Wotton + Kearney recruits national EPL practice leader

Wotton + Kearney is pleased to announce the appointment of Chris Mossman, a highly regarded workplace lawyer and commercial litigator, as a Partner and new leader of the firm’s Employment Practices Liability (EPL) practice, based in Sydney. Cain Jackson, leader of the firm’s Financial Lines practice commented: “In looking for a senior specialist to lead […]

An honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay?

In this case, the High Court of Australia ruled a builder was not owed for variations for “work and labour done” after a building contract was terminated in Mann v Paterson Constructions Pty Ltd [2019] HCA 32. This decision shows that builders who fail to follow the formal variation process under the Act are at risk, as […]

GL Update – key trends and emerging risks in general liability insurance

Welcome to Wotton + Kearney’s GL Update – a snapshot of the key trends and emerging risks in general liability insurance in Australia. In this edition we look at the impact of recent significant matters, including the Lacrosse cladding fire litigation conducted by our Melbourne team, the ongoing risk of concussion claims and prison authority […]

Lacrosse fire litigation: builder and consultants found liable for combustible cladding

On 28 February 2019, Australia’s first decision regarding the roles and responsibilities of builders and other building consultants regarding the use of combustible cladding was handed down. The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal upheld the Owners Corporation and lot owners’ claims against the builder following a fire in November 2014 that involved combustible ACP cladding […]

NZ High Court decision could test dishonesty exclusions

Mainzeal Property v. Yan & Ors This week, the New Zealand High Court awarded $36m in damages against directors of Mainzeal, once one of New Zealand’s leading property and construction companies, including former Prime Minister Dame Jenny Shipley. The damages are the highest awarded for reckless trading in New Zealand’s history. The case raises a […]

Insurance for WHS fines – will they soon be prohibited?

Are fines appropriate penalties to deter companies and directors from breaching WHS laws when they can be indemnified by their insurers? Should insurance policies that cover these monetary penalties be made illegal and void? At the moment, companies and directors are able to insure against the risk of fines for breaches of WHS laws, however […]

Can courts order a prohibition on the indemnity of civil penalties?

At the end of the year the High Court will hear an application about whether the Federal Court has power to prohibit another person from indemnifying a respondent for their liability to pay a civil penalty. The question arises after Justice Mortimer of the Federal Court found a union organiser had breached the general protections […]

Relief for builders and their insurers! Brookfield Multiplex Ltd v The Owners – Strata Plan No 61288

In a decision that will no doubt be greeted with relief by builders and their insurers, on 8 October 2014 the High Court of Australia delivered its much awaited decision in Brookfield Multiplex Ltd v The Owners – Strata Plan No 61288 [2014] HCA 36. The High Court has determined that there is no common […]