justice Kyrou expressed admiration for all three finalists for the courage they demonstrated by standing in front of 90 people and speaking without notes for 15 minutes. He said the ability to recover from setbacks during the presentations was a sign of a proficient speaker and all three demonstrated that important skill on the night.

I have emailed the judging panel to formally thank them for their participation and support of the award. We have uploaded information on the award to the AILA website and issued a media release to all trade media outlets.

CBP partner Marc Chiarella and I will meet soon to discuss next year’s events. Marc has advised CBP’s continued support of the NSW and Victorian competitions and a potential expansion to Queensland in 2016.

I’ll also meet soon with Danny Gompes, from Unisearch, to discuss their sponsorship of AILA in 2016, including the Ron Shorter Award. Danny and his Melbourne colleague, Ian Hatch, attended the final and were thrilled to be associated in such a tangible way with the award.

The NSW and Victorian winners will present their speeches at the National Conference on Friday 16 October 2015. The NSW winner is Divya Pahawa, from Meridian Lawyers. I would encourage all those attending the National Conference to come along and see the winners showcase the benefits of participating in the awards.

National Conference

Melbourne is the venue for this year’s National Conference on 14-16 October at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, 123 Collins St. The theme is:  A sporting chance.

Click here for more information.

I look forward to seeing you there.



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