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Scott Cowell



+61 7 3225 5909 0421 218 867

Scott leads a team specialising in public and products liability, professional indemnity, property and ISR and dust / toxic tort matters. His practical and expert advice is highly sought after in his client’s most complicated cases.


Scott joined Moray & Agnew in 2000, and has been a partner of the firm since 2011.

Scott’s clients include major domestic and international insurers, loss adjusters, underwriters and large self-insured corporates. While predominately acting in matters in Queensland, Scott has handled claims in every Australian jurisdiction, as well as matters in a number of Asian and Pacific nations.

Scott is well renowned for achieving prompt and cost effective outcomes for his clients, which cater for the full spectrum of their risks. Scott’s breathe of both insurer and self-insured clients mean that he is acutely aware of, and crafts legal responses that cater for, the other risks they may face in any dispute – for example media/reputational risks.


Scott is currently handling over 50 nervous shock and loss of dependency claims, and overseeing for insurers the resulting coroner’s inquest and workplace health and safety prosecution, resulting from one accident. We understand that this is the single largest piece of injury litigation on foot in Australia following a single event.

Scott has created the law on how aspects of the Personal Injuries Proceedings Act 2002 ('PIPA') should be interpreted. Examples include:

  • Interpacific Resorts (Australia) Pty Ltd v Austar Entertainment Pty Ltd [2005] 2 Qd R 23. Scott successfully argued in the Supreme Court of Queensland that respondents should be entitled to serve contribution notices outside the time period prescribed by PIPA. This decision resulted in easing the pressure on insurers to make decisions about joining parties without first finalising their investigations, and remains the leading decision in this area.
  • Lee v Omni Leisure Operations Pty Ltd [2008] VSC 272. Scott acted for the defendant in this leading decision on the interaction between s59(2)(b) PIPA and the Limitation of Actions Act 1974 (Qld). This matter also involved cross-jurisdictional and choice of law issues (proceedings were started in Victoria, but the substantive law of Queensland applied). While the plaintiff was allowed to proceed with his claim despite it being prima facie statute barred, Scott obtained a significant costs order against the plaintiff’s lawyers for the benefit of his client.

In addition, examples of major matters Scott as handled include:

  • Advising a major insurer in a dispute regarding an allegation of illusory cover, in a $26 million plus claim involving a public utility damaged in the 2011 Queensland floods. Advice was provided, and the claim resolved to the satisfaction of all stakeholders, within one month of instructions. The claim involved significant broker intervention, as the utility had to be repaired so its pending sale could be completed within six months of the floods.
  • Advising various insurers as to the application of numerous potential weather deductibles, in a $15 million plus property damage and business interruption claim made by a multinational transport operator, arising from the flooding and rain throughout eastern Australia in late 2010 / early 2011. Such was insurer’s confidence in Scott’s advice that a copy was provided to the insured and its multinational broker, and Scott then negotiated a settlement of the dispute at a 30 plus attendee (including multiple broker representatives) mediation.
  • Scott recently acted for a motor vehicle inspector who issued a safety certificate and its professional indemnity insurer, in a multi-party $15 million dollar plus claim involving a variety of issues including under insurance, dual insurance, which legislative scheme applied to the claim (PIPA or the Motor Accident Insurance Act 1994 (‘MAIA’)) and the scope of the recovery provisions in s 58(4) MAIA and s 101 National Injury Insurance Scheme (Queensland) Act 2016.


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

  • Insurance Law since 2020
  • Personal Injury Litigation since 2019.

Ranked as both a Preeminent and Leading Lawyer – Public & Product Liability (Defendant) in Queensland by Doyle’s Guide since 2015

Ranked as a Recommended Lawyer – Professional Indemnity (Defendant) in Queensland by Doyle’s Guide 2019 - 2021. 



  • Bachelor of Laws (with Honours), 2000, Griffith University
  • Bachelor of Commerce, 2000, Griffith University


  • Australian Professional Indemnity Group
  • Law Society of Queensland