March 2020


Read a roundup of activities around the AILA and NZILA chapters


South Australia

by Scott Duell

We are already part way into 2020, a year that promises further change in an ever-evolving industry.

Planning for the 2020 SA program began well before the new year.

In February, AILA SA hosted Sparke Helmore Partner Mark Doepel to speak about the fallout from the Hayne royal commission, with an update on what has occurred in the past 12 months since his last presentation on the subject.

In March, AILA SA was again partnering with the AICLA SA branch to host a “Welcome to 2020” social event, giving all the industry a chance to reconnect and look forward to the year ahead.

On behalf of the AILA SA Committee, I would like to recognise and thank Nigel Wilson.

Nigel was SA chapter President from 2015 to 2019 and a regular contributor to the educational program, including presenting at AILA national conferences. Sincere thanks to Nigel for his contributions and leadership.

Thanks also to the SA committee for their tireless efforts and commitment.


by Emma Baker

Queensland ended 2019 by welcoming several new committee members and sadly bidding farewell to some great contributors who retired.

The new 2020 committee is:

Berren Hamilton, president; Emma Baker, secretary; Nhu Nhuynh, treasurer; Alex Canavan; Taylor Crydon; Chau Donnan; Jack Fairweather; Chris Gibson; Kevin Holyoak; Melanie Husband; Stephanie Levesque; Brendan Lloyd; Erin Martin; Tom O’Hara; Melanie Quixley; Olga Sashko; Paul Spezza; and Michelle Tomley. 

A big thank you to retiring committee members Tamara Baldwin, Joanna Burton, Daniel McCormack, Emma Topen and Claudia Virgona. You will be missed.

The year was off to a great start with the launch of Life @ AILA with a seminar, Are you prepared and shaped?, on 4 February. Keith Howe, Qld Bar, hosted a panel of specialists in the field - Fiona Hanlon, a partner at Turks Legal; Benjamin Ruback, senior legal counsel at Sunsuper; and Kevin Holyoak, Qld Bar, who discussed decisions around the standard definition of total and permanent disability in life policies.  Click here to read more.

The life seminar was followed by the Annual General Insurance Law Review on 24 March, to be presented by Katie Clark, Minter Ellison; Brooke Jacobs, HWL Ebsworth; Ken Horsley, Qld Bar; Julie Darley, Hastings Deering; and Paul Baxter, Hall & Wilcox; with chair Jacinta Long, Clyde & Co.

The committee is hard at work preparing for several big events over the coming year, including the return of the Luminaries Dinner, which was a great success for the YP committee last year, the Ron Shorter speaking competition, breakfast seminars, networking events, and the annual insurance law intensive which returns to the Calile Hotel on 5 June.

The theme is Walking in another’s shoes. The intensive will focus on the impact of the bushfire disasters and recap on the 2011 Qld floods and how those and other natural disasters impact on the industry. Planned topics for discussion include climate change, class actions and subrogation.

The committee is working on bringing together a compelling array of experts to discuss these and other hot industry topics with a keynote address by Qld Supreme Court Justice Graeme Crow. Sponsorship opportunities for the event are now open. Please contact Emma Baker on (07) 3231 7716 or email to discuss opportunities.

Western Australia

by Justine Siavelis

The WA chapter is busy planning the year ahead with a new seminar venue and an exciting array of events in the pipeline.

The WA committee welcomes new members Daniel Coster, Moray & Agnew, and Elizabeth LeBreton, Insurance Commission of WA, and farewells Fiona Dempster, Tim Searle and Joel Speldewinde. Justine Siavelis is the new WA chapter president and Heather Osborne, the treasurer.

Upcoming educational events explore topics such as claims arising from excavation of adjacent properties, ethical issues in injury claims, and nervous shock. In addition to the traditional education program, the committee is planning a joint event with the NIBA young professionals, a wellbeing event with Myall Wellbeing, and a high tea for the first half of the year.

The Annual General Insurance Law Review is scheduled for Wednesday 25 March with Jenny Thornton, Quayside Chambers; Terry Clavey, Stone Chambers; JP Wood, Norton Rose Fulbright; and Mark Birbeck, Meridian presenting.

The Sir Ninian Stephen Masterclass returns to Perth on Friday 22 May with an array of high-calibre speakers and an excellent program.

The WA committee thanks its immediate past president Rebecca Pember for her outstanding leadership over the past two years and is pleased to support Rebecca’s appointment to the national board as a WA representative, alongside Andrew Lillico.


by Kate Stockford

The Tasmanian committee had a successful planning day in December 2019 and has in motion a comprehensive education program for 2020.

The first offerings for the year will be a general insurance code of practice online compliance training session, an AGILR seminar, and a social event to farewell summer.

The committee has already started planning the flagship program, the workers’ compensation masterclass, scheduled for August.

This year the committee hopes to expand its reach to the north of the state and will trial a seminar there in May. With some new and enthusiastic members on the committee, great things are foreseen for AILA Tasmania in 2020.

New South Wales

by Nicholas Zambetti

Sincere thanks to outgoing president Andrew Thomas for his commitment and contribution to AILA NSW over the past two years.

Thank you also to the AILA constituency for having confidence in me to lead AILA NSW. I will do my utmost to evenly represent AILA members and strive to deliver the high quality of educational content and networking opportunities we have become accustomed to expect.

I am fortunate to have an experienced, devoted team on the NSW committee who work tirelessly, and often very quietly, to support AILA’s aims and success.

Here are some events to open the year:

On 27 February, the annual mock trial was held in the Banco Court of the NSW Supreme Court, presided over by NSW Supreme Court Chief Justice TF Bathurst.

On 5 March, the inaugural NSW Ladies@ AILA event was planned.

On 12 March, the informative Annual General Insurance Law Review will be at Ashurst Australia. It is a time-efficient way of revisiting recent cases that affect every day practices.

The usual line up of Twilight seminars starts from 13 May. They are always popular and seek to straddle the network of topical insurance issues we face.

In addition to the regular events that fill the AILA NSW calendar, we are thrilled to host the next national conference in Sydney on 28-30 October, 2020 Vision – An eye to the future.

Preparations are in progress with venues all secured and the program undergoing thorough work to ensure we deliver material of interest to the widest audience within the AILA family.

We are now opening sponsorship opportunities to this signature event. Interest can be registered via any committee member or the AILA office in Melbourne.

2020 will bring a new vigour to AILA. AILA is about insurance law for the industry as a whole, not limited to the core and crucially important constituency of members of the legal profession. To that end, new, attractive pricing initiatives are being introduced to help attract industry participants. These initiatives are also being introduced at national general membership level as well, all aimed at increasing industry participation.

As we work through 2020, we look forward to the many other events in store, including the Ron Shorter public speaking award, Young Professionals events, life insurance seminars, and the many ad-hoc seminars we organise to ensure AILA NSW can constantly keep members up to date with developments in the insurance law space.

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