EXPERIENCE & EXPERTISE
Andrew has expertise in advising on insurance cover for a diverse range of property damage claims, including major loss claims, fire claims, flood claims, construction and engineering claims, business interruption claims, and pollution claims. He has successfully conducted the defence of fraud, arson and non-disclosure claims, and successfully prosecuted numerous dual insurance claims and high-value recovery claims. Issues he has advised upon and litigated has included DE/LEG construction risk exclusions, faulty workmanship, and mould and pollution exclusions.
Andrew has also acted for a number of engineers and construction industry participants (both directly and on instructions from their insurers) in design and construction defect claims and professional negligence actions. This has included structural engineers, façade engineers, large residential builders, and hydraulic and mechanical services contractors.
More broadly, Andrew has handled property liability claims, dust disease and toxic tort claims, and seafarers’ claims.
Andrew has lectured in Insurance Law at Wollongong University and his Specialist Accreditation file for Commercial Litigation (Insurance Law) was adopted by the Law Society of New South Wales as the definitive model.
Examples of Andrew’s experience include:
- Successfully defended an insurance claim based upon non-disclosure following a fire-bombing of a mechanic business. After proceedings were issued against the insurer, investigations revealed a consistent pattern of non-disclosure of prior claims and refusal of cover which provided a compelling defence and persuaded the insured to withdraw its claim.
- Retained by a façade engineer to conduct the defence of a $40 million claim for alleged defects with the design and performance of the façade on a major residential building. As the claimant’s expectations were unrealistic, the client was forced to a 3 week trial, following which judgment found no liability in the client – for both factual and legal reasons – and the claimant was ordered to pay the client’s costs.
- Retained by a multinational engineering consultancy firm to conduct the defence of multi-million dollar litigated claims arising from alleged faulty design of a hydraulic system in public infrastructure. After investing significant efforts in understanding the design and causation issues, Andrew persuaded the claimant to withdraw the claim and make a payment in reimbursement of the client’s costs.
- Retained by a publicly listed corporation to conduct its defence of litigated claims exceeding $15 million arising from its maintenance and servicing of rolling stock fleet. Andrew was successful in resolving the claim for less than the future costs that would have been incurred to conduct the defence to trial.
- Acted for an international truck manufacturer in a claim for a faulty steering/suspension system. Through diligent evidence gathering and analysis, and an understanding of the expert evidence, Andrew persuaded the claimant to withdraw its claim and pay the client’s costs given the claimant’s refusal of a commercial pre-litigation offer.
- Provided policy coverage advice to a $4 billion infrastructure project joint-venture for flood damage sustained to over 12 sites, and the consequent effects of force majeure clauses and contractual liability and risk allocation.
- Acted in successful establishing the NSW Court of Appeal authority that damages are payable for GST to registered commercial businesses.
- Successfully defended a fire damage claim for an insurer which was refused on the basis that the fire was deliberately lit by the insured. Andrew assisted with the police prosecution which led to 2 criminal trials and 2 appeals. Notwithstanding that the insured was ultimately acquitted of arson, Andrew was still successful with the defence of the insurance claim, which was ultimately withdrawn.
- Successfully recovered over $1 million (approx. 100% of the loss) for a residential fire claim after the client’s two prior lawyers had advised that the claim should be abandoned. Andrew’s perseverance with evidence gathering and understanding of the expert evidence as to exothermic oxidation resulted in a persuasive case being presented to the defendant and it agreeing to settle.
Ranked as a Recommended Lawyer – Dust Diseases (Defendant) in NSW by Doyle’s Guide 2020.
Publications and Papers
Andrew contributed to the Chambers & Partners ‘Insurance and Reinsurance 2021’ Global Practice Guide.