General Liability


Our General Liability team has advised insurers, brokers, underwriters, claims companies and corporate insureds on claims relating to injury and property liability for more than three decades.

Over this time, we have managed thousands of claims, mediations and court procedures, and from this, delivered market leading advice and resolution strategies.

We approach each claim with the same level of care and commitment – working to find a solution and meet our clients’ commercial objectives.

We understand that all parties involved in a claim – the broker, insurer, and insured – have a vested interest in the management and result of any claim. We collaborate with all stakeholders to manage risk and identify the best possible claim assessment strategies and resolutions.

As well as defending claims – including some of the most significant in Australia – we also advise on policy interpretation, policy wording, risk appetite, and the review of systems and procedures.

We are appointed to multiple insurance legal panels and regularly provide training and support through legal updates, best practice claims management processes, industry publications, and keynote presentations on policy interpretation.

Our breadth of expertise and experience in the market enables us to identify trends – such as types of claims, claimant profiles, and the modus operandi of claimants’ solicitors – and advise clients on how they can improve their policy wording.

We have significant industry specific claims expertise relevant to the various policies we advise on and use this industry intelligence to identify trends and efficiencies in claims management.

We consider all aspects of a claim – including legal, commercial, social and reputational – looking beyond a simple claims calculation to achieve holistic results that benefit multiple key stakeholders.

Injury liability

We have reviewed and assessed both liability and quantum on literally thousands of injury claims – including some of the most significant claims in Australia.

Our team are experienced across a broad range of injury claims across multiple industries – including construction, commercial property, manufacturing, mining, labour hire, aged care, education, hospitality, sport and recreation.

We first advise on coverage exposure and assess losses, and then move to consider recovery prospects.

We review and assess the appropriateness of compensation for damages, medical expenses, rehabilitation, loss of income and other key factors resulting from an injury which has been caused because of a negligent party.

Our lawyers have both the expertise and the emotional intelligence to deal with even the most sensitive of claims with compassion and decorum.

We advise on:

  • Catastrophic injury and multiple dependency claims
  • High attrition and high frequency claims portfolios
  • Workplace incident claims involving labour hire employees and contractors
  • Claims for contractual disputes involving indemnities, dual insurance and ‘other insurance’ clauses
  • Security related incidents involving assaults
  • Coverage issues and multi-party claims
  • Product defect claims including product safety warnings, product recall, complaints and reputation management
  • Abuse and/or negligent provision of care claims
  • Recreational risks and interpretation of waivers
  • Claims relating to specialist areas such as aviation and life sciences 

Property insurance

We have advised on policies that protect Australian businesses against damage or loss of physical property for more than 30 years.

Our lawyers have worked on some of the most high-profile property damage claims in Australia – including advising on damage caused during the 2011 and 2022 floods in Queensland and New South Wales.

We are experienced across a broad range of property claims – from those affecting real estate, construction projects, through to equipment, plant and machinery. We advise on coverage exposure and assess losses and then consider recovery prospects.

Whether we are reviewing and assessing coverage for fire damage, theft or natural disasters, or assessing the viability of a claim for damages caused by an unforeseen incident – we apply the same level of care and attention.

We advise on:

  • Policy indemnity
  • Coverage intention
  • Quantum
  • Recoveries

Product recall and major product liability

This complex area of litigation is subject to sensitive confidentiality requirements.

Our product liability team includes Partner, Rebecca Stevens, who was awarded Product Liability Litigation and Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers in Australia’s 2020 edition. We advise on injury, property damage, loss of income, and rectification costs with respect to product liability and product recall issues.

We have represented clients operating across multiple industries – including mining, construction, engineering, aviation, financial services, manufacturing, and the resources sector – advising on product liability and catastrophic losses.

Catastrophic losses can take on various forms – including multi-million-dollar damages, major class or representative actions, significant personal injury, or loss of life. We have acted for clients and insurers with respect to all of these losses across many different industries.

We have investigated food products that have been contaminated by glass and acted for building products manufacturers regarding roofing materials, pavers, insulation and other construction materials.

We have worked extensively with these clients both during litigation, and due to Australian law, during the pre-litigation mediation process.

We have also acted in a class action involving over 2,000 claimants who suffered loss due to a faulty product.

The team

Featured insight

Australian Civil Liability Guide (12th edition)

The 12th edition of Carter Newell’s Australian Civil Liability Guide provides an updated and comprehensive overview of the legislation and case law relevant to civil liability federally and in all Australian States and Territories.

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