June 2024


Lani Carter shares holiday snaps of her favourite destination.

Italy beckons new SA President

Profile: Lani Carter, AILA SA President
by Resolve Editor Kate Tilley

What is your current involvement with AILA?

I joined the AILA SA committee in 2017 and last year took on the role of SA President.

How long have you been a member?

Since 2016 (eight years and counting).

Why did you join AILA?

Primarily to stay up to date with issues in the insurance industry. It has been a bonus that my membership has also provided great networking opportunities and opportunities to work with industry leaders, such as Peter Mann, to present topics of interest to the industry.

What is your current job?

Special Counsel in the Adelaide office of Sparke Helmore Lawyers.

What does your role entail?

I head the professional indemnity and health practice in South Australia and the Northern Territory.

I act for medical and allied health professionals, lawyers, brokers, accountants, agents and builders (to name a few) across a wide spectrum of matters, including having advised on royal commissions and inquiries. 

I also provide advice on property liability claims and recoveries.

Some background on your career path?

When I finished high school, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I started with a Bachelor of Arts (majoring in French) and finished it before I had decided on my next step. After backpacking in Europe, I decided to apply for law to see if I liked it and, as it turned out, I did.

I was a research assistant for my French contracts law professor who introduced me to my first job in the law, conducting research about Aboriginal traditional knowledge.

Once I was admitted, I worked for a small firm which took on lots of pro bono work which meant I got to take on more responsibility than might have been the case in a larger firm. I worked on a broad range of matters often under the guidance of pro bono counsel.

I then completed a Masters of Law at Melbourne University and loved my time there.

Why insurance?

I think, like most people in the insurance industry, I stumbled on insurance by accident.

I was seeking a role involving litigation and was recommended by a friend at the bar to apply for a job in insurance.

I found I really enjoy the diversity of work that comes with practicing in insurance and the discipline required by clients to update and advise at regular intervals.

In my view, the insurance industry is one of the best training grounds for litigators as our clients are typically sophisticated, they understand the legal system, and they expect a high standard of service to protect their own interests, and the interests of their insured clients.

In the professional indemnity space, it is a privilege to advise and guide professionals in what can be a difficult time in their lives – having received a complaint impugning their professionalism or a claim against them alleging some wrongdoing (often with the potential to affect their means of earning a living).

What do you do in your spare time?

I have a toddler who takes up nearly all my spare time talking my ear off about excavators and digging up our backyard with his own ‘Eric, the excavator’. When I do take time out sans toddler, I usually catch up with friends and family (champagne in hand) at the French film festival or in a restaurant.

What's your favourite holiday destination? Why?

I think Positano and Taormina tie for first place in my heart as favourite holiday destinations.

I love the Italian pace of life and the focus on good food, wine and family. Both Positano and Taormina are coastal locations with outstanding views. I also like to think I can speak Italian after a glass of prosecco and the Italians are nice enough to pretend they understand my nonsense!

What would you never give up?


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