Sam is an insurance lawyer with civil litigation experience in large/complex litigation, in particular mass tort recoveries and class actions.
Sam has strong and unique experience, having been exposed to a number of class actions and multi-plaintiff recovery proceedings in Victoria, Tasmania, New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia. Sam is also very experienced in assessing common law damages, having done so for hundreds of plaintiffs in property damage mass tort proceedings.
As well as his involvement in large scale litigation, Sam has acted in numerous property damage, business interruption and indemnity claims for insurers.
Sam is also part of Hall & Wilcox’s leading cyber team. Sam assists clients respond to and manage cyber incidents, along with providing associated legal advice including privacy advice and assisting with regulatory investigations.
Sam prides himself on his logical thinking and efficiency. He is innovative and passionate about technology and has shown great aptitude for leveraging technology in large scale litigation to ensure greater efficiencies.
- Successfully negotiating the recovery of about $25 million for three insurers and 250 plaintiffs in the Victorian Supreme Court regarding property damage and farming losses arising from the 2018 Terang and Garvoc bushfires.
- Successfully acting for three major insurers and 400 plaintiffs in the Supreme Court of Tasmania regarding property damage losses arising from a bushfire totalling almost $30 million (Prestage v Barrett  TASSC 27). This trial was the Supreme Court of Tasmania’s first electronic trial. Sam had sole responsibility for developing and managing the electronic Court Book throughout the four week trial.
- Assisting in acting for five major insurers and their customers in the Supreme Court of Western Australia against Western Power, its contractor and a landowner in relation to the 2014 Parkerville bushfire. This included leveraging technology to assist in the review and management of over 20,000 discovered and subpoenaed documents and a voluminous electronic Court Book.
- Sam also assisted in acting for his clients in preparing for the Court of Appeal proceedings that followed the Parkerville bushfire trial. Sam set up a virtual court room at Hall & Wilcox’s Melbourne office given the litigation team was unable to travel to Perth (due to COVID-19 restrictions).
- Acting for two major insurers in the Supreme Court of New South Wales regarding property damage losses arising from a bushfire totalling approximately $12 million.
- Acting as a damages assessor following the settlement of the Kilmore East and Murrindindi Black Saturday bushfires class actions. Sam completed over 100 economic loss and property damage assessments and insurance payment summaries. Sam assisted his insurer clients recover over $180 million.
- Acting for a start-up company in a subrogated recovery action in the Supreme Court of Victoria in relation to property damage and consequential economic loss totalling more than $10 million.
- Acting for QBE in a dispute relating to arson. Sam successfully obtained a compensation order and judgment against the convicted third party.
- Acting for QBE in indemnity disputes regarding hail storm damage to domestic homes.
- Acting for QBE in a multi-million dollar indemnity dispute with an insured who suffered fire damage to its leaf dryer plant.
Motor Claims, Settlements and Litigation
- Acting for a number of insurers regarding motor vehicle collisions, detainment of vehicles by repairers and indemnity disputes. Sam has appeared at countless directions hearings, mediations and pre-hearing conferences relating to motor claims.
- Advising an Australian Financial Services Licence holder in response to an investigation commenced by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner arising from a business email compromise.
- Providing advice to a leading insurer in relation to its obligations relating to personal and sensitive information under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth).
Cyber | 27 Mar 2023
Forward thinking: Australian Government discussion paper outlines vision for 2023-2030 cyber strategy
The Australian Government aspires to be the most cyber secure country in the world by 2030. We analyse the recently released discussion paper that maps our nation’s path towards that goal.