December 2014

AILA President's message
Sue Vidler
Predecessor pioneered differential pricing

In my first column as president of AILA, I’d first like to extend a huge vote of thanks to David Lee, who has successfully fulfilled the role with great enthusiasm over the last three years.

During his time as president, David pioneered the development of differential pricing for membership categories and was influential in generating greater insurance industry participation in AILA, as it was recognised that, for the association to remain viable, the membership base needed to be better balanced.

My role illustrates that David’s strategy has been successful. While David and his predecessor, David McKenna, are both insurance lawyers, I am from the industry, being the National Manager Claims for Assetinsure Pty Ltd, a Sydney-based specialty insurer.

I hope my background will assist in continuing to diversify AILA so our association truly represents industry professionals across the board, irrespective of whether they work for law firms, underwriters, brokers, loss adjusters, underwriting agencies, claims administrators and the many other service providers to the insurance industry.

I look forward to working with the new executive committee, Allison Grice, of CGU, vice president; barrister Kim Brady (secretary); John Homburg, of Gilchrist Connell, treasurer, David Lee, immediate past president; and the rest of the board in implementing initiatives and working towards expanding Young Professional activities nationally.


Board changes

I would also like to say thank you to former AIDA president and AILA stalwart Michael Gill, who has served as the AIDA representative on the national board for many years.

Michael was Australia’s first AIDA president, which is a great honour in itself. He has worked tirelessly throughout his term and I thank him sincerely for his dedication and hard work, conducted with great energy and enthusiasm. Click here to read David McKenna’s tribute to Michael.

Thanks also to David McKenna, who is replaced as immediate past president on the board by David Lee.

David McKenna first became involved in AILA in 1987, soon after the formation of the West Australian branch. He joined the WA committee and in 1997 was appointed as chair of the organising committee for the 1998 national conference in Perth.

In accordance with the practice of the day, David was invited to join the board to provide feedback about preparations for the conference. He was then invited to join the executive as secretary, a position he held for several years, until he became vice president and subsequently president.

David continues to have an active involvement in AIDA’s working parties and is Asia-Pacific region co-ordinator for the civil working party. 

Following the October AGM, I would like to extend a warm welcome to AILA’s two new board members, Mikaela Stafrace, from Victoria, and Melanie Flatman, from WA.

I am pleased that Chris Rodd, of CGU, has been appointed as AILA’s new representative on the AIDA Presidential Council to replace Michael Gill. I am confident Chris will fulfil the role with the passion and energy for which he is widely known and respected.


Successful conference

Thanks are due to the Queensland national conference organising committee for a fabulous conference, which attracted about 250 delegates. The excellent program reflected a good balance of legal and industry topics. For more information, click here to the special conference issue of Resolve.


Industry comment

One of the most significant developments post HIH has been the implementation of statutory tort law reform.

It is pleasing from an industry perspective that, by and large, the appellate courts are giving a fairly consistent message on the laws. So, while the average cost of claims has increased, the parliamentary intent of the reforms is generally being implemented.

There are several test cases in the system relating to the NSW Civil Liability Act’s provisions on dangerous recreational activities. The outcome of those cases will be of interest to many.


Book offer for members

A reminder: Thomson Reuters, publisher of two revised insurance law texts, is offering them at a special 20% discount to all AILA and NZILA members (quote promo code AILA14).

Mann's Annotated Insurance Contracts Act
Authors: Peter Mann & Candace Lewis
Edition: 6th
Publish date: July 2014
Last published: Sept 2012
RRP: Book - Was $165 - With discount $132
eBook - Was $165 - With discount $132
Book + eBook - Was $214.50 - With discount $171.60 (incl GST)

Sutton's Insurance Law in Australia
General Editor: The Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG
Authors: Ian Enright & Rob Merkin
Edition: 4th
Publish date: Nov 2014
Last published: 1999
RRP: Book - $295 - With discount $236
eBook - $295 - With discount $236
Book + eBook - $383.50 - With discount $306.80 (incl GST)

Thomson Reuters is also offering members the 20% discount on subscriptions to the weekly insurance newsletter Cover Note and the Cover Note Insurance Directory (a bi-annual print publication).

You can redeem the discounted opportunities in the following ways:

  • Contact your Thomson Reuters’ account manager if your company has an existing business relationship.
  • Click on the links on this page or go to and search for your product of choice, (ie Mann’s, Sutton’s, Cover Note or Cover Note Insurance Directory) and complete the shopping process. You can add more than one product into your shopping cart. Insert the promo code – AILA14 – either when ordering your first product or at Checkout to redeem your discount.
  • Custom publishing options are available for the books on request. For example, additional discounts for bulk purchases, company logos and bespoke introductions or hard cover versions for use as corporate gifts. For more information and prices on these options please email