Matthew Curll

Partner

Qualifications: LLB, BSc

Industries

Practices

'Matthew Curll is one of the top "go-to" people for Australian insurance law matters – both coverage and defence. Reporting is clear, concise and well presented.'Claims Adjuster, Chaucer PLC

Matthew is not only a leading insurance lawyer but is highly regarded in developing key client relationships and key client teams to create long standing partnerships. Matthew is the co-lead of the Firm’s award winning National Financial Services + Insurance Industry Group. Matthew enjoys a strong industry presence including with key industry associations such as ANZIIF and FSC, and also Government where he has held a number of key advisory positions.

Matthew’s experience in managing client relationships will ensure our large and capable team has a deep understanding of client needs and expectations, and in developing innovative and cost effective solutions to support the consistent and outstanding delivery of legal services through every section of the business.

Matthew is the lead partner of the firm’s General Insurance team servicing clients Australia wide from offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Newcastle, Canberra and Perth.

Matthew’s current practice includes:

  1. Managing disability, professional indemnity, D&O, MPL and EPL claims and recoveries;
  2. Specialist indemnity advice and watching briefs for primary layer and excess layer insurers in all manner of category of claim;
  3. Advising insurers and intermediaries on policy development and associated regulatory considerations including exemptions, pds statements and                   distribution, and regulatory considerations in the event of a potential breach or a commercial transaction;
  4. Advising commercial clients on insurance related aspects of asset sales and legal review of insurance programs/policies

He is a leading professional indemnity lawyer in NSW in Doyle's Guide to the Australian Legal Profession, and a recommended insurance lawyer in The Legal 500 Asia Pacific.

As he has done for almost 30 years, Matthew and his skilled team manage the claims portfolio on a cost effective basis with proactivity, early assessment and strategic commercial decision-making a key focus.

In relation to potential coverage issues, Matthew is highly regarded by clients for both his technical advice and his management skills especially in the managing of insured/insurer expectations. This extends to all classes of insurance risk and includes where there are potential denials of indemnity, potential exclusions, FOS complaints, litigated indemnity disputes, large or multiple excesses and in the stacking of claims amongst various layers of cover.

Matthew and his team offer a unique combination of technical expertise, regulatory insight and commercial understanding through their multi-faceted experience.

Experience

  • Advising on and managing a number of claims involving the interplay of contract works, professional indemnity and general liability policies.
  • Defending claims involving:
    • Financial Risks: Insurance Brokers, Advisors, Accountants, Lawyers;
    • Engineering and Mining;
    • Property and Planning – Surveyors, Certifiers, Real Estate, Valuers;
    • Environmental Risks;
    • Directors & Officers / Management Practices Liability;
    • Cyber and Crime; and
    • Employment Practices Liability.
  • Primary and excess layer coverage counsel / watching briefs for all manner of risk ranging from infrastructure exposures, professional indemnity exposures, D&O Class Actions and Royal Commissions.
  • Insurance Law Advice including:
    • Reviewing an insurer’s suite of new policies and developing a modular Product Disclosure Statement that would allow various terms, conditions and exclusions to be included in the PDS based on the product features selected by brokers;
    • Acting for an insurer in relation to the structuring of the reinsurance arrangements for the back book of a retail insurance program following the sale of the business to an offshore insurer and forward looking exemptions for that insurance product;
    • Acting for an insurer to design a solution and document a reinsurance treaty for a book of business that was being transitioned from one insurer to another from a set date, but had a number of policies on foot through the transition date which was resolved by utilisation of the reinsurance contract; and
    • Assisting an insurer to navigate a ‘junk insurance’ investigation by ASIC relating to disability cover.
  • Investigating, advising on legitimacy, defending and negotiating resolution of Disability Claims, for example:
    • Whether a plaintiff under a group policy who claimed a disc bulge was a new back injury rendering the plaintiff TPD based on the initial diagnosis, but our investigations revealed a long term degenerative condition and previous back injury triggering relevant exclusions;
    • Whether an ‘event’ ‘caused’ a heart attack while on an airplane, and whether there was a pre-existing condition;
    • Drafting insurers’ AFCA submissions for disability disputes; and
    • Advising on non-disclosure and misrepresentation issues (innocent and fraudulent), including providing advice regarding remedies available under section 29 of the Insurance Contracts Act 1984.

Awards and recognition

Best Lawyers in Australia 2021-2022
Partner – Insurance Law, Professional Malpractice Litigation
The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2020-2021
Recommended – Insurance

Latest thinking

Insurance | 13 Apr 2021

Insurance claims handling: time for action on licensing

ASIC has provided clarity on how it will approach the regulation of insurance claims handling and settling as a financial service.