December 2021

Read a roundup of activities around the AILA and NZILA chapters


New South Wales

by Nicholas Zambetti

In the last quarterly update in September, I was fortunate to sneak in a late update on the status of the National Conference, originally planned for October 2021.

I can now expand further. The next AILA National Conference is on 10–12 August 2022.

While the fresh dates are earlier than usual, Sydney’s mild winters are conducive to mid-year conferences and we are pleased to have secured the same high-quality venues, Doltone House, Jones Bay Wharf, as the main conference and welcome reception venue, and Luna Park as our showcase conference dinner venue.

The 2022 AILA National Conference will deliver insights on current topical issues in the new Covid-19 affected world and the future of insurance and the law in Australia. The program will be reviewed and updated to reflect the latest insurance law developments.

I encourage you to check the website regularly for updates. Marketing for the conference will resume early in 2022. Sponsors are welcome to review the latest sponsorship offerings in the National Conference section of the AILA website.

Branch events

With the Covid-19 situation having improved markedly in NSW, thanks to high vaccination rates, we aim to transition most if not all events back to in-person events in 2022.

We have moved the NSW AGM to an in-person event on 24 February 2022 and thanks to Norton Rose Fulbright for offering their venue again. The session highlight is NSW Appeal Court Justice Anthony Meagher, who has kindly offered to speak on the latest developments and outcomes with the Covid-19 test cases. Marketing will start in December.

The NSW committee continues to deliver excellent content. On Tuesday 7 December, the YP committee organised an excellent webinar, How to maximise your career in insurance – Tips and tricks of the trade from leading Young Professionals. 

Planning has started for a combined NSW/Victoria seminar next year, with a twist on Fawlty Towers, on commercial arbitration.

The past few months have seen several great seminars, for which the organisers are sincerely thanked:

  • Techub: Will I still have a job in five years’ time?
  • The effect of a force majeure clause in a transportation contract due to the Covid-19 pandemic
  • The Annual Life Insurance Law Review (NSW/Vic).

I wish all members and friends of AILA a happy Christmas and holiday season. Let’s hope we can all start 2022 afresh with renewed hope for more normality in our lives and in how AILA can deliver to and support its members.

Please stay well.



by Andrea Petrocco

The Victorian committee has finished the year with some amazing events that have seen interest from AILA members and friends at an all-time high.

They included:

  • Insurance law 101 – what emerging professionals need to know
  • Graffiti walls and social media:  Defamation liability in the wake of Voller
  • The new epidemic: Claims for psychiatric injury
  • AFCA fairness, vulnerable complainants and claims handling
  • Insuring the unruly horse: Illegality and public policy in insurance contracts and claims
  • Back to virtual e-trial future: Judicial expectations and arrangements for remote hearings – where to from here?
  • An update on the new GICOP.

I thank all our presenters and moderators who contributed to the success of AILA in 2021. Without you and your generosity we would have been unable to deliver such a successful program of work.

For next year, the committee is already working on webinars and seminars, including a return to F2F with our AGILR and other events.

I thank Victorian committee members for all their hard work in 2021, especially considering the continued lockdowns and demands this placed on them personally and professionally.

To members and friends, I wish you all a wonderful Christmas and a safe and happy New Year.

We look forward to your support in 2022.


South Australia

By Scott Duell

We have made it to the end of yet another somewhat tumultuous year, as we adjust to our new normal.

AILA continues to put on outstanding educational webinars, with more face-to-face events occurring as restrictions ease around the country.
In South Australia, we have again been involved with the Dive In Festival and hosted another webinar, From #metoo to #wetoo in the law, presented by Rebecca Sandford, President of the Law Society of South Australia.

We partnered with the SA NIBA YP chapter to put on our first mock trial event – Broker negligence in court. It gave great insight to industry colleagues about what occurs within the courtroom and demonstrated how a negligence claim may actually play out. It was an extremely well supported event and gave us the opportunity to do some long-overdue networking and socialising with our peers.

Justice Mark Livesey will again deliver the Year in Review end-of-year event. We sincerely thank him. Justice Livesey has been extremely generous with his time and a great supporter of AILA over the years. We look forward to this hugely popular event, which is evident by the attendance we get from the industry every year.

We wish all our families, friends and colleagues a safe and happy festive season, and look forward to continuing into 2022.



by Kate Stockford

The Tasmanian committee has had a variety of wonderful educational opportunities over the past few months.

They include the successful Workers’ Compensation Masterclass throughout August, culminating in a well-attended cocktail party, and an analysis of the law arising out of the Dunalley bushfires in Prestage & Ors and Barrett & Anor (2021) TASSC 27.

It has been wonderful to have the support of not only sponsors but attendees from all aspects of Tasmania’s insurance community and across the nation at these events.

The Tasmanian committee’s AGM is scheduled for 9 December 2021, which will include a strategy planning session for 2022.

Already, some exciting ideas have been raised as potential topics and events.

Tasmania’s longstanding board member Damon Symes has stepped down from his role on the National Board and we are thankful for all he has contributed to AILA over the past years. We hope to convince Damon to return to the branch committee after a short break.

Luke Taylor is continuing his role on the National Board as one of Tasmania’s representatives and David Farmer has stepped up to take Damon’s place. We look forward to working with the National Board in 2022 through Luke and David and thank them both in anticipation of their ongoing contributions.

The Tasmanian committee wishes all AILA members and their families best wishes for the festive season. Stay well and enjoy a break. We look forward to seeing and working with everyone again in 2022.  


Western Australia

by Justine Siavelis 

The WA committee has continued its successful educational program, hosting sessions on:

  • District Court advocacy and trial preparation with David Burton (McCabes)
  • Held to ransom – current reflections on cyber claims, a webinar with panel of speakers, Nitesh Patel (Gilchrist Connell), Brian Smith (Slipstream) and Anthony Smit (Sedgwick)
  • Forensic accounting with Muranda Janse Van Nieuwenhuizen (Nexia Australia)

On 10 November, Guy Tomlinson, of National Forensic Investigation Consulting, presented on Fire investigations from an electrical perspective.

The WA committee will invite members and friends to end the year with a sundowner event where speakers from the Insurance Commission of WA will speak on claims harvesting and fraudulent claims.

We look forward to the new year and a fresh new education program and invite thoughts and ideas for the committee so it can best meet its members’ needs.



by Jack Fairweather

The Queensland branch has continued its busy 2021, rolling out three webinars to AILA’s national audience with large attendances:

  • Key evidentiary rules in civil proceedings: Brown v Dunn, Jones v Dunkel and hearsay, presented by Jane Menzies and Mark Steel, Northbank Chambers, on 7 September
  • Covid-19: Can we presume it was work related? presented by Charlotte Dignan, Nicole Levy and Mahen Manokarathas, Minter Ellison, on 5 October
  • Historical sexual abuse: Righting the wrongs of the past while balancing rights in the present, presented by Richard Douglas QC, Callinan Chambers and Hemmant’s List, and Gerard O’Driscoll, Darrow Chambers, on 10 November.

Recordings for each are available on the AILA website.

Queensland took advantage of increasingly relaxed Covid-19 restrictions to roll out another face-to-face seminar, The fine art of responding to pure psychiatric injury claims, on 20 October, presented by Richard Morton, Clashfern Chambers, to a sold-out audience.

The Queensland branch thanks all presenters for generously donating their time and for their informative presentations.

AILA Queensland was scheduled to close 2021 strongly, with an inaugural mock trial at the Supreme Court of Queensland’s Banco Court on 2 December, sponsored by Hemmant’s List.

QCAT President Justice Martin Daubney AM presided with barristers Kathryn McMillan QC, Richard Douglas QC, Kirsty Gothard and Angela Rae appearing for the hypothetical parties, and barrister Michael Hickey and solicitor Brett Heath taking on roles as witnesses. Networking and drinks followed, allowing attendees to catch up face to face.

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