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Judith Waldock

Partner

Sydney

+61 2 9234 4594

Judith has nearly 30 years’ experience in the conduct of personal injury claims. She leads the firms specialist catastrophic claims national practice group, acting for major national insurers.

EXPERIENCE & EXPERTISE

Judith specialises in claims involving spinal injuries, traumatic brain injuries and amputations, and in claims involving complex liability and medical issues (including supervening acts of medical negligence). These multimillion dollar claims typically involve insurers and reinsurers, and Judith’s ability to communicate complicated concepts clearly, and to provide accurate early advice on reserving and risk, is much sought after.

Clients entrust her to manage high value and reputationally sensitive claims due to her excellent legal skills and meticulous masterly of detail. She is deservedly regarded by her peers for the pragmatic and cooperative approach she takes to resolving claims wherever possible. She routinely conducts negotiations and mediations against the most senior practitioners in the field without the assistance of counsel.

Judith has extensive experience in handling disputes over eligibility for participation in the Lifetime Care and Support Scheme, and has had success in challenging decisions made by the Authority, saving her clients millions of dollars in future treatment and care costs.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Judith’s experience includes:

  • Advising the insurer to invoke the Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims Act 1989 (Cth) in a claim involving catastrophic brain injury to a spear fisherman, which reduced the insurer’s exposure to damages in that claim, and the derivative nervous shock claim for the injured man’s wife, by over $3,500,000
  • Negotiating the settlement of a claim by a quadriplegic for $500,000 inclusive of costs on day two of a week-long hearing in which there was a significant contest on liability, and a claim approaching $10,000,000
  • Acting for the insurer in Nominal Defendant v Staggs [2010] NSWCA 224, the first appellate decision (and still the leading NSW case) on interpretation of s36 of the Motor Accidents Compensation Act 1999 (NSW)
  • Acting for the insurer in Flounders v Millar [2007] NSWCA 238, a leading case on causation, in which the plaintiff failed in an $8,000,000 personal injury claim, a decision upheld on appeal
  • Acting for the insurer in Stig v Finch [2007] NSWCA 242, achieving a verdict for the defendant in a multimillion dollar damages claim brought by a brain damaged pedestrian, a decision upheld on appeal
  • Acted for the insurer in a claim by an English national badly brain damaged in NSW. He was repatriated to England and sued there, claiming damages under English common law (equivalent to $14 million), relying on a 2006 House of Lords decision which held that caps on damages in NSW did not apply in proceedings in England. Judith challenged the jurisdiction of the English Court to hear the claim, and compelled the plaintiff’s lawyers to commence proceedings in NSW. She then settled the claim, negotiating directly with the plaintiff’s barrister, for $7.25 million.

RECOGNITION

Publication and Papers

Judith has authored a number of articles on significant common law and legislative developments impacting on her clients’ claims portfolio, and is an editor of Moray & Agnew’s Motor Vehicle Directions publication.

Awards / Accolades

Ranked as a Preeminent Lawyer – Compulsory Third Party (Defendant), Leading Lawyer – Public and Product Liability and Recommended Lawyer – Workers Compensation in NSW by Doyle’s Guide 2020.

Expertise

Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Laws (Hons), 1992, University of Sydney
  • Bachelor of Economics, 1990, University of Sydney
  • Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice

Specialist Accreditations

  • Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury Law, 2002

Memberships

  • Law Society of New South Wales