December 2016


AILA President’s message
Susan Vidler

New life members appointed

At the National Conference in Adelaide, AILA announced the appointment of two new life members.

They are Gilchrist Connell Adelaide principal John Homburg and Barry.Nilsson. Brisbane partner Rhett Kennedy.

AILA also presented the annual Insurance Law Prize to a former partner and now consultant with DLA Piper in Melbourne, Peter Rashleigh.

John Homburg has more than 30 years’ experience in health and medical insurance and a long and successful record of defending complex medical malpractice claims. He was on the national board from 2008 to 2016 and served as national treasurer from 2010 to 2016.

Rhett Kennedy practices in general liability and professional indemnity, acting for Australian and international insurers. He was a Queensland branch committee member for more than 15 years until 2008 and was Queensland president and a national board member from 2000 to 2001.  Rhett is profiled in this issue of Resolve.

Peter Rashleigh was a founding member of AILA’s Victorian branch and served on the state committee for many years. He was involved in establishing the Geoff Masel Memorial Lecture Series in honour of his late mentor and delivered the inaugural address in 2005.

I congratulate all three award recipients, who have made vital contributions to AILA and insurance law across many decades.


Asia Pacific Insurance Conference launched

The inaugural Asia Pacific Insurance Conference (APIC) was officially launched to an Australian audience during the National Conference.

Confirmed for 18-20 October 2017 in Singapore, APIC is a dedicated insurance conference drawing regional and international industry experts who will focus on insurance issues relevant to the Asia Pacific region specifically and globally.

APIC is the first insurance conference of its kind organised by volunteers from major insurance-related organisations affiliated under the auspices of AIDA.

APIC Chair David Lee said: "APIC will provide an unrivalled opportunity for insurance industry professionals to meet, network and discuss topical, relevant content delivered by experts in their field. The insurance context of this conference will give clear legal, regulatory, and operational insights to future pathways for all industry participants."

For more information, go to or email I look forward to seeing many AILA and NZILA members in Singapore next year.


New president

I would like to welcome AILA’s new national president Angus Kench to the role.

Angus, who is Assistant VP, Casualty Claims - Asia Pacific, with Liberty International Underwriters, was an enthusiastic NSW president and I am sure he will bring fresh ideas and energy to the national role.

Congratulations, Angus.


Task force to examine ASIC regulations

Federal Minister for Revenue and Financial Services Kelly O'Dwyer has announced a task force to review ASIC’s enforcement role.

She said the taskforce would assess the suitability of existing regulatory tools available to ASIC to perform its functions adequately, whether there is a need to strengthen ASIC's enforcement toolkit and, if so, what that might look like.

She said the terms of reference allow for a thorough but targeted examination of the adequacy of ASIC's enforcement regime, including for industry codes of conduct, to deter misconduct and foster consumer confidence in the financial system.


National claims and policies database released

APRA has released its national claims and policies database (NCPD) reports for 2015.

NCPD is a comprehensive database of policy and claim information on professional indemnity (PI) and public and product liability (PL) insurance. It contains data on open, reopened or finalised claims and policies underwritten since 2003 by APRA-regulated general insurers.

The latest stats show declines in average written premiums for PI and PL risks and reduced gross claim payments for both.


APRA steps up focus on risk culture

APRA has released a major paper on risk culture within APRA-regulated institutions.

The paper provides:

• an overview of developments in identifying and supervising risk culture
• observations on current industry practices
• an outline of APRA’s supervisory priorities.

APRA says although Australian institutions avoided the worst of the global financial crisis, the nation has not been without its own examples of poor risk culture. HIH’s 2001 failure, for example, highlighted the central role a weak organisational culture and a dismissive attitude to risk management had in the demise of the insurer.

The paper emphasises the important focus APRA has put on risk culture.


Season’s greetings

As the festive season approaches, I wish all AILA and NZILA members and their friends and families a safe and happy holiday break.

A message from the incoming AILA President

By Angus Kench

I am extremely honoured and excited to have been elected AILA President at the November board meeting. 

I congratulate outgoing President Sue Vidler on the enormous amount of drive and commitment she has given AILA in her term as President.

Sue, the board, and state and territory branch executives, supported by the Secretariat, have driven a considerable program of change ensuring AILA is set up for future success.  

I am very pleased we have much to look forward to with AILA in great shape to deliver on its objectives of education, debate and networking across all sectors in the insurance space. Topical, insightful seminars delivered by engaging speakers are at the forefront of AILA’s offering and, having seen draft plans of branch programs, 2017 looks like being a very active, vibrant year. 

I am particularly excited to be involved in planning the inaugural Asia Pacific Insurance Conference in Singapore in October 2017. Already the program looks fascinating and speakers are world class. Singapore is at the centre of much change in insurance in the APAC region and a very important place for insurers, brokers, service providers and others to visit and experience first hand. 

Another area we are committed to develop is the focus on Young Professionals. Key to AILA’s future success, the newly formed National YP sub-committee has achieved a lot in a very short time, including YP events in each branch during Q4 2016.

They sub-committee has developed the biggest YP program for 2017 we have ever seen. They are working on other exciting initiatives, which I will report on as the year unfolds.

I look forward to working with the board and the branches so AILA’s national strength supports and assists the delivery of relevant, vibrant, engaging seminars and events at branch level. AILA is fortunate to have dynamic, passionate branches, without which the association could not deliver the enormous array of activities it does.

I encourage all members to be actively involved in our wonderful association. Having been a member now for more than 20 years, I can vouch for the educational and networking benefits it brings to everyone in the insurance sector. 

Please contact me if you would like to discuss any aspect of our association.

I trust all members and their friends and families have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I hope you get a chance to take time out and relax. See you all in 2017. 

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Resolve is the official publication of the Australian Insurance Law Association and
the New Zealand Insurance Law Association.