December 2022


Board welcomes new members

AILA President’s message – Cameron Roberts

The AILA AGM in October saw several changes to the board.

I would like to thank outgoing board members Raff Pisano and Luke Taylor for their excellent contributions to AILA.

Raff joined the board in 2019 and was responsible for establishing the successful FinLines@AILA portfolio. She co-ran the Ron Shorter Award and was instrumental in the change of training service provider to the Australian Institute of Management and the introduction of the online process in 2020. Raff is a former Victorian president.

Luke has been a board member since 2017 and headed the marketing portfolio. He established the initial marketing plan in 2019 and oversaw the rebrand in 2022. Luke has been a Tasmanian committee member for many years.

Many thanks to you both.

We also welcome three new board members, Andrea Petrocco, Matt Ellis and Kate Stockford.

Andrea Petrocco is Manager, Regulatory Response & Projects, Group Risk at IAG. She was the AILA Victoria president in 2020 and 2021.

Matt Ellis is a partner at Clyde & Co, Melbourne, which he joined in July after 14 years with Norton Rose Fulbright. Matt is a member of the Victorian committee.

Kate Stockford is a special counsel at Page Seager in Hobart. She is a former Tasmanian president and was national conference chair in 2019.

The new Board has big plans for AILA over the next 12 months.

Next year we will host the AIDA XVI World Insurance Congress Australia, WICA2023, on 30 August –1 September at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The theme is “Insurance Upside Down”, with the program to cover topics such as disruption, innovation, sustainability, affordability and collaboration. WICA2023 will be a truly global conference, showcasing world-class speakers and driving diversity of thought spanning age, gender and occupations. Mark your diaries now and ensure you get to Melbourne next year for this exciting event.

Next year will also see a new AILA website, a membership benefits program and continuing focus on industry engagement. The 2019 marketing plan is being re-visited to match the association’s needs for 2023, and because much of the original plan has been achieved.

With 2023 marking AILA’s 40th anniversary, there will be much to celebrate.


Consistent with AILA's commitment to all in the insurance industry, AILA was thrilled to launch Property@AILA, with the aim of servicing the continuing education needs of that segment of the industry so heavily impacted by natural catastrophes in recent times.

The first Property@AILA seminar was on 18 October and attracted a huge audience. Victorian president, Darren Ferrari reviewed recent decisions to provide guidance for insurance practitioners on causation.

Board member Tylie Petrovski heads the portfolio and more events are planned for 2023. If you have any suggested topics you would like covered, please let Tylie or me know.

Vale Bob Ellicott

A man considered instrumental in the establishment of modern Australian insurance law, former Attorney-General Bob Ellicott, died on 31 October 2022 at the age of 95.

Mr Ellicott was the Commonwealth Solicitor-General from 1969 to 1973 and won the seat of Wentworth in Sydney for the Liberal Party in the 1974 federal election. He served in the Fraser ministry and, as Attorney-General from 1975 to 1977, was a central figure in establishing the Federal Court and implementing significant legislative reforms.

Those reforms included asking the inaugural chair of the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) Michael Kirby, who served in that role from 1975 to 1984, to conduct an inquiry into insurance laws.

The inquiry resulted in two landmark reports. ALRC report 16, which covered agents’ role in insurance, eventuated in the Insurance (Agents & Brokers) Act 1984. ALRC report 20 eventually led to the implementation of the Insurance Contracts Act 1984.

Mr Ellicott retired from politics to be appointed to the Federal Court, serving as a judge from 1981 to 1983.

Gill Award winner announced

AILA is proud to announce the winner of the annual Gill Award.

Scott Breihl, an associate at Turks in Sydney, wrote a paper and presented on the topic ‘A fair go: What insurance ombudsman schemes around the world can learn from the Australian experiment with fairness’.

He argues international schemes can learn lessons from the Australian Financial Complaints Authority’s approach to the notion of fairness.

Scott’s paper says: “AFCA is a world-leading insurance ombudsman scheme with mandatory membership, significant monetary jurisdiction up to A$1 million, extensive compensation powers and the discretion to depart from legal principles under its ‘fair in all the circumstances’ principle. It is not bound by prior decisions nor are its decisions subject to appeal.

“This Australian fairness experiment has provided increased consumer protection and outcomes but has also resulted in a nebulous notion of fairness not represented in law, contract or industry codes taking precedence over procedural fairness.”

However, Scott is not advocating legislative change, saying AFCA has committed to implementing the findings of a Treasury review, published in August 2021. The review’s 14 recommendations on fairness included that AFCA not operate as “a fairness advocate” in ways that reduce its impartiality.

Scott won a $10,000 prize to enable him to attend an AIDA event and present his paper to AIDA’s consumer protection & dispute resolution working party.

He plans to attend the AIDA XVI World Congress 2023 in Melbourne.

The Gill Award was established in 2019 to recognise Michael Gill’s substantial contribution to AILA and AIDA.

Michael is a past president of AIDA; chair of the National Insurance Brokers’ Association’s code compliance committee; a former partner and chair of DLA Piper, where he remains a consultant; and has served AILA at many levels, including as its inaugural president.

He co-founded AILA after attending the AIDA 1982 World Congress in London. His involvement has continued throughout AILA’s history and he is a life member.

Joining me on the judging panel for the Gill Award were Samantha Traves, a consultant to Barry.Nilsson Lawyers and an adjunct professor at the University of Queensland; and Patrick Mead, a partner at Carter Newell.

We highlighted the quality of the 2022 submissions and presentations, and it was a close call between the winner and the runner up.

Second place went to Timothy Chan, from Norton Rose Fulbright, whose paper and presentation was titled ‘A question of degree – making the uninsurable insurable on the road to climate change mitigation and resilience’.

Joint third place was awarded to Mowen Lee, of Hannover Re, for his paper on ‘Keeping up the good fight: How new technologies can help insurers combat insurance fraud’ and Kevin Nhan, of Liberty Specialty Markets, for his paper ‘Climate change – an opportunity for more change by insurers’.

Congratulations to Scott and the other placegetters.

Appeal upholds Federal Court decision

Finally, in the June 2022 issue of Resolve, we reported on a Federal Court decision in which Lloyd’s syndicates successfully argued that a conformity clause within a policy enabled then to deny indemnity for Covid-19-related business interruption, despite the policy referring to the Quarantine Act 1908, which had been replaced before the policy’s inception. 

The conformity clause included the words: “References to a statute law also include all its amendments or replacements.”

Federal Court Justice Jayne Jagot on 10 March 2022 had consequently found the words “or other diseases declared to be quarantinable diseases under the Australian Quarantine Act 1908”, which appeared in clause 7 of the policy written by Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s of London for Dural 24/7 Pty Ltd, ought to be read as “or other listed human diseases under the Biosecurity Act 2015”.

Dural 24/7 operated a gym franchise at Dural NSW and the policy was in force from 1 January 2020 to 1 January 2021.

In an appeal decision, the Full Federal Court has upheld Justice Jagot’s judgement.

The appeal’s outcome again emphasises the importance of precise policy wordings.

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