Commercial & Residential Property

We are proud to be a market leader in recoveries of this nature, and over more than 40 years have consistently achieved excellent outcomes for our clients.

Product Liability/Consumer Law

The Australian Consumer Law contains incredibly powerful provisions, which we have been able to utilise on countless occasions to secure recoveries on complex product liability claims.

We pride ourselves on our expertise and knowledge of the Australian Consumer Law and in particular the statutory guarantees and defective goods provisions contained therein.

In fact, our firm has been involved in some of the leading authorities dealing with the interpretation of these provisions.

We are commonly engaged by our insurer clients with respect to the destruction of property due to fires caused by defective electrical items. Such circumstances may give rise to claims under the Australian Consumer Law.

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Motor Vehicle Recovery & Defence
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Commercial & Residential Property
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Counter Fraud & Indemnity
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Heavy Vehicle, Plant & Equipment
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Marine & Aviation Claims
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Liability Defence
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Training & Claims Strategy

Notable matters in which we have acted include:

  • Jeffrey v Seeley International Pty Ltd
  • Cohen & Tierney v Westbury Holdings Pty Ltd
  • Batchelder & Anor v Holden Limited

Water Claims

Water damage to a property is a common claim faced by insurers. These recoveries usually have similar themes and fall into similar categories. As a result of our extensive experience, we have been able to implement effective strategies to ensure recoveries are able to be secured.

We are regularly instructed by insurers to advise on and pursue recovery on claims involving flexi hoses. We work closely with engineers who specialise in materials when targeting manufacturers for supplying defective flexi hoses.

Another common example is water damage due to sewerage overflows and/or blocked drains. We understand that Water Authorities in some states are afforded statutory protections, which might perturb some insurers from initially contemplating pursuing a recovery in such circumstances.

We have an intimate knowledge of the case law across different jurisdictions and subsequently provide focussed strategic advice to clients to ensure recoveries are secured on claims that might have otherwise been abandoned.

For instance, our firm successfully brought a claim on behalf of a homeowner against a water authority for breach of section 157 of the Water Act. We were able to force production of documents and lead expert evidence proving the water authority had been on notice of the history of failure of its main and had not responded adequately. As a consequence, a settlement was negotiated on positive terms.

The Australian Consumer Law contains incredibly powerful provisions,

which we have been able to utilise on countless occasions to secure recoveries on complex product liability claims.

Building Claims/Quantum Disputes

We regularly pursue claims against builders for defective works resulting in damage.

We understand these claims are increasing and a pressing issue for insurers given defects following completion of new builds are more prevalent now than they were in the past. Such claims are often complex and involve consideration of the proportionate liability of builders, subcontractors, architects and engineers.

When pursuing recoveries on such claims, we are conscious to always give consideration to the relevant statutory protections afforded to property owners. For instance, statutory warranties are implied into certain building works in addition to the consumer law provisions, which will place the insurer in a powerful position to make a recovery.

We are able to harness our superior knowledge of this area to secure recoveries for our clients.

As an example, we issued proceedings against a builder seeking recovery of damages relating to a defectively constructed balcony. The claim was vigorously defended by the builder however ultimately successful at Hearing. The claim was brought pursuant to both the building legislation and the Australian Consumer Law.

We are also aware of the common arguments made by third parties and their insurers when attempting to challenge and reduce the quantum of a claim sought to be recovered.

For instance, betterment and accounting for depreciation is commonly cited as a reason to reduce the quantum of the claim. There is a large body of case law dealing with this particular issue, which is favourable to a claimant.

We have been able to utilise this to our insurer clients advantage to secure recoveries on a new for old basis.

House under construction

Our Commercial & Residential Property Team Leaders

Andrew Sawkins

Andrew Sawkins

Paul Pratt

Paul Pratt

Sindri Bergsson

Sindri Bergsson

4
Motor Vehicle Recovery & Defence
4
Commercial & Residential Property
4
Counter Fraud & Indemnity
4
Heavy Vehicle, Plant & Equipment
4
Marine & Aviation Claims
4
Liability Defence
4
Training & Claims Strategy