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Jessica Thurtell

Special Counsel


+61 2 9234 4646 0481 602 236

Jessica is a special counsel in our Sydney office in the life insurance team. She has over a decade of experience in life insurance, general insurance and financial services.


Jessica’s principal area of practice is acting for insurers and trustees of superannuation funds in relation to group and retail total and permanent disablement, income protection and death claims. She has considerable experience in this field, having worked in major defendant law firms as a life and general insurance litigator.

Jessica’s experience also includes secondments as well as working in-house with one of Australia’s major bancassurers, providing legal advice and support to its life insurance and general insurance claims teams. This role also involved communicating with the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), participating in the creation of and working with the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA), responding to requests from the (‘Hayne’) Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry and contributing to the working groups for both the life insurance and general insurance codes of practice.


Most notably, Jessica has:

  • Acted in numerous TPD, income protection and death claims where the issue was whether the life insurer and trustee’s decisions were reasonable, based on the materials.
  • Prepared detailed advice and review of claims for prospects of success, strength of evidence and the credibility of insureds.
  • Communicated with the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) and Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) in respect of disputed disability claims. Jessica also assisted with the creation of AFCA in her in-house role.
  • Worked with actuaries and product teams in responding to regulators regarding the pricing of insurance policies and the factors involved in calculating premiums.
  • Had significant involvement with customers both through her role as a legal liability consultant (communicating directly with customers regarding their legal liability claims) and in insurer legal teams (settling correspondence sent to customers or to AFCA in response to customer complaints). In particular, Jessica was heavily involved in one of Australia’s largest remediation schemes for the Commonwealth Bank (the Open Advice Review Program).



  • Bachelor of Laws (Honours), 2012, University of Western Sydney
  • Bachelor of Arts, 2012, University of Western Sydney


  • Australasian Life Underwriting and Claims Association
  • Young Australasia Life Underwriting and Claims Association Working Lead
  • Law Society of New South Wales