EXPERIENCE & EXPERTISE
Joan’s practice is predominantly in the area of public liability, professional indemnity and product liability for clients such as a number of Australia’s largest insurers and local councils, as well as handling product liability claims for an international insurers.
Joan handles cases arising from diverse circumstances, ranging from ‘trip and falls’ through to injuries on worksites and dog bite matters. Many of these matters involve multiple parties, cross-claims and complications arising from indemnity, dual insurance, and related workers compensation proceedings.
Joan’s practice also spans governance, GIPA and privacy law, where she advises her clients on their obligations, and reviews policies on their behalf. Joan’s broad experience includes working for a time with the Australian Federal Police’s legal team in Canberra.
Joan is known as a lawyer with a wide knowledge of the law across a number of fields, coupled with a knowledge of obscure areas of law and principles, and an ability to deal with both complex factual matters and voluminous documentary evidence. Within the local government field, she has developed a reputation for dealing with what might be described as ‘fringe’ plaintiffs – those with political agendas, novel legal claims and often self-represented.
Joan has had a number of successes in obtaining verdicts in favour of her clients, most recently, Joan successfully defended a claim against Wagga Wagga City Council in which it was alleged a pedestrian suffered injury when hit by an automatic door. Joan obtained a verdict in favour of the Council, as well as an award in favour of Council for its costs (Gray v Wagga Wagga City Council  NSWDC 108).
Joan represented a local council in relation to a very complex appeal matter involving three defendants, a s 151Z recovery, a Compensation to Relatives Claim, and complex issues under the Civil Aviation (Carriers Liability) Act 1959, in both the NSW Court of Appeal and the High Court of Australian (South West Helicopters Pty Ltd v Stephenson  NSWCA 312; Parkes shire Council v South West Helicopters Pty Ltd  HCA 14).
Joan is frequently called upon by local councils and other government entities to assist with complex or politically sensitive requests for information or GIPA Applications. Joan has developed a GIPA workshop to assist those entities in responding to those requests and applications, which has been very well received by a number of clients.