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Peter McCarthy



+61 2 9234 4519

Peter is highly regarded for his specialist expertise in defendant and respondent personal injury law, including all aspects of defending and litigating workers compensation and recovery matters, combined with alternative dispute resolution techniques. He has acted for numerous public and private sector entities and continues in a number of ongoing client relationship roles.


Peter has been solicitor of choice for many clients, including being retained in matters involving high media profile and political sensitivity where excellent results have been achieved in the absence of any adverse exposure or findings.

Peter has developed a thorough knowledge and understanding of the business drivers and specific issues which impact his clients and has regularly attended their premises to review claims and provide strategic advice.


For over 30 years, Peter has remained at the forefront of workers compensation developments, authoring and delivering more than 50 presentations on areas such as workers compensation, work injury damages and recovery matters.

Peter has successfully recovered millions of dollars for his clients in multiple party and recovery matters.

Peter is greatly liked by his clients and colleagues who appreciate his accessibility and willingness to cater for all their needs and requests. 

Peter has successfully represented parties in significant litigation including Department of Sport & Recreation v Powell where a large treasury managed fund common law stress claim ran over six days in the District Court culminating in a verdict in favour of Peter’s defendant client. In this highly publicised and politically sensitive matter in which the NSW Premier’s Office was also kept fully informed at its specific request, the plaintiff was one of a number of government employees alleging psychiatric injury as a result of negligence by the Department and, in particular, a former NSW Government Minister.

In the matter of Pascoe v Edsome Pty Limited & Ors [2007] NSWSC 472; Sea Coatings (Australia) Pty Limited & Anor v Pascoe & Ors [2008] NSWCA 54, a complex common law personal injury claim was successfully defended in the NSW Supreme Court and Court of Appeal, and then on special leave application to the High Court of Australia.

The Supreme Court matter of Alan Donald v Rail Corporation of NSW (No 11) [2016] NSWSC 1897; Rail Corporation NSW v Donald; Staff Innovations Pty Ltd t/as Bamford Family Trust [2018] NSWCA 82 effectively included Peter’s labour hire employer client successfully recovering well over $400,000 from the host employer in the Supreme Court of NSW which was subsequently upheld in the NSW Court of Appeal.

Another host employer / labour hire company relationship matter of Martin v Hurfords Sawmilling Pty Ltd involving Peter’s employer client recovering $150,000 at an informal settlement conference prior to being formally joined to District Court proceedings already on foot against the host employer, thereby also saving significant potential litigation expenses.


In 1993, Peter was appointed to the Law Society of NSW Litigation Law and Practice Committee and, after becoming an accredited specialist, Peter was subsequently appointed by the Law Society of NSW as an examiner of other solicitors seeking specialist accreditation in personal injury law.

The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2016 described Peter as ‘very knowledgeable and approachable’.


Ranked in the peer-reviewed Best Lawyers® in Australia list for Personal Injury Litigation 2025



  • Bachelor of Laws, 1981, University of Sydney

Specialist Accreditations

  • Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury Law, 1994


  • Law Society of New South Wales