Insurance

Meridian Lawyers provides expert claims management, litigation services, corporate advisory and regulatory advice to the general insurance industry. Our insurance team’s combined experience gives us a thorough understanding of the operations of Australian and international insurance companies.

Our lawyers advise general insurers, underwriters, self-insured entities, reinsurers, claims management agencies, brokers and their intermediaries, industry associations and a wide range of corporate organisations.

Our extensive experience extends to the United Kingdom where we have high-level capabilities delivering advice and services for Lloyd’s Syndicates and the companies market, adhering to reporting protocols, reserving philosophies and binder arrangements as they apply in the Australian market.

Delivering cost-effective, commercially astute advice, we understand our clients’ focus on risk management strategies including monitoring of claims costs, pricing, alternative dispute resolution and the need for accurate reserving.

We have a detailed understanding of the nuances attaching to insurance litigation and the critical importance of adhering to compliance and service level agreements. We provide comprehensive advice on:

  • public, product and property liability claims
  • professional indemnity liability claims
  • life insurance claims
  • legal fees expenses cover/disciplinary proceedings
  • property and Industrial Special Risks
  • construction and contract works
  • directors and officers liability claims.

 

Corporate advisory, regulation and compliance

Our corporate and regulatory expertise covers:

  • insurance policy, drafting new wording, interpretation and new insurance product development
  • establishment and structuring insurance business and distribution arrangements for agents and brokers
  • mergers and acquisitions
  • insurance portfolio transfers and run off schemes
  • M&A and capital raising
  • D&O insurance
  • reinsurance arrangements
  • prudential supervision, capital requirements and governance
  • regulatory advice relating to APRA, ASIC and ACCC requirements
  • workers compensation
  • governance
  • privacy law
  • competition law
  • consumer protection law.

How our clients benefit

Through our ‘one team’ approach we forge close working relationships with our clients, who experience:

  • access to an established, smaller team focused on client service;
  • our resolve to anticipate clients’ needs and to work collaboratively to provide innovative and cost-effective solutions;
  • our ability to provide more focused team supervision, resulting in more efficient and proactive file management; and
  • our culture, which is built on a tradition of excellence, integrity, innovation, accessibility and a commitment to provide exceptional service.

Legal Insights

  • Court’s disdain for disability claim

    Justice Pembroke’s decision in Doltic v Hannover Life Re of Australasia Limited in the Supreme Court of New South Wales on 27 July 2017 is interesting not because it creates any new law but because of His Honour’s erudite assessment of the plaintiff’s case. Following a motor accident in 2009,…

  • 70 years in the making: the Civil Liability (Third Party Claims Against Insurers) Act 2017

    Since 1946 Section 6 of the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1946 ('Section 6') has been the main vehicle through which claimants in New South Wales have gained direct access to the liability insurance policies of other persons. However, Section 6 has long been the subject of criticism from the…

  • Dealing with complex facts in assessing contribution for an asbestos exposure injury

    The Supreme Court of Victoria decision of Swiatek, handed down on 21 December 2016, provides an insight into how the courts deal with complex issues of factual causation and contribution involving multiple defendants in a case relating to an injury resulting from ongoing exposure to asbestos over an extensive period…

  • Impact of Federal Budget on the financial services sector

    Overview: The Commonwealth Government’s 2017–2018 Budget initiatives released on 9 May will target three principal regulatory components in the financial services sector over the short and longer term, in particular: reforms to dispute resolution capturing financial services, superannuation, trustee services, banking, finance and insurance expanding the powers of the Australian…

  • The insurer strikes back

    The recent NSW Court of Appeal decision in Stealth Enterprises trading as The Gentleman’s Club v Calliden Insurance Limited (delivered on 5 April 2017) provides further guidance on: What must be disclosed by insureds when entering into and renewing contracts of insurance; and The burden of proof on insurers in…

  • Brand loyalty in professional indemnity insurance: risks of shifting insurance cover

    The case scenario: A registered health practitioner was involved in the treatment of a cardiac patient in 2008. The practitioner heard nothing further about the patient until receipt of a letter from the Coroner’s Court of Victoria in 2012 requesting a statement concerning the patient’s cardiac management in 2008. The…

  • General insurers need to be ever mindful of best practice advertising

    It is essential for the general insurance industry to maintain proper standards of advertising. The general insurance industry is a prudential business. It is regulated by our prudential regulator APRA and it is also subject to scrutiny by the other regulators including the corporation’s regulator ASIC, the competition regulator, the…

  • Meridian Lawyers named in Best Lawyers in Australia 2018 edition

    Media release: Australia’s Best Lawyers announcement on 7 April 2017 named Meridian Lawyers Special Counsel Peter Axelrod as a Lawyer of the Year for Aviation Law, following his recognition by Best Lawyers® in this area of law for the past 10 years. Meridian Lawyers congratulates seven Principals for their recognition as amongst the best…

  • Attempted murder during offsite training: is the occupier liable for psychiatric injury?

    Case note: Optus Administration Pty Limited v Glenn Wright by his tutor James Wright [2017] NSWCA 21: In overturning a decision of the Supreme Court of NSW, the Court of Appeal considered the application of section 32 of the Civil Liability Act 2002. By a 2:1 majority, the Court of…

  • Meridian Lawyers successful in long-running professional negligence case

    Meridian Lawyers has successfully defended a long-running professional negligence case against a solicitor. Case note: Borgese [2017] NSWSC 92: The plaintiff, Domenico Borgese, was born into a family of orchardists near Leeton. He lived with his five sisters and his parents, Carmella and Giuseppe on the family farm. The plaintiff left school…

  • Breach of confidence: royal affairs

    Borgese [2017] NSWSC 92: What I love about my work as a lawyer is that every case is different. With each case I prepare, I invariably find something of interest and I learn from the experience. Last week, I had the pleasure of successfully defending a professional negligence case against…

  • Private health insurers to face proposed new risk management prudential standard

    In December 2016, APRA released a Discussion Paper on a proposed “Risk management prudential standard for private health insurers”. APRA is proposing to issue a new Prudential Standard CPS 220 Risk Management (CPS 220), which will apply to private health insurers. The discussion paper invites submissions on the extent to…

  • When has an obligation to obtain informed consent been discharged?

    Medical practitioners have a duty to ensure that their patients understand the general nature and material risks of the treatment they will undergo. The recent NSW Court of Appeal decision in Biggs v George[1] considered the duty of medical practitioners to warn patients of material risks and what is required…

  • The duty of care owed by a principal contractor – is it delegable?

    In its recent decision in Gulic v Boral Transport Ltd[1] the NSW Court of Appeal has found that the duty of are owed by a principal contractor is delegable even though the principal may have some power to direct the work being pursued. Factual background At the time of the…

  • How will technology change the types of claims we see in the future?

    Q&A with Principal Robert Crittenden: What technology risks are emerging and what are the implications for insurers? A: Emerging technology risks include cyber attacks and data breaches; software malfunctions in commercial settings; mobile internet and cloud data solution vulnerabilities; information/data that has been lost, stolen, disclosed, destroyed or corrupted; and…

  • Video: Negotiating and evidence of a legal retainer

    In a case concerning solicitor’s liability and the nature of a retainer, Meridian Lawyers Principal Robert Crittenden discuss the recent decision of the New South Wales Supreme Court (Hoeben CJ at CL) in Richtoll Pty Ltd v WW Lawyers (in Liquidation) Pty Ltd [2016] NSWSC 438, with Dominic Priestley SC…

  • Important development for Australian insurers and reinsurers domiciled in Singapore

    On 15 July 2016, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) published its third consultation paper on proposed revisions to the Risk-Based Capital (RBC) framework for insurers. The third consultation paper sets out the revised proposals, which take into account the feedback received from the second consultation paper on MAS's review…

  • Is this the end to using contractual indemnities to apportion liability for workers’ injuries?

    The Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation (National Injury) Insurance Scheme (Amendment Bill 2016) has been introduced into the Queensland Parliament. Along with numerous amendments aimed at reconciling the National Disability Insurance Scheme with the Queensland Workers’ Compensation framework, the Bill also contains a number of amendments, which if enacted, have the…

  • High Court win: finding reminds courts of appeal of their limits

    Robinson Helicopter Company Incorporated v McDermott is a case of two major errors: the first by a helicopter repairman who improperly serviced a component causing a crash, and the second by the Court of Appeal, which improperly applied the wrong standard of review to the factual findings of the trial…

  • Insurance insights: The pitfalls of lending a helping hand

    Lending a helping hand is an ideal ingrained into the Australian psyche. Doing that little bit extra is something we often do without thinking twice about it. However, in light of the recent decision of the New South Wales Court of Appeal in South Sydney Junior Rugby League Club Ltd…

  • ACCC targeting businesses with an online presence

    In late February 2016, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) released its annual Compliance and Enforcement Policy and announced its enforcement priorities for 2016. Health and medical sectors remain a continuing priority this year. The ACCC has indicated that it will continue with investigations to ensure health service providers…

  • Meridian Lawyers named in Best Lawyers

    Meridian Lawyers congratulates its Principals following their recognition as amongst the best in Australia in the 9th edition of Best Lawyers®. More than half the firm's Principals are listed in the 2017 edition, demonstrating the team's depth of experience and expertise across the areas of Insurance Law, Litigation, Commercial Law,…

  • Foresights: Internet of things and social media – Parts 1 & 2

    Julie Somerville, Principal at Meridian Lawyers, comments on the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's (ACCC) renewed enforcement priorities and the implications for professionals with an online presence, including health service providers. While social media and the internet of things offer new ways to interact with clients, they also carry new risks,…

  • Foresights: recent case rulings challenge the status quo

    Duty of disclosure: raising the bar Robert Crittenden, Principal at Meridian Lawyers, discusses how a recent Supreme Court of NSW decision has raised the bar for insureds in complying with the duty of disclosure. Case: Stealth Enterprises Pty Limited trading as The Gentleman’s Club v Calliden Insurance Limited [2015] NSWSC 1270…

  • Foresights: Public liability

    Risky recreation: Nevena Brown, Principal at Meridian Lawyers, tells us how this NSW Court of Appeal case impacts on reliance on the Civil Liability Act NSW, which will assist with claims management regarding recreational activities. Case: Alameddine v Glenworth Valley Horse Riding Pty Limited [2015] NSW CA 219 Watch the video.

  • The broadening shadow of section 54

    The High Court of Australia has dismissed the appeal of various Lloyd’s underwriters (the "Insurers"). The High Court’s reasoning presents a reading of section 54 that produces a literal and commercial outcome, which many insurers will find disappointing. (Maxwell v Highway Hauliers Pty Ltd [2014] HCA 33, 10 September 2014)…

  • Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble for plaintiffs

    This Court of Appeal’s decision will assist retailers in dealing with damage caused by products sold and injury being sustained, external to but in close proximity to a store. The decision also provides useful judicial comment on the extent of the duty of care that retailers have with respect to…

  • Meridian Lawyers and CLS join forces in Brisbane

    Meridian Lawyers is pleased to announce that CLS Lawyers will join the firm effective 1 September 2014. This move to expand Meridian’s presence in the Brisbane market is consistent with the firm’s strategic growth as a leading law firm servicing the insurance industry. Meridian welcomes Principals Dennis Cronin, Ed Zappert…

  • Best Lawyers recognises leading insurance lawyer

    Meridian Lawyers is proud to announce the recognition of Principal Rob Minc in the seventh edition of Best Lawyers in Australia. Rob was selected by his peers for inclusion in Best Lawyers in Australia in the practice area of Insurance Law. Managing Principal Paul Baker applauded the result and said: “This achievement recognises the…

  • Taking the ‘literal’ or ‘intended’ meaning: High Court reserves judgment

    Meridian Lawyers is advising in relation to the following litigation which will have ramifications for the way that dependency claims may be quantified at least in New South Wales and Victoria. Taylor v Owners - Strata Plan No. 11564 in the High Court of Australia No. S179 of 2013: In…

  • Insuring builders: claims by subsequent owners

    The landmark Australian High Court decision in 1995 in Bryan v Maloney made builders of residential properties liable to subsequent owners. Since then there has been a number of decisions confining the scope of the decision. In a significant change the NSW Court of Appeal has recently extended its reach…

What our clients say

  • “Thank you to all the Meridian team for your support... I’ve never experienced such superior service from any partner/supplier in my professional career.”

    Marissa Limberis, Marketing Manager, Blooms

  • “The level of reserving strength is unusual in the industry. I have only ever seen it once before in the professional risks section of a large insurer.”

    Clive Amery, founding director,
    AM Actuaries

  • “Meridian has a fantastic team of professionals. You did the impossible with a calm and thorough approach throughout. Thank you.”

    Cameron McCullagh, former Chief Operating Officer, Steadfast

  • “Meridian Lawyers always provides an outstanding level of service and quality of advice to both the Australian Veterinary Association and our members.”

    Graham Catt, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Veterinary Association

  • “You have been nothing but brilliant, supportive and positive in your professionalism… I have no words to describe how fantastic you have been. Thank you is not sufficient.”

    Claudine Sachwald, Physiotherapist

  • “Meridian are more than just lawyers to us – they are there when our customers need them the most, providing advice and reassurance. They are a vital piece of the puzzle in the analysis of our claims trends, they are well respected in our markets as experts in the field and most importantly they deliver results. It is a unique partnership that I have not seen replicated in the industry.”

    Allison Prince, Head of Claims, Guild Insurance

  • “Guild Insurance has a unique working relationship with Meridian Lawyers. We have always found their service to be cost conscious and they focus upon commercial resolutions taking into account overall cost considerations. They provide a wonderful service to our team.”

    Chris Harcourt, National Liability Claims, Guild Insurance

  • “The Meridian experience combines a depth of experience across a wide group of industries and Associations with integrity, robust advice, support and a tenacious defence of their clients’ legal entitlements.”

    Bill O’Reilly, client

  • “Thinking about the person from Meridian Lawyers who managed your claim, on a scale of 0-10 how satisfied were you: 10 out of 10 for Helpfulness, Knowledge, Courtesy, Professionalism, Clear Communication, Frequency of Communication.”

    Source: GIL customer survey January 2014

  • “Whilst I would never have chosen to be in the position I have found myself to be in, I consider myself fortunate to have come to know and deal with Kellie Dell’Oro. Her absolute professionalism, integrity, palpable expertise and compassion are sincerely appreciated. She has been able to alleviate much of the stress associated with an inherently stressful process and for that I am truly grateful.”

    Physiotherapist, Victoria

  • “I would not hesitate to recommend Meridian Lawyers. Their service has been both professional and personalised – I could not have hoped for better legal support than I have received. Should I need legal advice again, Meridian Lawyers would most definitely be my first choice.”

    Physiotherapist, Victoria

Contact

  • Sydney

    Level 6, 20 Bond Street
    Sydney NSW 2000
    T:
    +61 2 9018 9999
    F:
    +61 2 9018 9900
  • Melbourne

    Level 12, 357 Collins Street
    Melbourne VIC 3000
    T:
    +61 3 9810 6777
    F:
    +61 3 9810 6770
  • Newcastle

    Level 6, 45 Watt Street
    Newcastle NSW 2300
    T:
    +61 2 4047 2600
    F:
    +61 2 4047 2699
  • Brisbane

    Level 8, 60 Edward Street
    Brisbane QLD 4000
    T:
    +61 7 3220 9333
    F:
    +61 7 3220 9399