Paul Baxter


Qualifications: LLB, BCom



Paul has over 20 years' experience in insurance and commercial litigation. In particular his practice focuses on personal injury and property liability claims under common law and statutory schemes as well as marine and transport industry litigation. Paul also specialises in indemnity disputes, fraud claims, statutory prosecution defence and recoveries.

Paul advises various major national and international insurers, large corporate insureds, transport operators and government departments.

Paul has been listed in The Best Lawyers in Australia in Commercial Law, Insurance Law, Motor Vehicle Law, Personal Injury Litigation, Shipping and Maritime Law, Trade Law, and Transportation Law every year since 2011. He is also a recommended professional indemnity and public liability lawyer in Queensland in Doyle's Guide to the Australian Legal Profession.

He is director and secretary of Maritime Law Association of Australia and New Zealand and a member of the Australian Insurance Law Association.

Paul is a regular speaker at industry events with the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF) and Australian Insurance Law Association (AILA).


  • Tinworth v Haydon – Successful High Court special leave defence of victory for the defendant in a motor vehicle aquaplaning case. No negligence of driver judgement upheld.
  • Lewin v NRMA – Successful Queensland Court of Appeal defence of very modest damages award (less than $2,500) for infant passenger whiplash injury.
  • Anderson v Hiscox – Successful defence to trial of policy indemnity dispute for $1.3 million. Plaintiff unable to disprove fraud re theft/destruction of property insured and favourable market/insured value findings were made. Indemnity costs order secured.
  • Suncoast v Heil – Successful defence of damages claim by injured power walker against gymnasium. Queensland Court of Appeal.
  • O’Brien v TF Woollam – Successful interlocutory determination of no civil liability for breach of workplace health and safety legislation resulting in abandonment of claim.
  • F111 deseal/reseal personal injury claims – Acting for Department of Defence to manage and resolve a large bank of claims arising from alleged exposure to chemical solvents involving complicated limitation, medical, causation and remoteness issues as well as managing high profile public interest and individual claimant sensitivity issues.
  • Appearing in several inquests and coronial enquiries including successfully representing employer of fatally injured worker to finding of no culpability from crane accident.
  • Workplace health and safety and other statutory liability defence representation, including successfully avoiding convictions for driver fatigue management charges, negotiation of reduced charges and sentencing pleas, assistance with response to preliminary enquiries of investigating authority.
  • Numerous successful defences to trial of personal injury and insurance claims in all Courts, securing indemnity costs orders for the defendant , beating formal/ Calderbank offers and MFOs, discontinuances and bear own costs resolutions.
  • Managing a wide portfolio of public and product liability, CTP and general personal injury defence claims, including catastrophic claims, multiple party/legislative regime/jurisdictional disputes, fraud, infant, wrongful death, psychiatric, indemnity and limitation period issues.
  • Advocating defence submissions at compulsory and informal conferences and mediations against senior counsel for high value claims including quadriplegia, amputee, burns, PTSD, dependency, infant claimants, sanction and administration of settlements, sequential injury claims, etc.
  • Acting for Marine insurers and insureds in a wide variety of maritime and transport related claims including commercial fishing casualty and injury claims, WH&S and pollution prosecution defence, collision, admiralty actions, international and domestic cargo disputes and recovery (all modes), fatigue and log-book prosecution defence, harbour and port risks, indemnity disputes and policy and contractual documents drafting.
  • General commercial litigation with specialised expertise in the transport, manufacturing, engineering, mechanical and ship repair sectors.
  • Defending and prosecuting defamation claims under the uniform national law.
  • Applications for access to third party documents and information and related privacy and defamation issues
  • Advising and preparing submission for MAIC claims sharing or liability apportionment determinations and MAIA and MAIR determinations by independent adjudicators.
  • Advising on MAIA disclosure and compliance issues at a portfolio and discreet matter level regarding surveillance reports and footage, third party documents, investigative reports etc.
  • Advice and management of matters relating to CTP indemnity disputes and PIPA and WCRA legislative interaction and recoveries for discreet matters.
  • Court appearances in minor contested applications and sanction hearings.

Awards and recognition

Best Lawyers in Australia 2011-2024
Recognised – Commercial Law, Insurance Law, Motor Vehicle Law, Personal Injury Litigation ('Lawyer of the Year 2023'), Shipping & Maritime Law, Trade Law, Transportation Law
The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2023 & 2024
Recommended – Transport: shipping
Doyle's Guide to the Australian Legal Profession 2022 & 2023
Leading QLD Medical Negligence Lawyers (Defendant)
Doyle's Guide to the Australian Legal Profession 2020-2023
Leading Professional Indemnity Lawyers (Queensland)

Professional Membership

  • Maritime Law Association of Australia and New Zealand

Latest thinking

Insurance | 22 Nov 2023

Anchors away! Court finds against INXS guitarist in liability fight

The New South Wales Court of Appeal has held that a boat hire company was not liable in negligence to Mr Tim Farriss, a guitarist and founder member of INXS.