Toniel Paton

Special Counsel

Qualifications: LLB, BCA

Industries

Practices

Toniel has close to 15 years’ experience advising on construction and building disputes, complex litigation, property damage claims and first-party insurance disputes.

Her current practice focuses on general insurance advice and litigation. She is a determined litigator, who is highly regarded for her attention to detail and ability to understand complex disputes. She is quick to grasp difficult concepts and excels in disputes involving complex factual scenarios and technical issues. Toniel has a passion for engineering and construction disputes and has represented a number of clients in the Victorian courts (including VCAT).

Experience

  • Representing an insurer in a complex construction dispute regarding damage to a sewer main sustained during the construction of a house. Toniel identified that the damage occurred because the sewer was located outside the relevant easement and the house had been built on the wrong footprint due to an incorrect survey. Multiple parties and experts were involved and the matter settled for a substantially reduced sum, with all other parties contributing to the settlement.
  • Representing an insurer in Federal Court proceedings in relation to complex indemnity and business interruption issues. This case involved in excess of 20,000 discovered and subpoenaed documents and Toniel’s attention to detail came to fore in managing the case in a strategic, efficient and focused manner.
  • Significant expertise and experience advising a leading insurer in relation to indemnity disputes before the Financial Ombudsman Service, including fraudulent claims, policy exclusions and flood claims. Toniel has assisted the insurer to prepare notices of response and further submissions and has successfully defended the vast majority of disputes.
  • Defended a public liability claim against an insured arising from an assault at a public sporting event. The claim was defended on the basis that the assault occurred outside the grounds occupied by the insured and thus it was not liable for the plaintiff’s injuries. The claim was settled for a nominal sum, saving the insurer in excess of $300,000.

Professional Membership

  • Australian Insurance Law Association
  • Women in Insurance
  • Young Insurance Professionals