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Patrick Warnes

Senior Associate


+61 2 9234 4658

Patrick is a public liability lawyer known for his approachability and pragmatic advice driven by a keen attention to detail.


Patrick’s legal career began in statutory and common law workers compensation claims, including latent injuries and specialised coal miners compensation. He has also worked in the construction sector and in rural general practice, where he developed experience in SME and succession planning advice.

Patrick’s litigation experience spans across multiple jurisdictions, including the former NSW Workers Compensation Commission, the common law and residual jurisdictions of the District Court of NSW, the Supreme Court of NSW, NSW Court of Appeal, and the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia.

Patrick’s primary practice is now seated in public liability insurance, which includes strategically managing high volumes of institutional child abuse claims. Combining his compensation litigation background with a ‘big picture’ approach developed during his time in front-end law and construction, Patrick is known for quickly identifying pragmatic solutions and provides outcome driven advice across a broad portfolio of public liability matters.

Patrick provides early and regular advice to clients with a view to resolving matters as quickly and cost effectively as possible. He is a relationship builder who is skilled in the use of alternative dispute resolution practices to facilitate best case outcomes. 


Patrick assisted in the preparation of the successful special leave application to the High Court of Australia in ADCO Constructions Pty Limited v Goudappel [2014] HCA 18, a significant case involving the effects of the Workers Compensation Legislation Amendment Act 2012 on existing claims for lump sum compensation, which ultimately led to scheme wide ramifications.

Whilst working in rural practice, Patrick assisted in the drafting and preparation of shareholder agreements and easements for the establishment and operation of a joint water scheme funded by landholders in western-NSW which brought regular water supply for stock and domestic purposes across an area of approximately 54,000 ha.


National Emergency Medal – Bushfires 2019-20

In 2022, Patrick was awarded the Governor-General’s National Emergency Medal for sustained service in the protection of lives and property during the Black Summer Bushfires which extended throughout 2019-2020.

NSW Premier’s Bushfire Emergency Citation

In 2021, Patrick was awarded the NSW Premier’s Bushfire Emergency Citation for the protection of lives and property during the 2019-2020 bushfire season. 

NSW Rural Fire Service

Patrick has been a dedicated volunteer member of the NSW Rural Fire Service since 2014. He is ranked a Senior Deputy Captain and has held office as a Brigade President and Treasurer.

In 2023, Patrick was appointed by RFS Commissioner Rob Rogers AFSM as a Workplace Investigator (WI) under the Service’s new Workplace Complaints Resolution Framework, which was designed as part of a proactive and holistic approach to prevent sexual harassment, bullying, discrimination, vilification, violence, and victimisation in the workplace. 



  • Juris Doctor, 2013, University of Technology Sydney
  • Bachelor of Property Economics, 2011, University of Technology Sydney


  • Law Society of New South Wales