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Emma Chapman

Partner

Brisbane

+61 7 3225 5928

Emma provides advice and manages complex claims in relation to public liability, product liability and professional indemnity matters, as well as providing advice on indemnity and policy coverage issues. Her expertise in insurance law spans over 20 years.

EXPERIENCE & EXPERTISE

Emma specialises in advising insurers, underwriters and large self insured corporations on a range of claims, including complex multi party construction and mining matters as well as those arising in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, motor vehicle property damage matters, plus claims against landlords and real estate agents. She has also represented numerous major insurers and self-insureds.

Emma regularly conducts local and interstate training seminars for industry clients on claims management, negotiation strategy, recent case law and legal developments, and state legislation impacting on injury claims, including PIPA and the CLA. In addition, she has both presented and chaired Legalwise Seminars, providing training to others in the industry.

Emma has successfully defended the interests of insureds in a number of trials (outlined below), and also specialises in achieving short durations and certainty having regard to the business and commercial demands of her clients. This is achieved by running bulk conference periods and working with her clients on special targeted projects aimed at finalisation of matters though alternate processes.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  • Lynch v Kinney Shoes (Australia) Ltd & Ors [2005] QCA 326: The Plaintiff entered a shoe shop and tripped over a platform displaying shoes. Emma relied on the defence of obvious risk and successfully defended the retailer both in the initial trial and on appeal.
  • Smiths v Williams & Ors [2006] QCA439: The Plaintiff was injured when the loaded fuel tanker he was driving overturned as a result of attempting to avoid cattle which had strayed from the insured’s unfenced property. The Plaintiff sustained significant burn injuries. Emma made an application for summary judgment to have the Statement of Claim struck out relying on English case law dating back to 1947 which had been accepted in Australia in 1979. This was successful in the Court of Appeal saving the client significant damages and costs that would have been incurred in defending the matter.
  • McKewin v Blocksidge [2009] QSC 095: The Plaintiff was injured while falling from a roof he was working on when he placed his weight on a gutter which did not hold it and he subsequently fell approximately 3 metres. The Plaintiff alleged that the insured who installed the guttering failed to install it correctly and claimed that was the reason it didn’t hold his weight. The court found in favour of the insured finding that there had been no failure in installing the gutter and therefore the Plaintiff had not successfully established a breach of duty or causation.
  • Samways v WorkCover Queensland (No 2) [2010] QSC 127: The Plaintiff, a young labourer, claimed damages for personal injuries sustained when he walked into a bobcat bucket. Emma was successful on behalf of the client in limiting damages including damages for economic loss to $20,800 after a reduction for contributory negligence and through attacking the Plaintiff’s credibility with the use of surveillance and sign on sheets that showed that the Plaintiff had played rugby league in the season following the accident despite him advising doctors that he had not participated in any sport and could not work.
  • Parker v Jervis & Anor [2013] QDC 271: The Plaintiff claimed damages for personal injuries allegedly suffered as a result of being struck by a motor vehicle in 2006. The matter was successfully defended in the first instance and again at appeal relying on documentary evidence to discredit the allegations made by the plaintiff that resulted in findings that he was inconsistent and unreliable.

In addition, Emma has also represented her client’s interests in a number of catastrophic and dependency claims, including:

  • A death as a result of traumatic asphyxia due to the deceased being caught in the bus door of an Insured’s bus. The deceased was unable to reach the emergency release button and was crushed by the doors.
  • A death as a result of a water truck, owned by an Insured failing off the side of a ramp at a mine site
  • A death as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning. The deceased was engaged as a panel beater by the Insured who provided an air compressor from which the deceased inadvertently inhaled carbon monoxide.

RECOGNITION

Recognised by various independent global legal guides, including:

  • Best Lawyers® in Australia list each year from 2017 to date
  • Ranked as both a Leading and Recommended Lawyer – Public & Product Liability (Defendant) in Queensland by Doyle’s Guide from 2015 to date.

Expertise

Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Arts, 2000, Queensland University of Technology
  • Bachelor of Laws, 2000, Queensland University of Technology 

Memberships

  • Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance
  • Australian Insurance Law Association
  • Queensland Law Society