December 2015


Read a roundup of activities around the AILA-NZILA branches

New South Wales

By Penny Paterson, Administrative Co-ordinator
The NSW annual general meeting was on October 22, 2015, at Norton Rose Fulbright.

The 2016 branch committee is:

Chair: Angus Kench, Liberty International
Treasurer: Chris Ehlers, MDD Forensic Accounting
Secretary: Linda Hamilton, Baker & McKenzie

Committee: Peter Backe-Hansen, Allianz
Stephen Brooks, Jardine Lloyd Thompson
Robert Crittenden, Meridian Lawyers
John Dillon, Clyde & Co
David Gerber, Clayton Utz
Ray Giblett, Norton Rose Fulbright
Matthew Harding, HWL Ebsworth
David Kearney, Wotton + Kearney
Mohinder Kumar, Suncorp
Paul O’Brien, YPOL
Andrew Thomas, Cunningham Lindsey Australia

After the AGM, NSW Supreme Court Justice David Hammerschlag spoke on: Reminiscences from a criminal jury trial involving insurance.

Thanks to Justine Hall, John Edmond, Lisa Sutorowski and Edmond Fernandez who have stepped down from the committee this year.

The last Young Professionals event for 2015 was Superheroes and villains at the GPO. It was a great success with 450 people getting into the theme and having a great night networking.

The Young Professionals also held a seminar on effective communication, which was a sell out. It examined the importance of keeping to the same message, regardless of the medium (phone or email), re-framing the traditional structure of written reports (conclusion at the front), and using plain English in written documents.

NSW is planning a great year for 2016 with lots of YP events, the Twilight Seminar series and some co-badged events with other associations.



By Raff Pisano
AILA Victoria and the National Product Liability Association hosted a twilight seminar on August 4.

The topic was: Product liability minefields: Effective risk management for component suppliers: When things go wrong – who pays?

The expert panel featured:
• Annette Hughes, partner of Corrs Chambers Westgarth and President of NPLA
• Caroline Kenny QC, e Victorian Bar and AILA Victorian committee
• James Dimitriou, National Manager, Corporate Complex Claims, IAG Commercial Insurance
• Jim Douglas, loss adjuster, from Cunningham Lindsey

The expert panel focused on how importers, manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers, with their insurers, brokers and risk managers, could best respond to Australia-wide concerns for the health and safety of people exposed to injury, loss or damage from mass-produced unsafe products, many of which originated from foreign manufacturers. Discussion included:
• Legal risk management to minimise liability exposure to claims for defective component products
• Practical tips for manufacturers and suppliers to limit their exposure to such claims, including compliance with industry codes of practice and applicable standards
• Underwriting and claims-handling initiatives to better protect an insured’s policy coverage against defective component product-based events and occurrences
• Best practice adopted by risk managers to reduce the potential liability risks for manufacturers and suppliers arising from defective component related claims.

In September, the topic was: Who's driving the injured worker?

Transport Accident Commission (TAC) and WorkSafe manage thousands of claims annually arising from transport and/or workplace incidents. Inevitably, some claims proceed to litigation and the state's court lists are dominated by matters involving both statutory insurers.

That has a flow-on effect for liability insurers that are ultimately called on to indemnify host employers, road maintenance contractors, occupiers and other insureds where a common law or recovery claim is made.

Tracey Dore, Senior Manager, Resolution, TAC and Shane O’Dea, Director Dispute Management Division, WorkSafe, discussed operational and logistical issues facing TAC and WorkSafe, key strategies and recent trends.

Thanks to DLA Piper for hosting the event and committee member David Randazzo for chairing it.

The branch’s final event for 2015 was on the Civil Procedure Act 2010. Panel guests were Justice Peter Riordan of the Victorian Supreme Court and Judge O’Neill of the County Court of Victoria.

The judges considered the “just, efficient, timely and cost-effective” resolution of insurance-related disputes, especially those involving litigants attempting to enforce third party rights against non-party insurers to related proceedings, having regard to the Civil Procedure Act 2010 (Vic).

The seminar was chaired by committee members barrister John Simpson, of the Victorian Bar, and Lauren Ritchie, senior associate of Norton Rose Fulbright.

Planning is in progress for a revitalised seminar program in 2016 that will introduce a series of Basics & Beyond lunchtime seminars and a new annual networking event designed to increase industry engagement while adhering to AILA's primary function of providing educational and training services and networking opportunities for the insurance industry.

The seminars will be in addition to the regular twilight seminars addressing key legal developments and will focus on practical expertise and trends across industry relevant topics.

The branch’s AGM and annual dinner is on 24 February 2016, sponsored by Barristers’ Clerk - John Dever, and featuring Simon Wilson QC as guest speaker.

Sadly, Jim Douglas resigned from the committee in September as he and his family are moving back to the UK permanently. Jim plans to continue his involvement with AILA's equivalent organisation in the UK. The committee thanks Jim for his service to AILA and wishes him well for the future.

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