Coverage for historic sexual abuse in school case raises problems for insurers

In BB v Helena College [2021] WADC 42, the Western Australia District Court found that three different policies of insurance, held by an insured school, responded to historic acts of intentional sexual abuse by a school teacher. In this article, W+K’s Sean O’Connor and Patrick Thompson provide an in-depth analysis of the coverage issues addressed […]

Climate change is heating up boardroom risks

Regulators in Australia and around the world are treating climate change as a major systemic financial risk. Given the high levels of regulator scrutiny, investor activity and public interest, it is only a matter of time before significant claims (potentially including securities class actions) are brought against directors and officers who fail to properly consider […]

NSW Child Abuse Bill opens door to revisit settled claims

Yesterday, the Civil Liability Amendment (Child Abuse) Bill 2021 was introduced in NSW. The Bill has two objectives: to enable courts to set aside certain agreements that settled claims for child abuse where it is just and reasonable to do so, and to ensure that Part 2A of the Act does not restrict awards of […]

Focus on privacy – keeping personal information up-to-date

A recent case note from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner highlights how failures to keep personal information up-to-date, and to act on requests to update information, can lead to privacy exposures. In this short article, W+K’s Mark Anderson, Joseph Fitzgerald and Johnson Zhuang look at the issues raised and ways to manage similar risks. […]

Landmark decision clarifies who influences and controls workplaces

We’re excited to share an article about this important case that’s been written by our new partner Sian Gilbert, an Accredited Specialist in Employment and Industrial Relations. With the Assign Blue case, the concept of the capacity to “influence and control” a workplace has been explored for the first time under the work, health and […]

High Court finds general advice can get personal

On 3 February 2021, the High Court unanimously dismissed Westpac’s appeal in Westpac Securities Administration Ltd v ASIC [2021] HCA 3. It held that Westpac’s call centre operators, in making outbound calls to existing superannuation members, provided personal advice to retail clients in breach of AFSL conditions. This is the first High Court pronouncement on […]

Insurance position helps halt PIPA claim

In a recent application heard before the Supreme Court of Queensland, a personal injuries claimant failed in his attempt to join a respondent to his PIPA pre-court claim outside of the legislative timeframe. The prospective respondent’s insurance position was highly relevant to the court’s dismissal of the application. In this case alert, Scott Macoun and […]

The Hayne Royal Commission’s impact on insurers in 2021

A year after the Royal Commission report was submitted, claims handling has emerged in its wake as one of the biggest issues for the insurance industry. The Financial Sector Reform (Hayne Royal Commission Response) Act 2020 (the Act) was given assent on 17 December 2020. Schedule 4 of the Act which has the effect of […]

High Court finds police have an implied right to enter land to investigate the occupants

On 9 December 2020, the High Court handed down its decision in Roy v O’Neill [2020] HCA 45. The decision confirms police have an implied right to enter land to investigate the occupants by speaking with them, as long as the entrance onto the property is not for the sole purpose of subjecting the occupant […]

NSW building industry’s mandatory insurance requirements begin to take shape

On 17 November 2020, the NSW Government released the Draft Design and Building Practitioners Regulation 2020 (NSW) for public consultation, which is designed to support an effective legislative framework for industry reform. Insurers will need to know what mandatory insurance requirements will be put in place for design and construction practitioners. Whilst not in a […]