David is a partner with over 25 years' experience practising as an insurance risk and dispute resolution adviser.
David’s main areas of focus are in executive and professional risks, servicing insurers, their insureds and corporate clients.
He advises on a wide range of complex coverage, liability and loss assessment issues involving claims against private and publicly listed companies, corporate trustees, directors and officers, and a range of professionals across financial services, insurance, legal, construction, public sector and media & technology industries.
He also has a ‘front end’ advisory practice. For primary and excess layer insurers, this includes advising on product development/review, negotiations with intermediaries and responses to royal commissions and regulators. For corporate clients, this includes advising on risk management, insurance coverage and insurance programme negotiations.
David is an exacting lawyer focused on providing clients with commercial and innovative solutions tailored to their needs, taking into account their key drivers and the law. He has been listed a ‘leading/recommended professional indemnity lawyer’ – Victoria, in Doyle’s Guide.
David’s experience has included:
- Acting as coverage counsel for primary insurers of a corporate trustee involved in three multi-party class actions issued in the Supreme Court of Victoria, the Supreme Court of New South Wales and the Federal Court of Australia, respectively. The actions involved collapsed managed investment schemes leading to large loss to investors and allegations of negligence, breaches of trust deeds and breaches of reasonable diligence obligations under the Corporations Act.
- Defending an insurer in the Supreme Court of Victoria in an action initiated by its insureds for alleged breaches of the policy and misleading and deceptive conduct, in failing to grant cover under the policy to the insureds for a significant settlement reached and defence costs incurred in a previous action.
- Defending excess layer insurers in a series of multi-party actions issued directly against them in the Supreme Court of Tasmania in connection with a collapsed managed investment scheme conducted by a law firm.
- Defending a CFO of an agribusiness company in the Supreme Court of Victoria in an action initiated by the company’s auditor who alleged, among other things, that the company’s insolvency was caused by the CFO’s breaches of duty of care and diligence owed to the company at common law and under s180 of the Corporations Act.
- Defending a firm of accountants in a multi-party action issued in the Supreme Court of South Australia involving allegations of negligent advice related to Fringe Benefits Tax and related party loans in contravention of Division 7A of the Income Tax Assessment Act.
- Defending a public authority in a multi-party class action issued in the Supreme Court of Victoria by residents of a development who alleged significant economic loss in the hundreds of millions and personal injury, as a result of the lateral migration of landfill gas. It was alleged the public authority was negligent in the approval, licencing and monitoring of the landfill.
- Defending a structural engineer in a multi-party action issued in the Federal Court of Australia by owners of a residential development who alleged significant loss arising from design and construction defects. Allegations against the structural engineer included that it provided an incorrect wind rating for the development and that it failed to report the lack of protective coating on structural steelwork observed during an inspection.
- Defending a building surveyor in a multi-party action issued in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal by an owners corporation of a residential development. Allegations against the building surveyor included that it was negligent and breached the provisions of the Building Act in failing to identify design defects in the building permit documentation and failing to identify construction defects during mandatory inspections, including use of non-compliant flammable aluminium composite panels as cladding for the development.
- Assisting a general insurer with its responses to the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.
- Assisting a general insurer with its responses to a Risk Management Review conducted by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority related to cyber risks and business interruption claims.
- Assisting a US mobile phone technology company in the development of a mobile phone insurance product including wording development and the drafting of PDS (working in conjunction with the compliance and regulatory team).
- Assisting a general insurer with its comprehensive review and amendment of its Business Pack Policy for its broker network.
- Assisting a corporate client in negotiations on terms under a W&I policy with the insurer in connection with its acquisition of a business by way of a share sale agreement.
- Advising primary and excess layer insurers on policy wording development and review across a range of insurance product lines.
- Advising corporate clients on policy interpretation and coverage under a range of policies including professional indemnity, directors & officers liability, construction risk, ISR and public liability policies, in connection with claims, risk management and mergers and acquisitions a range of policies.
Awards and recognition
Doyle's Guide to the Australian Legal Profession 2022-2023Recommended professional indemnity lawyer
- AILA: Committee Member
- APIG: Member
Unfair contract terms resource centre | 11 Sep 2023
Significant changes to the existing unfair contract terms regime relating to financial products and insurance contracts take effect on 9 November 2023.