Sean Sullivan

Special Counsel

Qualifications: LLB (Hons), BA


Sean has practised in insurance litigation since 1992, acting on behalf of defendant insurers and self insured across the CTP, workers' compensation and public liability regimes. This has included providing advices on the interpretation of legislation and policy submissions on the strategic operation of schemes.

Sean has also advised employers in respect of reviews of decisions by the Workers’ Compensation Regulator, and conducting and defending appeals challenging decisions under the Queensland workers' compensation legislation.

His insurance practice also includes employment practice liability insurance litigation which covers areas such as workplace bullying, discrimination and sexual harassment claims, unfair dismissal and adverse action applications, and defending workplace health and safety prosecutions.

Sean has also acted in large property damage claims arising from commercial transport incidents, both in respect of recovery and defending claims.

Sean has been recognised in The Best Lawyers in Australia in Insurance Law, Labour & Employment Law every year since 2013 and also Occupational Health and Safety Law since 2017. He was also listed as a leading Defendant Workplace Injury & Accident Insurance Lawyer in Doyle's Guide to the Australian Legal Profession in Queensland, in 2015.

Sean obtained qualifications from QComp in 2006 as a statutory claims officer for Queensland workers' compensation claims.


  • Acting on behalf of WorkCover Queensland and self insured employers (Queensland Rail, Westpac, Qantas and Woolworths) in defending common law claims under the Workers Compensation and Rehabilitation Act. This included acting in the successful appeal of Perrins v Woolworths which established the benchmark on the duty of care owed by an employer and proof of causation for psychiatric claims arising from alleged workplace bullying.
  • Acting on behalf of insurers and self insured corporations in public liability claims. This includes acting for both principal contractors and labour hire companies in multi-defendant claims, including advising on the enforcement of indemnities against WorkCover Queensland and the public liability insurers of labour hire companies.
  • Acting on behalf of CTP insurers, particularly the Nominal Defendant Queensland from 1993 to 2013, in respect of personal injuries claims from motor vehicle accidents, and recovery proceedings. This work has included providing policy advice in respect of the scope of potential liability under the scheme.
  • Acting for Queensland Rail in respect of property damage claims arising from derailments and level crossing accidents.
  • Acting for employers responding to reviews of decisions of the Workers Compensation Authority on the acceptance or rejection of statutory claims.
  • Acting on behalf of insurers in employment practice liability claims, including advising on the extent of indemnity, and defending litigation in the Fair Work Commission, Federal Court, Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal and Queensland civil courts

Awards and recognition

Best Lawyers in Australia 2024-2025
Recognised – Insurance Law and Occupational Health & Safety Law
Best Lawyers in Australia 2013-2023
Recognised – Insurance Law, Labour & Employment Law, Occupational Health & Safety Law

Professional Membership

  • Australian Insurance Law Association

Latest thinking

Work Health & Safety | 7 Apr 2022

Industrial manslaughter conviction: a reality check for business owners

The District Court of Queensland sentenced a Gympie businessman to the longest jail term for industrial manslaughter under the WHS Act.