Matt McDonald

Partner

Qualifications: LLB (Hons)

Industries

Practices

Matt has vast experience and expertise in public and product liability, professional indemnity, property, including recoveries, class actions and coverage disputes, and fraud.

He has extensive expertise managing a wide variety of matters for leading insurers and self-insured corporations.

Matt is known for being an exacting practitioner. He is appreciated by his clients for his straightforward, cost-effective, and prompt advice. Responsive and personable, Matt applies the insight of his years of experience across a broad range of legal work for insurers. He has a particular talent for conveying highly complex legal concepts, factual and expert material in an accessible, user friendly way.

Matt has been listed as a finalist for the Lawyers Weekly Partner of the Year in Insurance for 2019.

Matt is a member of the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF) and he sits on the ANZIF Claims Discussion Group Committee. He regularly presents seminars and workshops for his clients, the insurance industry, and professional service providers.

Experience

  • Representing the interest of four major Australian general insurers in the class actions arising out of the devastating Black Saturday fires, through which our clients will collectively recover approximately $250 million.
  • Representing the interest of a number of major insurers in the Jack River and Mickleham-Kilmore class actions.
  • Defending a nurse and his employer in a Victorian Supreme Court proceeding against allegations he caused the plaintiff to suffer a massive stroke as a result of the negligent insertion of a catheter. The dispute was ultimately settled with nil contribution by our client.
  • Acting for the insurer of a liquidator in a Victorian Supreme Court proceeding against allegations of professional negligence, and misleading and deceptive conduct being pursued by a group of secured creditors which was resolved favorably.
  • Acting for a university in the Victorian Civil & Administrative Tribunal in relation to allegations made by a foreign student of sexual and racial discrimination resulting in psychiatric injuries. This proceeding was settled with nil payment from our client and the allegations were withdrawn.
  • Successfully defending insurers against an ISR claim for over $1 million in property damage to a metal recycling plant on the basis that the damage was fraudulently exaggerated.
  • Working closely with Victoria Police to investigate a fire which destroyed a historic homestead.  The claim was well in excess of $1 million.  Matt liaised closely with Victoria Police to uncover evidence of the insured’s involvement in the arson.  This work ultimately lead to the insured making a full confessional statement to police.  The insured is now serving a custodial sentence.

Recognition

Lawyers Weekly – Partner of the Year Awards
Finalist, Insurance Partner of the Year

Professional Membership

  • Australian Insurance Law Association
  • Law Institute of Victoria

Latest thinking

Thinking | 29 Oct 2019

SMSFs and powers of attorney: why ensuring compliance is vital

In the third video of our series examining the five key self managed super fund (SMSF) estate matters you must talk to your clients about, Senior Associate Kate Gould highlights the important compliance obligations of powers of attorney in relation to SMSFs, particularly: if the client is relocating overseas; and to allow the attorney to validly execute or update death benefit nominations. This could be important in light of the recent superannuation transfer balance cap rules