Julie Somerville

Principal
Sydney

With almost 25 years’ experience, Julie has significant expertise in the areas of professional indemnity, medical negligence and public liability. Working closely with her clients to understand their business, Julie appreciates the financial and personal ramifications of a claim, complaint or investigation, and is known for her deep understanding of the legal, reputational and business issues facing professionals.

Julie has particular expertise handling claims involving allegations of sexual molestation and breaches of professional boundaries. She has assisted several allied health professionals in disciplinary complaints arising out of such issues. She has also handled, and is handling, litigated and unlitigated claims arising out of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

She has defended claims involving religious institutions, schools, sporting associations, church property trusts, aged care providers, community groups, child care centres, health and allied health. Julie brings an empathetic and pragmatic approach to practice. She is known for her ability to bring clarity to complex legal issues and simplify the jargon associated with legal and disciplinary systems.

Julie has been recognised by Doyle’s Guide and Best Lawyers for her expertise in medical negligence, Health & Aged Care Law, Insurance Law and Professional Malpractice Litigation. Having acted in a number of major cases, Julie’s experience includes:

  • appearing for persons of interest in Coronial Inquests into deaths in aged care facilities and childrens’ services;
  • regularly assisting, and appearing for, a wide range of allied health professionals in disciplinary complaints, from preparing initial responses to AHPRA and the HCCC through to appeals from decisions of the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal;
  • advising insurers on indemnity and coverage issues relating to claims arising from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse;
  • defending litigated claims alleging child physical and emotional abuse and sexual misconduct against various religious and secular institutions;
  • successfully defending a medical negligence claim against a public hospital arising out of catastrophic injuries suffered by a child during birth; and
  • successfully defending a claim against a child care centre by an employee who, while working at the centre, allegedly contracted a virus resulting in catastrophic injuries to her child in utero.

Julie is a member of the Law Society of New South Wales, Australian Professional Indemnity Group, Women in Insurance and the Medico-Legal Society of NSW.

RECENT INSIGHTS
Feb 23, 2017

INSIGHT: Real-time prescription monitoring: what does it mean for health practitioners?

Since at least 2012 there has been an increasing push in Australia for the implementation of a national real-time prescription monitoring system that alerts doctors and pharmacists to people who are misusing prescription drugs. More than 20 Coronial Inquests in New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia alone have recommended a real-time prescription monitoring system […]

May 4, 2016

INSIGHT: “Learn – change – sleep – repeat”… welcome to the new world

Principal Julie Somerville writes: This week my 10 year old son asked me “mum, how do I know if a hashtag has already been used, or whether I am using the right one” (his school must have a good cyber education program!). Times are changing and there is no doubt that it is vitally important […]

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