Wotton + Kearney

Insurance Department

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What the team is known for Well-regarded insurance powerhouse acting for major insurers on big-ticket disputes, including public and product liability, financial lines and professional indemnity matters. Experienced in claims involving the construction, infrastructure and energy sectors, among others. Possesses an impressive trans-Tasman footprint, maintaining six offices across Australia and New Zealand, augmented by access to overseas markets, including those in London and Europe and across Asia, through an alliance with other specialist firms. Active in such specialist areas as subrogated recoveries, cyber risk, class actions and medical malpractice, and especially noted for its niche expertise concerning the impact of insurance-related issues on the entertainment, leisure and sports sectors.

Strengths The specialised orientation of the firm is the decisive factor in the minds of a number of clients. One notes: "It's key that they are an insurance firm and experts in their area - not a commercial law firm with an insurance bolt-on." Another says: "They've done a very good job in having the right people with the right skills and experience. With that diversity, there wouldn't be many matters where we wouldn't consider them."

Consistency of quality is also a frequently stressed theme. One client notes: "The knowledge and expertise is excellent and all team members, from junior through to senior, have good experience." Another speaks of "an ability to forge and maintain genuine, honest and successful working relationships with their clients which resonates from the partnership level to the junior and administrative members of the firm."

Work highlights Advised a leading insurance firm on its involvement - in its capacity as the primary insurer to a number of major Australian financial services providers - in ten superannuation class actions generated by the findings of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.

Notable practitioners

Adam Chylek
commands widespread market recognition as a partner who "gets a lot of good work" in the insurance space, particularly where property-related matters are concerned. He is also noted for his experience in the handling of insurance issues arising from such natural disasters as the Christchurch earthquakes or Queensland floods.

Andrew Moore
focuses on insurance defence issues, including D&O and professional indemnity matters, often acting for construction, engineering or financial services sector clients. An interviewee singles him out as a practitioner who "combines strong customer focus with good technical ability and balanced advice" and is "very responsive, especially when we have a tight timeframe."

Cain Jackson
stands out for his representation of leading financial services providers and other clients in class actions, D&O liability and other professional indemnity issues. Interviewees variously characterise him as "a very good lawyer with a great reputation who knows his stuff" and "one of the best in Australia," with one source reporting: "We find Cain to be an excellent all-rounder, not only in the technical and strategic senses, but also as someone who is always thinking of what our next step should be, why that should be and how to get there."

Firm co-founder and executive chair
David Kearney
enjoys widespread acknowledgement for having played "a big part in the impressive growth of the firm" and continues to oversee its interactions with its impressive roster of clients, one of whom says: "He's very committed to the market and ensures that the firm stays on top of its relationships with insurers and meets the changing needs of the industry."

Patrick Boardman
heads the team's D&O practice in Sydney and acts extensively for both insurer and insured clients on indemnity claims and coverage issues in that sphere. Clients value him for being simultaneously "measured, technical and practical," with one reporting: "He is able to coordinate our coverage responses, particularly to large or more systemic exposures, with a great eye for consistency and attention to detail."