Aisha has practiced exclusively as an insurance litigator for over 10 years and has developed a specialisation in product liability and property damage claims, both on the casualty (liability defence and subrogated recoveries) and first-party property (coverage) side. His practice includes claims across the construction, manufacturing, engineering, transport, mining and energy sectors.
He has acted in a number of high-profile class actions and in complex multi-party litigation, including the Bonsoy (soymilk) litigation, the 2009 Black Saturday Victorian bushfires and 2018 St. Patricks Day bushfire claims, and most recently the landmark Lacrosse litigation involving combustible ACP cladding.
Aisha’s first party property expertise has been significantly enhanced through secondments in major/complex loss roles at three large multi-national insurers. While on secondments, Aisha managed a portfolio of ISR, Contract Works, Engineering and Plant & Equipment claims (including CAT events) and provided underwriting support. This “hands on” in-house claims experience has given him an excellent appreciation of the challenges and needs of his clients, and he brings a commercial and considered approach to claims management.
Aisha also leverages his casualty experience and first party knowledge to his subrogated recovery practice, including damage to goods in transit by road and sea, and he leads our specialist Trade and Transport team.
He is recognised as an ‘excellent operator’ in the Asia-Pacific Legal 500.
- Defending an insurer in litigated proceedings involving a series of incidents at a waste treatment and resource recovery facility, where in excess of $19 million is claimed for damage and consequential losses.
- Acting for a contract works insurer in relation to claims arising from prolonged flood and rain ingress damage during the construction of a large residential building project in Melbourne.
- Advising an ISR insurer on coverage regarding a claim for land rehabilitation losses at an offshore mine site in Queensland.
Property Damage (3rd Party)
- Acting for the liability insurers of a contractor in defence of a claim involving damage to a bespoke 10 km pipe conveyor system at a gold mine in Papua New Guinea. A break in the conveyor caused significant property damage and months of BI losses with a claimed value of USD39 million. W+K defended the contractor in a Federal Court recovery action brought by the gold mine’s insurers. The case involved several contested issues including contractual terms and conditions of trade, conflict of law/jurisdiction, complex engineering evidence and business interruption issues and was successfully resolved at mediation for a significant discount.
- Representing Victoria’s largest electricity distributor and its insurers in defending three landmark class actions arising out of the 2009 Victorian bushfires. The cases involved technical expert evidence and novel legal issues, particularly around damages. Aisha instructed at three trials and two appeals to the Victorian Court of Appeal. More than 250 claims for property damage and personal injury were assessed and resolved.
- Acting for a Victorian electricity distributor and its offshore insurers in defence of a large viticultural loss caused by equipment failure, including a complex claim for business interruption loss. Aisha’s conduct of the file included Supreme Court appearances for directions, briefing engineering and accounting experts and representing the client at mediation.
- Acting for the liability insurer of diesel generator manufacturer/importer in a claim brought by a state electricity distributor for the generator catching fire to a power plant and causing an electricity “blackout” on an offshore island. Aisha represented the Insured in Supreme Court litigation and resolved the claim early at informal ADR.
Product Liability & Product Recall
- Representing a Japanese company and its insurer in the defence of a high profile multi-party class action brought on behalf of consumers alleged to have suffered personal injuries from the consumption of Bonsoy soy milk. The case involved complicated medical evidence and private international law. Aisha was the key point of liaison between many stakeholders in the claim.
- Regularly acting in defence of public and products liability claims against plumbers, builders, electricians and other contractors in state courts and in VCAT (including claims under the Water Act and Domestic Building Contracts Act).
- Acting for an insurer in a litigated coverage dispute with a captive where a manufacturing product defect occurred across two insurance programs. The claim involved detailed consideration of the trigger of indemnity. Aisha represented the insurer at an early mediation and in subsequent negotiations, achieving a withdrawal of the claim against W+K’s client.
- Regularly acting on instructions from an ASX listed company in relation to litigated and un-litigated property damage and personal injury claims of all sizes arising from various consumer products, including air conditioning/cooling units, heaters, bathroom fittings and other appliances.
Subrogation & Recoveries
- Acting in the high-profile and landmark Lacrosse fire litigation involving combustible ACP cladding on a residential high-rise building. W+K acted for building/lot owners and their insurer and were successful in recovering compensation for fire damage and replacing the defective cladding on the building.
- Acting on behalf of the subrogating co-insurer market on a large fire loss in a commercial premise in Sydney CBD. Aisha represented the landlord in a contractual claim against the tenant and resolved the litigated claim at near full-value at early ADR.
- Handling a subrogated Goods Act recovery against a contractor that supplied defective bearing components installed in a mining conveyor belt.
- Regularly acting for subrogating insurers in scoping, proofing, assessing and pursuing recoveries of all values relating to damage to property. Including under Contract Works, ISR/commercial property, Plant & Equipment and casualty policies, and across the spectrum of construction, manufacturing, engineering, transport, mining and energy sectors.
Trade & Transport/Marine
- Defending a sub-contracting grain supplier in a large multi-party Federal Court Admiralty proceeding involving a fire on board a live-stock carrier vessel, and claims for fire-fighting costs, demurrage and other losses.
- Advising a commodities trader on risk management issues arising under a proposed voyage charter party and providing drafting options.
- Representing a listed energy company in defence of several proceedings arising from a fatal work injury on an offshore drilling platform in the Bass Strait.
- Regularly defending inland carriers and their insurers against claims made by cargo interests, and their subrogating insurers.
- Class Actions
- Marine + Transport
- Product Liability + Recall
- Property - Commercial
- Property - Subrogation
- Property Damage (Third Party)
- Construction + Infrastructure
- Energy, Mining + Power
- Manufacturing + Consumer Goods
- Transport + Marine
- Aviation Law Association of Australia and New Zealand
- Australian Insurance Law Association
- Building Disputes Practitioners Society
- Maritime Law Association of Australia and New Zealand (Committee Member, Victoria branch)
- Melbourne Marine Insurance Forum (Treasurer)