melbourne Office P: +61 3 9604 7905

Robin Shute

Partner


About Robin

Robin has practised insurance law for 35 years in both the UK and Australia. He has worked across most product classes in general liability and financial lines and is a partner in our Melbourne office.

With a particular interest in property damage and product liability claims, Robin has handled several high profile class actions including the 2009 Victorian bushfire claims and the Bonsoy litigation (over iodine in milk) which involved issues of international law and cross jurisdictional expertise.

As a highly experienced practitioner, Robin is considered a thought leader in the industry and has written extensively on his areas of practice.

Robin leads W+K Product Liability team and has been recognised as a leading Australian lawyer for insurance in the Legal 500 Asia-Pacific guide and Doyle’s Guide.

Areas of Expertise

  • Personal Injury
  • Workers Liability / Recovery
  • Property Damage (3rd Party)
  • Product Recall
  • Class Actions
  • Coverage (stand alone)
  • Coronials, Inquiries & Prosecution
  • Property & Energy
  • Environmental & Agricultural Impairment

Industry Representation

  • Agriculture
  • Manufacturing – Consumer Goods
  • Energy & Mining
  • Healthcare & Life Sciences
  • Property & Real Estate

Robin's Experience

  • Defending a claim brought against the Public Liability Insurer following catastrophic injuries when a child dived into an above ground swimming pool. The claim was highly emotional and charged, but the claim was settled very well and for approximately 15% of the amount claimed.
  • Defending the interests of a food manufacturer whose customer alleged that the product supplied contained contaminated material resulting in loss of a contract to supply a supermarket. The claim was unlitigated but settled for a small fraction of the amount originally claimed with no allowance being made for the loss of the Third Party contract.
  • Acting for the supplier of eggs to a restaurant allegedly contaminated with salmonella. After detailed technical enquiries the claim was settled before trial at a low figure being over 85 individual claims.
  • Handling three class actions arsing out of the 2009 Victorian bushfires, all of which were resolved prior to trial, with two at a significant discount. Subsequently over 300 individual damages claims for material damage and business interruption have been settled.
  • Advising on the impact of the “contamination exclusion” in an ISR risk, which resulted in the claim against the Insured being withdrawn
  • Undertaking the subrogation following a fire of a block of units in Melbourne where the aluminium cladding caught fire resulting in substantial damage to the fabric of the building. The claim is ongoing.
  • Successfully defending an arbitration proceedings against the supplier of paint, which it was alleged was out-of-specification and had caused damage to vehicles, including an appeal to the Victorian Supreme Court. The arbitrator found in favour of the defendant and costs were recovered.
  • Acting in many matters for a liability insurer defending a WorkCover recovery claim and a claim for serious injury arising out of an employment-related injury.
  • Indemnity advice on non disclosure, the operation of exclusion clauses and breach of condition.
  • Handling numerous cases involving personal injury including occupiers liability, statutory recoveries by the VWA, Serious Injury claims, catastrophic injury claims and liability cases.
  • First party and third party property damage claims involving product liability, fire and construction.
  • Numerous subrogated recoveries against contractors, suppliers and other third parties following loss; examples include flood damage following the failure of a sprinkler system, fire damage to manufacturing plant and liabilities for defective products down the contractual chain.
  • Cases involving economic loss including business interruption for many varied and differing industries (including fire and flood).
  • Product liability and product recall cases, particularly for automotive and manufacturing industries.
  • On financial lines and professional indemnity claims.
  • Acting as coverage counsel in a class action involving a bushfire.
  • Successfully acting for an insurer against its supplier of computer equipment; this trial ran for eight weeks and was subsequently the longest appeal in Victorian history.
  • Acting for D&O insurer in litigation arising from recall of products manufactured by Pan Pharmaceuticals.
  • Acting for Pacific Dunlop in respect of the class action commenced arising out of recall of a heart pacemaker lead, Over 600 claims were individually settled.

Recognition

  • Leading Public Liability Lawyer – Doyle’s Guide, 2015
  • Recommended insurance legal practitioner in The Legal 500, 2014