Charles has built a reputation for taking a client-focused, pragmatic approach to claims. He is a keen proponent of alternative dispute resolution processes and is often lauded for negotiating settlements on favourable terms without recourse to litigation.

Charles regularly assists local and international insurers and syndicates in general liability, personal injury, workers liability/recovery, property damage and coverage issues. He is recognised for his ability to manage technical and highly sensitive claims, and is acknowledged as a leader by various insurers in navigating emerging risks in amateur and professional sport.

His representation of a building contractor in a successful appeal to the High Court is the leading authority in Australia on duties owed by head contractors and sub-contractors on construction sites.

Charles is the leader of Wotton + Kearney’s national general liability practice and is a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. In these roles, he supports the firm’s stringent professional standards and mission to lead the future of insurance law.

Charles presently acts as honorary counsel to the Australian sub-group of the Lloyd’s Market Association’s Binding Authority Strategic Claims Group.

Personal Injury

  • Acting for a food manufacturer following claims by patrons allegedly contracting salmonella typhimurium.
  • Acting for insurers of a restaurant in sensitive Compensation to Relatives claims arising from the death of a customer.

Property Damage

  • Acting for Sydney Catchment Authority regarding 25 property damage claims arising from bushfires at Warragamba Dam.

Construction

  • Acting for a contractor in a successful appeal to the High Court that is the leading authority on the duties owed by head contractors and sub-contractors on construction sites: Leighton Contractors v Fox; Calliden Insurance Limited v Fox [2009] HCA 35.
  • Successfully defending a head contractor in the Court of Appeal, following a claim for damages by a subcontractor’s employee who fell on site and suffered brain damage: Paul Minogue v David Rudd [2013] NSWCA 345.
  • Acting in Arbitration Proceedings in Malaysia against the structural engineers of the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.
  • Acting for insurers following property damage claims arising from Cyclone Yasi and various flood events.

Subrogated Recoveries

  • Acting for insurers of a strata development regarding a subrogated claim for recovery of $20+ million losses sustained in a fire.

Sports, Leisure & Entertainment

  • Acting for the regulators, local and Lloyd’s-based insurers and governing bodies of various national sporting bodies in claims brought by players and participants, including career-ending injuries, and investigations into the use of banned performance-enhancing drugs.
Areas of Expertise
  • Personal Injury
  • Property Damage (Third Party)
  • Sports, Leisure + Entertainment Liability
  • Subrogated Recoveries
  • Workplace Health + Safety

Industry Representation
  • Construction + Infrastructure
  • Manufacturing + Consumer Goods
  • Healthcare + Life Sciences
  • Retail + Labour Hire
  • Sports, Leisure + Entertainment

Professional Affiliations
  • Australia Insurance Law Association
  • Australian Professional Indemnity Group
  • Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance
  • NSW Claims Discussion Group
  • Engineering Discussion Group
  • Law Society of NSW