Ilona Strong

Partner

Qualifications: LLB (Hons), BA

Industries

Practices

"Ilona provides a complete and holistic approach, great lawyer, ethical lawyer, very thorough in her work, straight to the point, great advocate, friendly, understanding of our business and demands, achieves great outcomes, organised, intelligent, tech savy and has good relationships with the industry." – Workers' Compensation Manager

‘Ilona Strong, whilst managing a portfolio of self-insurer clients, always returns calls the same day. Ilona is able to provide on-the-go advice, thinks strategically, always puts the client first, and delivers great legal outcomes for us. Ilona provides great customer service, easy-to-read advice, is tech-savvy, maintains great relationships with other practitioners in the industry, and always takes a non-litigious approach to disputes.’ – Legal 500 2022

Ilona has more than 15 years’ experience with her practice focusing on both statutory and common law claims across both Victorian and Tasmanian workcover legislation. She has acted for both agent insured and self-insured clients that operate in a range of industries, including manufacturing, retail and banking. Ilona also has experience in acting for clients in the commonwealth compensation jurisdiction.

With an approach that addresses each claim holistically, Ilona ensures that her clients’ business needs are reflected, whilst also gaining an understanding of the industries in which they operate. She recognises the benefits of early resolution of workers’ compensation claims without resorting to protracted litigation for both her clients and the injured worker. With this in mind, Ilona’s strategy is to be proactive and negotiate settlements as early as possible.

A strong team player, Ilona enjoys working alongside her clients, and managing claims and strategy collaboratively, which often includes liaising with different client representatives of a particular self-insurer. Clients often call upon her to give verbal strategic advice prior to the lodgment of a claim and during the lifecycle of a claim for compensation. Having insight into the operations of a client can assist with putting the right strategy into place early on and in some cases in anticipation of a claim being lodged.

Understanding her client’s frustrations and common problems they faced led to the development of CLEAR. CLEAR stands for common law early assessment review and is a web based application that Ilona designed to assist clients identify common law claims early and to be proactive rather than reactive in the defence of such claims. Ilona won the WorkSafe Innovation Award for CLEAR in 2019.

Ilona has experience with secondments and assisting self-insured clients with establishing processes and systems in relation to day to day claims management as well as providing strategic claims management advice.

Ilona was a winner of the Australasian Lawyer’s Elite Women 2021 which recognises the top 50 Leading Women in Law. She has also been recognised in The Best Lawyers in Australia every year since 2021 and is a Recommended Lawyer in the Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2022 in Insurance Law. In 2020, Ilona was a Partner of the Year – Biglaw finalist in Lawyers Weekly Women in Law Awards.

Experience

  • Experience with secondments and assisting self-insured clients with establishing processes and systems in relation to day to day claims management as well as providing strategic claims management advice.
  • Assisted a self-insured client with the resolution of a common law claim that had a very lengthy history, with the Plaintiff engaging two separate law firms and refusing to resolve their claim. The strategy in place early was to resolve this matter given the Plaintiff’s injuries, age and limited work capacity. Every opportunity was used to resolve this matter. The Plaintiff during negotiations at a subsection 12 conference, ultimately resolved their common law claim. Persistence was the key in achieving a resolution in a matter complicated by the Plaintiff engaging two separate law firms and feeling uneasy about resolving the claim.
  • Assisted a self-insurer with rejecting and ultimately resolving a statutory benefits claim that had been accepted but was subsequently rejected using CCTV footage that had come to light following the acceptance of liability. The Plaintiff in this matter subsequently pursued common law damages. An early resolution was achieved through early identification of the difficulties faced by the Plaintiff in terms of the medical evidence and establishing negligence. An early site view, knowledge of the freight operations and engagement of the freight staff at the self-insurer was crucial to the favourable outcome.

Awards and recognition

The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2022
Recommended – Insurance
Best Lawyers in Australia 2021-2023
Recognised – Insurance Law
Australasian Lawyer’s Elite Women 2021
Top 50 Leading Women in Law
Lawyers Weekly Women in Law Awards 2020
Finalist, Partner of the Year – Biglaw

Latest thinking

Insurance | 5 Apr 2022

Latest case updates for self-insurers – April 2022

In our latest update for self-insurers, we look at some recent cases, including the difference between a psychological and psychiatric injury, whether there was negligence involved in a kerbside fall, why perception is paramount in relation to psychiatric injuries and statutory benefit claims, and whether an evidentiary dispute is required for a medical panel referral to be made.