auckland Office P: +61 404 804 253

Katie Shanks


About Katie

Katie practises exclusively in insurance and commercial litigation across Australia and New Zealand. She has extensive professional indemnity experience acting for a wide range of professionals, with a focus on the financial services and construction industries. She handles a large volume of litigated and non-litigated claims against financial advisers on direct instructions and for our insurer clients as well as disciplinary investigations.

Katie also has significant experience in property and contract works, regularly advising on complex indemnity issues and disputes. She was an integral part of our Catastrophe Response team responding to the Canterbury Earthquakes and now represents insurers in commercial property claims and subrogated recoveries.

Katie acts for our insurer clients locally and abroad. Having completed two secondments as a Senior Claims Specialist for international insurers, Katie has a practical understanding of how to achieve commercial and timely results while simultaneously balancing stakeholder relationships.

Areas of Expertise

  • Professional Indemnity
  • Construction & Contract Works
  • Industrial Special Risks
  • Subrogation & Recoveries
  • General Insurance & Litigation

Industry Representation

  • Financial Services
  • Construction & Infrastructure
  • Property & Real Estate
  • Professions and Business Solutions

Katie's Experience

Property experience

  • Resolving multiple claims for ISR insurers arising out of significant fire damage to commercial buildings located in New South Wales, including the resolution of Court proceedings.
  • Successfully resolving a claim against insurers of an insolvent roofing company joined to proceedings with 9 other defendants concerning the construction of a large apartment block.
  • Acting for contract works insurers in a claim arising from flooring damage during the construction of an apartment complex in Victoria and advising insurers on recovery prospects.
  • Acting for contract works insurers on a $10M claim following the collapse of a steel shaft liner for a blind bore ventilation shaft at a mine in New South Wales.
  • Advising ISR insurers on a potential recovery action for a $5M claim following the failure of a gas turbine from a power station located South Australia.
  • Settling material damage and business interruption claims by multiple insured parties following significant fire damage to a restaurant, hotel and office premises in Canberra.

Professional Indemnity experience

  • Acting as defence counsel on behalf of London Market insurers in Federal Court proceedings filed by a bank against the valuer of an industrial development property in Queensland.
  • Successfully defending liquidators in proceedings issued by the creditors of a company challenging the validity of the liquidators’ appointment and the reasonableness of their fees.
  • Representing insureds in investigations conducted by the Financial Ombudsman Service and the Department of Industry. Katie has also represented real estate agents and lawyers facing charges in specialist disciplinary tribunals, which often run in conjunction with civil claims.
  • Acting as defence and coverage counsel in more than 50 professional negligence claims following the collapse of a group of property investment companies. This eventually required the filing of interpleader proceedings in order to determine the priority of claimants with a charge over the remaining insurance fund.
  • Acting as defence counsel in proceedings against an insured facing allegations related to boundaries at commercial premises.
  • Acting as defence counsel in Wotton + Kearney’s team representing 4 directors in Federal Court proceedings in respect of the operation and subsequent failure of a mid-tier mining company.

Professional Affiliations

  • Australia Insurance Law Association
  • NSW Claims Discussion Group
  • Australian Professional Indemnity Group
  • Law Society of NSW
  • Business Chicks




  • Ranked as a Rising Star in the insurance industry – Australasian Lawyer, 2014