by Brian Aherne

Thirty-one people attended a lunchtime seminar in the Law Society of Tasmania rooms on May 20.  The seminar title was Tried and tested defences in product liability matters.

Three very interesting speakers made presentations. They were Lorraine Gallagher, a partner with Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Delman & Dicker LLP, in the US; consultant Roy Watson; and Kelli Stallard, a partner with Dibbs Barker Lawyers and a former AILA president.


by Cameron Roberts

On May 8, AILA Victoria held a seminar on reinsurance, presented by Michelle Oothuizan and David North of Swiss Re. 

Surveys completed after the well-attended seminar confirmed the topic was well received and the content informative. Thanks to Michelle and David, and to CGU Insurance for providing the venue.

On May 22, Victoria committee member Mikaela Reynoldson joined Samantha Traves to present a seminar on pre-contractual disclosure obligations under the Insurance Contracts Act 1984 and the Corporations Act 2001.  They covered this important and relevant topic in great detail, producing papers that could be used as a blueprint to anyone confronted with an issue in pre-contractual disclosure. Thanks to Mikaela and Samantha, and to Herbert Geer for providing the venue and catering.

On June 25, AILA Victoria held a sold-out seminar on the Civil Procedure Act 2010.  Supreme Court of Victoria Associate Justice Daly and County Court Judge O’Neill presented on the approach the courts are taking to parties’ obligations under this important piece of legislation. They included an analysis of recent decisions in this relatively new area. Thanks to both for agreeing to present. Thanks also to AILA Victoria committee members John Simpson and Andrew Seiter for arranging the seminar and Herbert Geer for providing the venue and catering.

On July 24, AILA Victoria committee members Mark Attard and George Karalis presented a well-attended, thought-provoking seminar on construction risk insurance. Thanks to Mark and George, and to CGU for providing the venue.

AILA Victoria’s annual general meeting returns to the Regent Ballroom on February 26, 2014. This year’s annual dinner was considered one of the best yet so ensure you can attend.

Western Australia

by Stephen Williams

AILA WA had a very well received breakfast seminar presented by two WA psychiatrists, Dr Tony Mander and Dr Danny Shub.

They discussed their views and the diagnostic criteria for adjustment disorders in light of the increasing trend for such a diagnosis in personal injury claims. It was particularly interesting given the much-publicised arrival of DSM-V the month before.

In July, SRB Legal partner Hugh O’Sullivan presented a paper on contractual indemnities, posing the question: Are they worth the paper they are written on? Hugh outlined and discussed the law of contractual indemnities and how problems had arisen with the interpretation and use of indemnity clauses on a daily basis, referring to recent case law.

In August, Jarman McKenna partner David McKenna and special counsel Kathryn Roach presented a paper entitled Getting the horse back in the stable – have Sellars and Malec met their match? They discussed the impact of the NSW Court of Appeal decision in Prosperity Advisers Pty Ltd v Secure Enterprises Pty Ltd, focusing particularly on the potential impact it could have on the scope of brokers’ liability to insureds when sourcing cover for unusual or difficult risks. It also examined when an insured’s loss of a chance to get alternative cover became more than mere speculation, possibly sounding in damages against a broker, and considered the NSW Court of Appeal’s treatment of the High Court’s approach in Sellars and Malec.

Peixin Truong, winner of the 2013 AILA Insurance Law Prize at UWA, was the committee’s guest.

Attendances at breakfast seminars continue to be high and are a testament to the quality of the speakers and the hard work of the education sub-committee, chaired by Emily Neilsen.

WA members have been asked to save the evening of Saturday September 14 in their calendars. That is the date of this year’s annual membership social function. It will be a different format to previous years, but an exciting departure from tradition. Make sure you’re there.

New South Wales

by Penny Paterson

The NSW committee’s main focus is the national conference in Sydney on September 18-20 at Doltone House, Jones Bay Wharf.

The organising sub-committee has developed a wonderful program, topics and speakers.  Please come along and help make it the best conference yet. For more details see the website or contact me and I will forward you a brochure.  AIDA working parties are taking place before the conference and details are on the website.

The 2013 Twilight Seminar series has now finished and was a huge success – all feedback was very positive, particularly on speakers and topics.  The committee is now looking at the next series so if you have any specific topics or presenters you want to see presented, please let me know.

The Young Professionals networking sub-committee has been very busy.  The Year of the Snake on May 16 was sold out, which was brilliant.  Since then the YPs held the annual luminaries and YPs’ dinner, Old masters and the new wave, at the Museum of Contemporary Art, with 55 insurance luminaries and 55 YPs attending. It was a fabulous night and the venue, overlooking the Opera House, was perfect.  Thanks to event sponsors Holman Webb, Hunt & Hunt, Curwoods Lawyers, MIDD Forensic Accountants, Crawford & Co, Gallagher Bassett and Cerno who enable us to put on events such as these.

The next YPs event is at the GPO and will be an Octoberfest. Details will be available soon.  Please book early as tickets sell out quickly.
On August 22, there is a seminar entitled Reform of the NSW workers’ compensation scheme – one year on. Details are on the website. 

Committee members at the Snake event, from left, Chris Ehlers, MDD; Heather Ritchie, JLTA; Min Yang, Holman Webb; Eric Lowenstein, Aon Risk Solutions; Glyn Lloyd, Cerno; Siobhan Newton, Zurich; Penny Paterson, AILA; and Greg Greer, Graincorp.

Guests enjoy AILA NSW’s Year of the Snake event.


Sherlock Holmes champion wins Shorter award

AILA NSW hosted the second Ron Shorter Memorial Award on May 28.

The award was conceptualised by Ron Shorter, whose vision was to equip tomorrow's insurance industry leaders with the ability and confidence to speak publicly.

The award’s first stage involved young professionals telling why public speaking tuition would benefit them professionally and, if selected to compete, their preferred presentation topic.

Twenty applicants were selected to attend an intense one-hour session on public speaking facilitated by Jennifer Beard and Polaris Coaching. Afterwards, each applicant presented their topic in two minutes with the benefit of their newly acquired skills. Three finalists then attended a further intense one-on-one tuition session with Polaris to prepare them for 15-minute presentations in the award final.

The 2013 final was judged by NSW Supreme Court Justice Nigel Rein; NSW Supreme Court CEO and principal registrar Linda Murphy; and Jardine Lloyd Thompson executive director Andre Louw.

Senior insurance industry members and the presenters’ contemporaries attended the final, hosted by award sponsor Colin Biggers & Paisley.

Annabel Bowen, of Clyde & Co, spoke with extreme confidence on the topic "To Infinity and Beyond! The far-reaching scope of insurability, have we reached the final frontier?" It was based on the concept of insurable risk.

From left to right, winner Patrick Williams, from Moray & Agnew, with finalists Zi Lim, QBE Insurance (Australia) Ltd and Annabel Bowen, Clyde & Co.

Zi Lim, from QBE, spoke on "Certifying an act of terror – the role of insurance in response to terrorist attacks". The presentation focused on key issues, such as aggregation and terrorism levies, and considered disasters such as the Boston bombings. Mr Lim pressed insurance’s positive role on society in the wake of catastrophic events.

The 2013 winner was Patrick Williams, from Moray & Agnew. He presented on the "Potential pitfalls of liability expert evidence", speaking of the importance of ensuring experts were properly selected, briefed and their reports properly understood and conclusions tested. Mr Williams identified some common characteristics of experts, including the "Sherlock Holmes expert" - one who attempts to solve the entire case.

The award achieves its purpose - providing young professionals with the skills to speak on complex, dry, insurance issues with wit, authority and confidence. It gives young professionals the ability to express themselves in front of their industry peers. It also raises the individuals’ profiles and collectively the industry’s profile. For example, Maysem Elmaet, a 2012 finalist, has been selected to compete in a public speaking competition overseas.

South Australia

by Julie Kinnear

On August 1 AILA SA held its inaugural President’s Lunch at Crowne Plaza.

The lunch was a Leukaemia Foundation fundraiser with all proceeds going to the foundation. Guest speaker Chris Kirby, AMP Life’s national technical manager risk, addressed the topic Unfinished business and spoke on issues for businesses and individuals when serious trauma or illness happens to key individuals in a business and how to prepare for that curve ball.

The other guest speaker, John Fountain, gave a very personal account of his own experience. In 2009 John, an AILA life member and former AILA SA president, national board member and national treasurer, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, an incurable (but treatable) blood cancer.

John shared his experiences with reflections, observations and some lessons learned along the way in his presentation, Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans.  Thanks to members who supported the event and special thanks to MC John Homburg and committee member Michael Fotheringham for his efforts in making the event a success.

On August 23, AILA hosted a joint breakfast briefing with NIBA SA on the always hot topic of Contractual liabilities. The event received great support from all quarters and we hope to host more joint events with NIBA in future.

The final quarter of the year is extremely busy with more breakfast briefings, a Young Professionals function on October 18 at Bar Cuba and the national AGM in Adelaide on October 29. Thanks to committee members for their continued great work and commitment to the association.


by Tim Hancock

On June 21 the Queensland committee hosted an afternoon seminar featuring Lloyd’s Adrian Humphreys and Underwriting Agencies Council chair John Isles speaking on the topic of the Lloyd’s market’s role in Australia.

The seminar was well attended by legal practitioners and members of the industry and produced much interested discussion and feedback among participants.

The Queensland committee hosted a lunch-time seminar on August 6 featuring a presentation by Guy Hampson, a member of the Queensland Bar. His topic was Causation and breach of duty by public authorities. He discussed causation under civil liability legislation in Queensland and New South Wales.

Guy spoke to recent decisions in the area, including Strong v Woolworths Ltd; State of Queensland v Nudd and Kelly v State of Queensland.


Snapped on the Gold Coast

Resolve’s paparazzi snapped delegates enjoying a coffee break at the two-day AILA-Queensland Law Society insurance law intensive on the Gold Coast.

From left, Adrian Land, Morton & Morton Solicitors; Glenn Ferguson, WorkCover Queensland; and Michael Young, Lexon Insurance.

From left, Tegan Francis, DibbsBarker; and Lesley Barber, McInnes Wilson Lawyers.

From left, Robert Miller, Miller Bou-Samra Lawyers; and Greg Moroney, McKays Solicitors.

From left, Kylie Mulhall and Robert Sinnamon, from Sinnamon Lawyers; and Paul Tully, McInnes Wilson.

From left, Elizabeth Conlan, Minter Ellison; and Sheetal Tiwari, Turner Freeman.

From left, Nicola Gardner, Moray & Agnew; Melanie Quixley, Barry.Nilsson.Lawyers; and Chrissy Cheesman, Woolworths Ltd.

From left, Lorraine Gallagher, Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP; with Yvette McLaughlin, Sparke Helmore.


AILA encourages members to submit editorial contributions for consideration for publication in Resolve. Contributions will be included at the editor’s discretion. They should be supplied as a Word document by email to well in advance of the final deadline.

Articles should cover topics of interest in furthering insurance law education, for example, case notes and commentary on topical issues. Articles should be non-technical, written in plain English, and a maximum of 500 words.

Letters to the editor are also welcome, as are suggestions for leads the Resolve journalists can pursue. For all editorial inquiries, please email the editor Kate Tilley,, phone (07) 3831 7500. We look forward to receiving your contributions – this is your publication, have your say.