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Lionel Gardner



+61 2 9234 4511

Lionel is an experienced litigator with a specialisation in defending public liability, workers compensation and work injury damages claims, and prosecuting workers compensation recovery claims. Lionel has been with Moray & Agnew since 1988 and became a Partner in 1997.


Since his admission Lionel has acted for all major workers compensation insurers in respect of all manner of workers compensation claims and work injury damages claims with a particular focus on government agencies such as the Department of Education. Lionel has also developed a particular niche and industry recognised expertise in respect of the prosecution of workers compensation recoveries.

Since 2001 Lionel broadened his expertise to act for major public liability insurers, both local and overseas, to defend both personal injury and property damage claims. The combination of Lionel’s experience in both the areas of public liability and workers compensation law is such that Lionel offers a breadth of knowledge to his clients particularly with respect to industrial accident claims where these two areas of law intersect.

Such experience allows Lionel to understand and anticipate the legal and commercial aspects of each claim and thereby develop strategies for the effective and expeditious resolution of claims. Lionel prides himself in picking the claim that should be defended to a conclusion from those claims which need to be resolved quickly and cost effectively.


Lionel successfully defended the matter of Uniting Church in Australia Property Trust (NSW) v Miller (2015) 91 NSWLR 752 in which the claimant sustained tetraplegia after diving into a swimming pool during swimming training. With a potential of up to $15 million, although the claimant was successful at first instance, the decision was reversed on appeal and the High Court dismissed the claimant’s application for leave to appeal.

Successfully defended and resolved a large class action in the Federal Court on behalf of an engineering company and its insurers involving 35 farmers across Australia making claims in excess of $50 million in relation to defective cultivators.

Successfully prosecuted a workers compensation recovery claim in the District Court and Court of Appeal in the matter of United Airlines Inc v Sercel Australia Pty Ltd (2012) 289 ALR 682. The matter involved complex issues relating to the application of international treaties to Australian law. The matter has clarified the law in relation to workers compensation recoveries and international travel.

Between 2017 and 2019 Lionel recommended to strongly defend or seek to resolve by way of a judgment in favour of the Defendant in 9 matters. In all such matters judgment was obtained in favour of the Defendant either by settlement or judgment.



Ranked as a Leading Lawyer – Public & Product Liability (Defendant) in NSW by Doyle's Guide 2020.

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

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

In 2022, was named Best Lawyers® 'Sydney Personal Injury Litigation Lawyer of the Year’.



  • Bachelor of Economics, 1985, University of Sydney
  • Bachelor of Laws, 1987, University of Sydney

Specialist Accreditations

  • Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury Law