sydney Office P: +61 2 8273 9954

Katie Shanks

Partner


About Katie

Katie is experienced in Professional Indemnity claims acting for both London market and local insurers in claims involving valuers, liquidators, professionals in the construction industry, and law firms, including more than 50 professional negligence claims following the collapse of a group of property investment companies. She was also part of the Wotton + Kearney team that defended claims against 4 directors in 3 separate, but connected, Federal Court proceedings in respect of the operation and subsequent failure of a mid-tier mining company.

Katie is also experienced in Australia and New Zealand working in property, ISR and contract works claims, including subrogated recoveries.  She was an integral member of our project team responding to a large number of complex material damage and business interruption losses arising out of the Canterbury earthquakes.

Having completed secondments with two international insurers, Katie brings a pragmatic and commercial approach to her work.  She has developed the skills to successfully balance stakeholder relationships across insureds, brokers, experts and co-insurers.

Areas of Expertise

  • Professional Indemnity
  • Construction & Contract Works
  • Industrial Special Risks
  • Subrogation & Recoveries
  • Natural Catastrophe

Industry Representation

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

Katie's Experience

Property experience

  • 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. We represented the insurers in meetings with the insured parties and their legal counsel.
  • 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.
  • Resolving multiple claims for ISR insurers arising out of significant fire damage to 2 commercial buildings located in New South Wales, including the resolution of Court proceedings.
  • Having an integral role on Wotton + Kearney’s project team representing insurers across their portfolios of commercial and institutional losses following the 2010/2011 earthquakes in Christchurch, New Zealand, including several high profile losses.

Financial Lines experience

  • Successfully resolving a claim against local insurers of an insolvent roofing company joined to proceedings with 9 other defendants concerning the construction of a large apartment block. This involved working with multiple experts to assess complex liability and indemnity issues.
  • Acting as defence counsel in Wotton + Kearney’s team representing 4 directors in 3 separate, but connected, Federal Court proceedings in respect of the operation and subsequent failure of a mid-tier mining company. All matters involved complex legal and factual issues about the adequacy of a takeover, due diligence and the ongoing financial reporting of junior to mid-tier mining companies.
  • 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.
  • 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 on behalf of London Market insurers in Federal Court proceedings filed by a bank against the valuer of an industrial development property in Queensland.
  • Acting as defence counsel in proceedings against a real estate company facing allegations related to boundaries at commercial premises.
  • 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.

Professional Affiliations

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

 

Publications

Recognition

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