Australia: How We Can Help - a guide to our legal services

Insurance Update (Australia)
Last Updated: 15 April 2013
Article by Russell Adams and Michael Down

The depth of our insurance sector knowledge combined with our strength in the corporate and commercial areas means that we are uniquely positioned to provide the full range of legal services. In Australia, we provide solutions in a broad range of areas.


We have significant experience in this area and provide the following services to our aviation clients: air transport regulation, industrial relations, and airport and aviation insurance and litigation.


We have considerable experience in handling claims involving contract works insurance policies and have advised both insurer and insured clients, head contractors and subcontractors. Such building-related contracts require careful consideration of indemnities and insurance clauses and a proper analysis of the entities indemnified by a contract works policy.


Our full range of services includes applications for approval to operate insurance businesses, ongoing licensing and implementation issues including product disclosure statements, transferring portfolios, industry regulation by the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, reinsurance issues and distribution of products through intermediaries.


Our services in this area range from pre-publication review and advice through to acting for plaintiffs and defendants in litigated matters. We provide pre-publication review and advice to most major book publishers in Australia, which includes contempt as well as defamation issues.


Our lawyers have been acting and advising on D&O insurance issues across Australasia since D&O insurance first appeared in Australia in the 1970s. We have drafted a number of D&O policies and advised on the impact to insurers of legislative implications and recent corporate governance legislation.


We have a strong understanding of the responsibilities and obligations of employment law, including unfair dismissals and discrimination claims. We provide comprehensive legal representation to employers, insurers and self-insurers and are the preferred solicitors for a large number of employers in the government, hospital and private sectors.


We have extensive experience in advising clients on risk management and risk allocation. This includes the structuring and implementation of appropriate insurance. We often advise and draft policy wordings and other policy documents and consider the most appropriate insurance to meet the client's risks.


Our lawyers are experienced in all classes of propertyrelated claims, including industrial special risks. The claims have involved coverage disputes, double insurance, claims quantification issues and recovery actions.


We are experienced in all areas of international trade law and are backed by a global network of trade lawyers. We have expertise in areas of customs and quarantine, the sale of goods and trading terms, transport and logistics, security and payment, regulation and international conventions.


We are recognised internationally for our expertise in all areas of law affecting the marine sector. Our marine industry clients include marine cargo, hull and liability insurers and brokers, vessel operators and owners, carriers and forwarders, terminal and port operators, government agencies involved in the regulation or the purchase of maritime transport services, importers and exporters.


We are regularly retained to advise on interpretation of motor vehicle policies by a range of general insurers in the context of the Insurance Contracts Act 1984 (Cth), which limits the liability of an insurer to rely on exclusion clauses. Such exclusions must be considered very carefully.


We have extensive experience in the handling of claims under product recall policies and product liability policies. Many of these claims involve difficult issues of loss and damage as well as complex technical matters. We also have particular expertise in the area of the attachment of the loss ("the happening of the occurrence") and the operation of the various interlocking exclusions to cover customarily found in these policies.


We have a team of leading professional indemnity practitioners across a wide range of professions. Our expertise includes claims defence, coverage advice and disputes, and risk management.


We have a long history of providing advice to our insurance clients in relation to property coverage. This includes advice on physical or material damage and the consequential loss covers that flow from it, such as business or income interruption. We also have established relationships with the specialist firms of adjustors in this area.


Our Reinsurance team includes lawyers with strong international reputations in this area. We are experienced in claims defence, coverage advice and disputes, and corporate and regulatory advice. Our team has been involved in a large proportion of Australia's leading reinsurance disputes and claims for local and international clients. The corporate advisory members of our team provide specialist corporate and regulatory advice to the industry.


Our team is recognised internationally for its risk management expertise. One of our distinct strengths in this area lies in our ability to identify potential risks before they manifest into issues, problems or claims. Consistent with our view that avoidance and early detection of potential legal problems is the most effective way of managing legal risk, we develop training and preventative programs for many of our key clients.


Our Insurance and Reinsurance team advises a broad range of international insurers and reinsurers on all aspects of transactional, regulatory and litigation matters. Our expertise in regulation and knowledge of the industry gives us a unique perspective on all aspects of risk, which enables us to anticipate problems and assist clients with restructuring, acquisitions and dispute resolution.

Our unrivalled geographical reach enables us to offer a truly international and cross-jurisdictional service to the insurance and reinsurance industry. Our lawyers are located in each of the firm's major offices in the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East. We also have strong links with law firms in Africa.

As well as being truly international in our reach, we believe in delivering local expertise in each jurisdiction in which we practice through lawyers with deep experience of the local legal and business environment.

© DLA Piper

This publication is intended as a general overview and discussion of the subjects dealt with. It is not intended to be, and should not used as, a substitute for taking legal advice in any specific situation. DLA Piper Australia will accept no responsibility for any actions taken or not taken on the basis of this publication.

DLA Piper Australia is part of DLA Piper, a global law firm, operating through various separate and distinct legal entities. For further information, please refer to

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