EXPERIENCE & EXPERTISE
Philip’s background is in general insurance litigation, having acted for many years for major general insurers, self-insurers, claims management intermediaries and self-insured businesses and individuals. His principal areas of practice have been in general liability, injury and property damage, catastrophic injury claims, direct property loss and recovery claims, policy interpretation and indemnity disputes and other commercial disputes.
Philip is regularly instructed in claims against NSW State Government institutions in areas of public and product liability, general liability of public authorities, injury and property claims, catastrophe claims, work, health and safety disputes, policy and statutory interpretation, historical abuse claims and public education law.
The variety of legal disputes Philip has been instructed in has spanned all state court jurisdictions. This experience over many years has provided Philip with a thorough knowledge and understanding of court rules, practice and procedure, as well as an appreciation of the high cost of litigation and the need, wherever possible, in his client’s best interests, to explore all means of alternative dispute resolution processes.
In recent years, Philip’s practice has expanded to largely consist of handling liability claims and advice for NSW Government with a niche area in historical abuse claims. He has represented the Department of Communities & Justice, NSW Department of Education and private schools over several years in numerous sensitive historical abuse claims. He has been able to achieve excellent outcomes within recommended reserves via ADR processes.
A hallmark of Philip’s style is an empathic, cooperative approach (with a firm guiding hand as appropriate) to these matters which has earned the trust and respect of participants including Department case handlers and internal lawyers, Claimants and their legal representatives, mediators and facilitators.
Many claims Philip and his team handle involve highly sensitive and complex issues which warrant a considered and mature approach to the management of the particular dispute. Government is particularly susceptible to public scrutiny, criticism and adverse publicity. Philip’s knowledge and understanding of his client’s business interests often in the background of legislative reform following Royal Commissions, equips him with the skills to ensure civil claims are properly, delicately and effectively managed and resolved.
When accepting new instructions, Philip consistently aims to place his clients in the best possible position whether in a negotiating setting or by litigation in the courts to achieve the optimum outcome. He has successfully achieved this through persistent evidence gathering work at the outset of any new claim, identifying and narrowing the key issues in dispute and then working in conjunction with his clients to explore available solutions to resolving the claim. By placing before his opponents a clear, concise and well-reasoned submission, Philip has consistently achieved a high success rate in the resolution of disputes referred to him for advice and management.
Philip appreciates the importance of working in partnership with his clients, knowing their expectations and working collaboratively to achieve the desired outcome. He works closely with his team of experienced lawyers and paralegals to ensure work is managed at appropriate levels of experience, is undertaken to a consistently high standard, is conducted cost effectively and is presented in a concise and easily understood manner.
In this way Philip has been able to maintain successful long-standing client relationships.
For the last 10 years, Philip has chaired a monthly meeting of the firm’s Sydney general insurance lawyers in which matters of current law, developments in the courts’ practice and procedure and practice development are discussed. This has provided an excellent opportunity to mentor young lawyers, to provide a sounding board for discussion and to ensure that the firm’s high standards of legal work are applied consistently across all lines of business within the group.
During the last 15 years, Philip has been a mentor of school students in a program sponsored by the NSW Department of Education known as ‘LEAPS’ (Lawyers Engaged in Assisting Promising Students). He has also mentored law school graduates and been part of the Law Society of NSW’s Women Lawyers Mentoring Program.