December 2020

Read a roundup of activities around the AILA and NZILA chapters


New South Wales

by Nicholas Zambetti

AILA NSW has continued to work hard to deliver webinar-style events during the last quarter of what has been a very challenging year due to Covid-19.

A special thank you to Angus Kench who has continued to spearhead the NSW webinar cabinet that has, with the help of the dedicated committee, helped to continue delivering content to members and maintain cashflow for AILA NSW. The webinar format has been a huge success.

Some highlights since the last issue of Resolve was published have been:

  • Liability by design – Unpacking new risks to design and building practitioners and insurers in the construction industry – organised by Robin Bowley and delivered by Amer Magrabi, Anthony Herron and Michael Giansiracusa.
  • Birds of a feather … two years on with AFCA – organised by Sylvia Quang and Matthew Harding and delivered by Jocelyn Furlan, Suzanne Oliver and Darren Ferrari.
  • Annual Life Insurance Law Review  – a popular and substantive undertaking organised by the committee’s dedicated “life” ambassador Stan Drummond, with Matthew Harding and David Arribas, and a long list of speakers.
  • Lessons from loss: Catastrophic event claims in Australia – organised by Angus Kench with speakers Marlyn Massey, Wes Rose, Andrew Walsh and Scott Cooper.

Preparations for the next AILA National Conference, postponed to 20-22 October 2021, continue with a headline program likely to be published before the end of 2020. The NSW 2021 National Conference sub-committee continues to work hard to finetune topics, work on speaker selections, and approach international speakers planned for inclusion.

Approaches to sponsors are now resuming as state borders re-open, so NSW is open for 2021 National Conference business.

Anticipating that 2021 might see a further easing of restrictions, we plan to defer the NSW AGM to the first quarter of 2021 in the hope we can host an in-person meeting of members over a drink.

I thank NSW committee members for their hard work this year and all NSW members who have continued to support AILA in what has been a confronting and testing year both in terms of our work and family lives.

I wish all members and friends of AILA NSW my compliments of the upcoming Christmas and holiday season and hope you take the time to relax and unwind, even if it’s just in the backyard having a BBQ with family and friends.



by Andrea Petrocco

The members have continued to support AILA Victoria via online webinars, virtual chats and providing constructive feedback.

We can’t thank you enough for your commitment and dedication to ensuring we remain relevant and of value in these challenging times, especially the 112 days of lockdown.

We saw fantastic attendances at recent webinars, which were:

  • Bringing ISR into the 21st Century
  • 2020 GICOP: Impact of vulnerability and financial hardship provisions
  • Insurance: A career not a job
  • Crisis management – preparing, responding and supporting
  • Friday night catch up
  • Birds of a feather…two years on with AFCA (shared webinar with AILA NSW)
  • Annual Life Insurance Review (shared webinar with AILA NSW)
  • Build it up or tear it down?
  • Clinical trials insurance.

To all presenters and moderators, sincerest appreciations for your continued support. Without your selfless contribution, we couldn’t have held the high calibre of events in 2020. Your generous donations to charities in lieu of speaker payments were a testament to the highest demonstration of humanity during these challenging times.

Get to know your AILA Victoria committee

You may have seen members of the AILA Victoria committee moderating or presenting webinars and wondered who they are. 

So over the next few issues of Resolve, you can get to know them, find out what they do in their day jobs, and, more importantly, their answer to “Why do you love being on the committee?”

This issue I introduce you to Matt Ellis, Darren Ferrari and Charlotte Adol.

Matt Ellis is a Melbourne-based partner at global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright, with a corporate and regulatory practice focused on the insurance sector. Matt advises insurers, reinsurers and intermediaries on corporate transactions, insurance and financial services regulation, warranty and indemnity placement, product design and distribution, and regulatory enforcement. Matt co-heads the firm’s cyber insurance practice in Australia, providing incident response services and regulatory engagement for corporate insureds. Having worked in Australia and London, Matt has 20 years of cross-border experience in the insurance sector covering corporate, regulation and claims. Matt has a genuine and broad understanding, and a keen interest, in the domestic and global insurance markets.

Why Matt loves being on the committee: “The insurance industry covers such a wide array of jobs and skills. Among them are lawyers involved in complex construction PI, or high-stakes class actions; brokers placing increasingly complex cyber risks for SME and large corporate clients; loss adjusters on the forefront of natural disaster recovery action; reinsurers leading the drive towards environmentally sustainable investment; and risk and regulatory experts assisting insurers through the complexity of post-royal commission reform.

“AILA brings together this wide cross-section of experts, providing seminars and events (Covid-19 permitting) with such diverse people and topics. It’s a constant reminder of how fascinating the insurance industry really is, and how many amazing people work to make the industry successful. Being part of the Victorian committee that contributes a small part to showcasing and assisting the industry is genuinely a privilege.”

Darren Ferrari came to Melbourne from Adelaide in 2001 to complete his articles and has stayed since. He has been at the Victorian Bar since 2007 and has a broad commercial practice, including in insurance advice and litigation. 

Why Darren loves being on the committee: “It's pretty simple, it's the connection with fantastic people with expertise from throughout the insurance industry and facilitating those connections elsewhere. As a barrister, it can be easy to lose focus on the industry as a whole, instead looking just at disputes. Being on the committee is a way to broaden that focus.”

Charlotte Adol is special counsel at Lander & Rogers specialising in insurance law with a focus on coverage advice and financial lines litigation and dispute resolution. Charlotte trained and qualified at a London insurance firm and has been at Lander & Rogers for six years.

Why Charlotte loves being on the committee: “It is a brilliant opportunity to catch up with peers and colleagues. I also value working with the committee to tailor AILA’s educational and social offering to the Victorian insurance market’s needs and am very proud of what we have achieved in the last six months during the pandemic in particular – well done team.’ 

Christmas and 2021

We have already planned an amazing calendar of events for early 2021. We thank AILA members and hope that, with the easing of restrictions, we can see you at events in 2021. On behalf of the AILA Victoria committee we wish you and your families the very best Christmas and a happy, healthy and safe new year.


South Australia

By Scott Duell

We are (thankfully) starting to see some more positive trends and news when it comes to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Our minds are starting to shift back towards the social and personal aspects of our industry, and how we can incorporate them with AILA offerings moving forward.

In SA, we are very much looking to get back to some face-to-face events. It is just a matter of how we continue to manage our obligations and responsibilities for physical distancing measures.

If all continues to go well, we should see some of those events starting to take shape in the latter period of 2020 and going into 2021.

In September, AILA SA again took part in the Dive In Festival. We were lucky to have Laura Bradley from Gallagher Bassett speak on Leadership post-pandemic: Shaping our future with diversity. This was well received and supported and we were able to provide some support for the charity Shine SA.

In October a webinar, The D&O crisis – Navigating the road ahead, was presented by Ryan Bloomfield from Marsh and Glenn Crombie from Chubb. It was another well attended, informative presentation and we thank Ryan and Glenn for their contributions.

As we wrap up a year that has been anything but typical, thank you to all members and friends of AILA for their ongoing and continued support, contributions and solidarity over this period.

I must also thank the SA committee members who volunteer their time and energy to make this organisation what it is. It certainly hasn’t been an easy year for the vast majority of people and we look forward to seeing more faces in 2021.



by Kate Stockford

As 2020 draws to a close, Tasmania is having one last push with events. 

Our first face-to-face networking event for the year, held in conjunction with YIPs and E-reports, on 20 November, was a return to (almost) normality which has been a long time coming, especially considering this event was first scheduled for February this year.  

On 23 November, we reflected on inherent WHS and workers’ compensation risks for employers who have employees working from home (WFH) and how to address them when WFH is now more common than ever.

Finally, we plan to have a discussion on the pros and cons of telehealth assessments in early December.

The AGM is scheduled for 16 December with a planning session to follow to plan for a bigger, brighter, more personal 2021 – hopefully with a return to predominately face-to-face events.

I thank all members of the Tasmanian committee for working as hard as they did through a year full of changes, unknowns and difficulties. On top of their own lives and work being disrupted they continued to dedicate themselves fully to AILA.

On behalf of the Tasmanian  committee, I wish all AILA members a safe, relaxing and happy Christmas and New Year with their families and look forward to seeing you all again in 2021.


Western Australia

by Justine Siavelis 

The WA AILA committee excitedly awaited the return to face-to-face seminars with Adam Nolan, barrister at Francis Burt Chambers, delivering that elusive ethics point with Ethical issues in injury claims.

The seminar was followed by the year-end AGM and sundowner and a wrap up of  important cases and developments during the year in the injury space, with David Burton presenting.

The first face-to-face seminar since early 2020 came off the back of a successful webinar program, with thanks to Greg Pynt, Gemma Edwards-Smith, Ruth Slater, Glen Walker and Carolyn Moss for their successful presentations and adapting so well to the new format.

The committee has already had the first 2021 planning session and looks forward to delivering seminars in developing areas, including a cross-border collaboration on the business interruption test case.

We look forward to seeing members in person again sometime soon.



by Berren Hamilton

Given the continuing, necessary restrictions due to Covid-19, the Queensland chapter has continued to hold webinars.

On 15 October 2020, environmental liability experts Johanna Kennerley, from Carter Newell Lawyers, and Alan Thorn, Assistant Vice-President – Environment Impairment Liability, from Liberty Specialty Markets, presented on the topic Climate change and environmental risks for Australian businesses.

The session was chaired by Stephanie Levesque, from Carter Newell, and provided an overview of the multi-faceted climate change risks facing Australian businesses that continue to grow in magnitude each year. The session examined particular insurance policies that can assist to manage the risks.

If you did not get the chance to see the webinar live, it is available free to members to watch from the AILA library and we encourage members to view it.

On 5 November 2020, Barrister Keith Howe presented a webinar titled And they’re off! When race day ends in a bad way: Dangerous recreational risks in racing.

 The session was chaired by Michelle Tomley, from Jensen McConaghy, and took the audience on a journey through recent fast-paced, adrenaline-charged court decisions, including Singh bhnf Ambu Kanwar v Lynch. Again, the webinar (as with all AILA webinars) will soon be available for members to watch from the AILA library.

On 9 December 2020, Douglas Campbell QC and barrister Blair Hall presented Can it Hap2 to you? What every financial lines insurer needs to know about how far the duty of a professional adviser extends. 

Douglas and Blair acted for the plaintiff in the Queensland Court of Appeal judgement in HAP2 Pty Ltd v Bankier [2020] QCA 152, which found in favour of the plaintiff for the failure of her financial planning firm to give proper warnings and advice about investing a lump sum and the effect of depletion of the capital sum, by spending the capital sum.

The session, chaired by barrister Jane FitzGerald, discussed the question of whether there is any certainty about what precisely is the scope of the duty owed by any professional adviser to their client, having regard to the HAP2 judgement and the 2019 NSW Supreme Court judgement in Snowden v Australian Mortgage Assist Pty Ltd [2019] NSWSC 1799.

The Queensland chapter hopes to return to hosting face-to-face seminars and events in the new year. Also looking ahead to 2021, the Queensland chapter YP sub-committee is excited to roll out a mentoring program as part of AILA’s commitment to supporting and developing the next generation of leaders in the insurance industry.

Back to top

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