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Gerry Davies

Partner

Melbourne

+61 3 8687 7353 0413 804 782

Gerry is the national head of Moray & Agnew’s life insurance practice. He has specialised in the defence of disability claims and life insurance advisory work for over two decades, both in private practice and as an in-house lawyer.

Gerry also manages a team that acts for one of Australia’s largest liability insurers.

EXPERIENCE & EXPERTISE

Since joining Moray & Agnew in 2006, Gerry has spearheaded the development of one of Australia’s fastest growing and leading life insurance practices. Today, he and his team act for most Australian life insurers in every Australian state and territory.

Gerry acts in disputes involving the full spectrum of life products, including income protection, TPD and critical illness. In addition to Victorian litigation, life insurers regularly instruct Gerry to act in ‘lower volume’ jurisdictions throughout Australia to obtain the benefits of specialist representation as well as a consistent national approach to their litigation portfolios.

Gerry also has extensive experience with AFCA and has prepared many submissions to that body (and its predecessors). He is recognised for his life insurance advisory work and skills in the interpretation of life policies and the Insurance Contracts Act 1984 (Cth).

Gerry also acts for one of Australia’s major liability insurers and has managed their Victorian portfolio for many years. His team defends liability claims (personal injury and property damage) made against building contractors, engineers, health care providers, real estate agents, hotels, shopping centres and private occupiers, among others. He successfully defended an occupier in an 18 day jury trial and obtained an order of indemnity costs in his client’s favour.

Gerry was formerly an in-house lawyer at AXA Australia, specialising in life insurance claims. His ‘inside knowledge’ ensures he has complete understanding of what life insurers require from legal providers.

Gerry has handled hundreds of matters in this niche field and was described by life insurers as a ‘fantastic’ lawyer with ‘extensive knowledge’ of the life insurance industry in Legal 500 Asia Pacific.

Insurers commend Gerry for his ‘advice of the highest quality’, ‘timeliness and accessibility’ and for ‘achieving the best possible outcomes’. He has also been identified by plaintiff and defendant lawyers as a leading insurance lawyer in Doyle’s Guide.

Gerry strives to proactively and strategically manage matters to the best possible conclusion, always with an eye to enhancing the reputations of his clients.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Gerry has assisted his insurer clients in reaching settlements in hundreds of litigated claims.

In the rare event that a matter cannot settle, Gerry takes a meticulous and forensic approach to trial preparation, leaving no stone unturned. In recent years, he successfully defended a TPD claim (Long v United Super Pty Ltd & Anor [2014] VCC 2320) and an income protection claim (Fenton v AIA Australia Ltd (formerly American International Assurance Company (Australia) Ltd) [2017] VCC 438) in the County Court of Victoria. At the time, these were the only two reported cases that had been successfully defended by a life insurer in the County Court in the previous 25 years. He also acted for AIA in its successful defence of the claimant’s appeal in Fenton v AIA Australia Ltd [2017] VSCA 331.

Recognition

Publication and Papers

Gerry has prepared a number of articles for the ALUCA publication, RiskeBusiness. He recently presented a seminar for ALUCA CMG in relation to Effective Communications (key insights and tips for show cause, procedural fairness and decision letters).

Awards / Accolades

Gerry has been described as a ‘fantastic’ lawyer with ‘extensive knowledge’ of the life insurance industry in Legal 500 Asia Pacific. Insurers commend Gerry for his ‘advice of the highest quality’, ‘timeliness and accessibility’ and for ‘achieving the best possible outcomes’. He has also been identified by plaintiff and defendant lawyer colleagues as a leading insurance lawyer in Doyle’s Guide.

Expertise

Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Laws (Hons), 1998, University of Melbourne
  • Bachelor of Commerce, 1998, University of Melbourne

Memberships

  • Australasian Life Underwriting and Claims Association Inc