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Get to know Scott Macoun, new partner and general liability specialist

In our next Q&A with recently promoted senior lawyers we get to know Scott Macoun, Brisbane partner and general liability specialist.

Tell us about your journey to becoming a partner at W+K

My original background was in plaintiff personal injury. I was able to make the switch to the insurer’s side of the table defending damages claims for Queensland’s workers’ compensation insurers with a focus on construction, labour hire and resource industry multi-party claims. I then sought to apply those skills to the broader general insurance market which landed me at W+K in 2016 in a senior associate role. The excellent flow of work from numerous insurers in the general insurance market into W+K’s Brisbane office created wonderful opportunities for growth, which has allowed me to make the jump to special counsel and then partner in a reasonably short time.

What made you decide to become a lawyer?

Originally it was my love for John Grisham’s many and varied tales of the law that ignited the spark of passion. On commencing my university degree I immediately learned there was unlikely to be any Pelican Brief in real life. From there it was the puzzle of applying the law to the facts of each individual case that fascinated me (and still does).

What’s the best piece of advice (work or personal) you’ve been given?

Real friends are the ones you can sit in contented silence with – courtesy of my grandmother.

What do you think is a major issue facing your area of insurance law?

In the personal injury space, and in Queensland in particular, the barrier for entry to a claim for the plaintiff is incredibly low. Claims with very poor liability prospects are routinely commenced and must be defended, and there is often no avenue to extract our clients and insurers from them in a cost effective way. It will be increasingly difficult to maintain the requisite level of expertise in defending and resolving those claims, where insurers and insureds are rightly looking to limit overall cost of claims. Legislative reform on costs consequences for plaintiffs (and their solicitors) is required.

What do you enjoy most about working at W+K

The ability to perform excellent quality work for the biggest insurers in the industry, while maintaining flexibility in how we perform that work, is key for me.

What do you get up to outside of law?

I spend most of my time tending to my children (we have 4 little darlings under 8). When they are finally in bed, you are likely to find me unwinding by listening to a record or firing up my Xbox with a glass of red nearby.

Complete this sentence: If I wasn’t a lawyer, I would be… 

Something in finance probably.

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This publication is intended to provide commentary and general information. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought in particular transactions or on matters of interest arising from this publication. Persons listed may not be admitted in all states and territories.