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Stephen Harris

Partner

Sydney

+61 2 9234 4504

Stephen is an acknowledged industry leader in all aspects of workers compensation.

As the partner-in-charge of the Sydney workers compensation practice, Stephen is highly regarded and sought after by a wide range of clients for his thorough knowledge of workers compensation law and his high level practical and problem solving legal advice.

EXPERIENCE & EXPERTISE

Stephen joined Moray & Agnew in 1977 following his admission and has been a partner of the firm since 1981.

In more than four decades of practice, he has worked exclusively in the area of workers compensation, representing insurers, self-insured corporations, public sector risk carriers and regulators.

Stephen enjoys an unsurpassed reputation for excellence in workers compensation, in terms of both legal advice and practical problem solving.

Accolades from his clients and the legal industry have recognised Stephen as ‘extremely knowledgeable’ and ‘practical with advice’.

These qualities have resulted in the development of a close working relationship with a large number of wide ranging clients.

In 2001, Stephen was appointed as a Law Society of NSW representative on the NSW Workers Compensation Task Force (a liaison committee with WorkCover NSW)..

In 2002, Stephen was appointed to the Injury Compensation Committee of the Law Society of NSW and remains on that committee.

In 2005, Stephen was appointed as a Law Society of NSW representative on the Workers Compensation Commission User Group and remained as a representative until the Group was disbanded in 2020 ahead of the absorption of the Workers Compensation Commission into the Personal Injury Commission in 2021.

In 2006, Stephen was appointed by the Law Society of NSW as a representative on the WorkCover Legislative Review Committee.

In 2015, and as part of a short term special project, Stephen was solely appointed by icare to provide legal advice in relation to a variety of issues including, in particular, the planning for the cessation of weekly compensation payments to a large group of workers in 2017 pursuant to s39 which was introduced by the 2012 legislative amendments.

In 2020, Stephen was appointed as a Law Society of NSW representative on the Personal Injury Commission ahead of its commencement in 2021.

Stephen regularly appears as counsel at arbitrations before the Workers Compensation Commission, where he is highly regarded by both arbitrators and fellow practitioners.

Stephen has acted in many legal cases including:

  • Westpac Banking Corporation v Tomassian (1993) 32 NSWLR 207 (s151Z recoveries)
  • Sutherland Shire Council v Baltica General Insurance Co Ltd (1996) 39 NSWLR 87 (apportionment of liability between insurers pursuant to s22)
  • Zurich Australian Insurance Ltd v CSR Ltd (2001) 52 NSWLR 193 (double insurance and ‘defect’ under the Motor Accidents Act 1988 (NSW))
  • Makita (Australia) Pty Ltd v Sprowles (2001) 52 NSWLR 705 (expert evidence in ‘slip and fall’ cases)
  • ADCO Constructions Pty Ltd v Goudappel & Anor (2014) 254 CLR 1 (the validity of the 2012 workers compensation legislative amendments).

RECOGNITION

Publication and Papers

Stephen has regularly presented papers and for client seminars and for various legal bodies including The College of Law and at the annual NSW Legal Convention.

Awards / Accolades
  • Stephen has been ranked in the peer-reviewed Best Lawyers® in Australia list each year from 2014 to date
  • Ranked as a Preeminent Lawyer – Workers Compensation (Defendant) in NSW by Doyle’s Guide in 2019 and 2020.

Expertise

Qualifications

  • Diploma in Law, 1977, Legal Profession Admission Board

Specialist Accreditations

  • Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury Law, 1994

Memberships

  • Law Society of New South Wales
  • Injury Compensation Committee – Law Society of NSW