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Jonathan Sumskas



+61 3 8687 7399 0428 119 319

Jonathan specialises in insurance and construction litigation, with a particular focus on builders warranty and professional indemnity claims.


Jonathan’s practice includes advising in relation to complex claims and acting in litigated matters across a range of jurisdictions, principally in the builders warranty and professional indemnity space.

He acts for builders warranty insurers advising on novel and complex indemnity issues and defending first party coverage disputes, as well as conducting recovery actions on behalf of warranty and property damage underwriters pursuant to both subrogated rights and securities such as guarantees and deeds of indemnity.

Jonathan also regularly advises professional indemnity insurers on policy coverage and claims management and strategy. He has extensive experience providing coverage advice and acting in the defence of claims brought against various professionals in the construction and financial sectors.

His practice includes acting directly for various stakeholders in prosecuting and defending construction and commercial disputes, including builders, developers, subcontractors and Owners Corporations.

Jonathan is commercially focussed and always keeps his clients’ budget and overarching objectives front of mind.


Jonathan’s recent experience includes:

  • Advising and defending builders warranty insurers in complex indemnity disputes; securing numerous excellent negotiated outcomes for clients;
  • Defending multi-party and complex claims, and regulatory enquiries involving a broad range of professionals, including Design & Construct (D&C) contractors, architects, engineers, building surveyors, financial planners, accountants, mortgage and insurance brokers, real estate agents, IT professionals, strata managers, local government authorities, industry bodies and psychologists;
  • Acting for all manner of stakeholders in various construction, commercial and building defects disputes, including Owners Corporations, contractors, developers, subcontractors and superintendents;
  • Advising D&C excess layer underwriters on coverage in respect of a claim for defects in a major road tunnel exceeding $100 million;
  • Advising on coverage in respect of trade practices claims exceeding $4 million brought against software developers by the operators of a major metropolitan airport arising from the design and implementation of new enterprise resource planning software;
  • Acting for a major property developer in enforcing a restrictive covenant affecting an industrial park;
  • Acting for bankers professional indemnity underwriters in respect of significant AML/CTF fines and penalties imposed on a major banking institution.



  • Bachelor of Laws (Hons), 2009, Deakin University
  • Bachelor of Arts, 2004, University of Melbourne
  • Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice, 2011, Leo Cussen Centre for Law