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Ian Denham



+61 2 9234 4544 0411 058 481

An experienced litigator, Ian’s principal expertise is in defending professionals and insured persons in civil actions and disciplinary processes across Australia. A Moray & Agnew ‘lifer’, Ian has been with the firm since his admission in 1996 and a partner since 2002. His thoughtful approach and strategic insight makes him the provider of choice for insurers with challenging claims.

Experience & Expertise

Ian acts for professionals of all types, but with a focus on legal practitioners who are the subject of litigation or disciplinary investigation. His careful eye for detail and measured advocacy assists individuals through some of the darkest days of their professional lives.

Ian’s strong experience in policy interpretation and drafting means he is often appointed as specialist coverage counsel for large commercial disputes.

Since admission in 1996, Ian has acted for public liability insurers in all manner of claims. His experience in this area gives him a detailed knowledge of procedure, legal issues and developments. Most importantly, Ian deploys these to the client’s advantage, securing early settlements and strong outcomes. A dogged pursuer of recovery options, Ian ensures that even when his clients sustain large losses, all measures are taken to mitigate.

Ian has assisted small organisations and large in responding to Royal Commissions, statutory inquiries and coronial inquests.

Ian’s litigation work is complemented by his experience in the employment area, usually on instructions from insurers under Employment Practices Liability cover. Ian has assisted in defending claims including bullying and harassment, workplace inquiries, and termination claims. He also oversees the defence of WHS prosecutions across various jurisdictions, particularly in the District Court of NSW.

Ian’s careful and considered approach to every claim is his hallmark. This involves an ethos of ‘work smarter, not just harder’ which sees early, commercially sensible outcomes where possible, as well as the foundations to pursue a resolute defence where necessary.


Ian has represented over 100 members of the NSW Bar, from readers to high profile silks, in disciplinary and civil claims. These have involved matters across the breadth of legal practice, including personal injury, criminal law, family law, property disputes, wills and estates and insurance. Ian has developed a profound understanding of the logistical, legal and regulatory framework concerning lawyers in NSW. While Ian has accompanied many of his barrister clients on the legal journey to pleasing and advantageous outcomes, he has also counselled many through adverse outcomes, including being struck from the roll.

Ian’s skillset includes handling ultra-sensitive claims for insured medical professionals, including those that arise in Australian Government immigration detention centres, correctional facilities, allied health practices and aged care facilities. He also offers a wealth of experience in Coronial Inquests and inquiries along with high value property damage claims and complex recoveries.


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

  • Insurance Law since 2016
  • Personal Injury Litigation since 2021.



  • Bachelor of Arts, 1992 Australian National University
  • Bachelor of Laws, 1995 Australian National University
  • Master of Laws, 1999 University of New South Wales


  • Accredited Specialist in Commercial Litigation Law, 2006


  • Australian Professional Indemnity Group