Skip to main content
article thumbnail

Emma Reilly

Canberra Managing Partner


+61 2 6210 4216 0402 140 771

Emma acts in defence of professional indemnity and personal injury insurance claims and for employers and Government in workplace and industrial law matters. Emma’s clients include most major insurers including the 5 licenced ACT workers compensation insurers. Emma oversees the Canberra based debt recovery and property teams.


Emma’s clients value her pragmatic and commercially focussed approach. She is committed to providing legal advice that is focussed on solving problems in the most efficient and effective manner, across her various areas of expertise.


Emma provides expert legal services to professional indemnity insurers including in negligence claims against lawyers and barristers.

Emma is the only Canberra lawyer servicing the 5 major insurers licenced in the ACT workers compensation scheme. She assisted her clients when the Workers Compensation Act 1951 (ACT) was significantly amended with effect from 1 July 2002, including by devising policy wording and drafting Injury Management documentation and precedent claim correspondence. She remains passionate about servicing her ACT workers compensation clients and their insured employers by accurately estimating claims, analysing issues and investigating areas of dispute. Emma collaborates with the insurer and the employer to achieve commercially beneficial and timely resolutions.

Emma’s employment practice includes work for private employers, employment practices liability insurers, medical indemnity insurers such as Avant, Medical Indemnity Protection Society and MIGA and opportunities with various Commonwealth Agencies through Moray & Agnew’s Whole of Government Legal Services Panel appointment in Workplace and Industrial Relations.

Emma has:

  • Acted in matters involving disclosure and privilege including Dean v More than a Morsel [2002] ACTSC 101 and subsequent cases involving the Workers Compensation Regulation and the Civil Law (Wrongs) Act 2002 (ACT)
  • Acted in successful defence of limitation extension application in Nunes v Sarri t/as Sails the Waterfront Pub [2004] ACTSC 6
  • Acted in the leading ACT authority on the regular and systematic test for when a contractor is taken to be a worker: Yaraka Holdings Pty Limited v Gilgevic [2006] ACTCA 6
  • Acted in the leading ACT authority on apportionment between employers: Berkeley Challenge Pty Limited v Blazeski and Anor [2006] ACTSC 55
  • Appeared as counsel and achieved verdict for the respondent at first instance in Stekovic v Polyseal and Anor [2012] ACTMC 8
  • Achieved verdicts for the defendant, including in Stone v Owners Plan and Ors [2014] ACTCA 14
  • Represented ethical investment organisation in defence of misleading and deceptive conduct allegations in Federal Court made by mining company the subject of the 2014 ANU divestment decision, achieved resolution despite significant non-financial drivers
  • Acted in defence of multi-million dollar professional negligence claim against law firm brought by liquidator of development entity, settled prior to proceedings being served such that reputational risk contained and within limit of insurance cover which was significantly less than total loss alleged
  • Acted in defence of various interesting public liability personal injury clams and professional indemnity claims against immigration agents, accountants and real estate agents
  • Acted on instructions from Court appointed trustee in significant family trust dispute, arranged sale of commercial property and dissolution of trust
  • Resolved general protections claims in Fair Work and Federal Court, including senior level employee claims involving breach of contract allegations
  • Resolved matter against law firm after emails intercepted so as to arrange transfer of client funds to external criminal in conveyancing transaction
  • Successful defence of unfair dismissal claim including on appeal: Hijazi v Calvary Health Care ACT Ltd T/A Calvary Public Hospital Bruce [2021] FWCFB 1920


Ranked in the peer-reviewed Best Lawyers® in Australia list for:

  • Insurance Law since 2018
  • Legal Malpractice Litigation since 2020
  • Litigation since 2021
  • Government Practice since 2024

In 2020, Emma was named Best Lawyers ‘Canberra Insurance Lawyer of the Year’.

Ranked as a Preeminent Lawyer – Professional Indemnity (Defendant) in ACT by Doyle’s Guide since 2021.

Ranked as a Leading Lawyer –  Workers Compensation in ACT by Doyle’s Guide since 2020.

Ranked as a Recommended and Leading Lawyer – Public Liability in ACT by Doyle’s Guide since 2020.

Ranked as a Preeminent Lawyer – Commercial Litigation, Dispute Resolution & Insolvency in ACT by Doyle’s Guide since 2021.



  • Bachelor of Commerce, 1998, University of Canberra
  • Bachelor of Laws (Hons), 2000, University of Canberra
  • Master of Laws (Government and Commercial), 2006
  • Admitted to practices a Barrister and Solicitor, 2001
  • Admitted to the High Court of Australia, 2002


  • AICD Company Directors Course Graduate


  • Australian Institute of Company Directors
  • Australian Lawyers Alliance
  • Australian Professional Indemnity Group
  • Law Society of Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales
  • MusicACT – Board member
  • Roundabout Canberra – Secretary / Board Member