Nicholas acts for insurers and self-insured corporations in insurance and commercial litigation across Australia.

He regularly advises insurers on complex indemnity issues, liability and policy interpretation in professional negligence claims and claims regarding building, trade and construction issues. These often involve large commercial property losses. Nicholas also acts as defence counsel and advises on strategies to achieve sound outcomes.

Nicholas has extensive experience in prosecuting commercial subrogated recoveries for insurers, including recovery of material damage rectification costs, business interruption losses and other consequential losses. Nicholas also pursues direct claims against insurers under the Civil Liability (Third Party Claims Against Insurers) Act 2017, as well as dual insurance contribution claims against insurers.

He has acted for insured manufacturers in defending product defect allegations and consumer actions brought under the Australian Consumer Law. He also defends general property and product liability disputes.

Subrogation + Recoveries

  • Subrogated recovery action for business interruption losses exceeding $30 million arising from the collapse of a building caused by the demolition and steelworks subcontractors who were renovating the building.
  • Subrogated recovery action for an insured strata plan and individual unit owners following the collapse of a residential apartment complex due to a landslide event caused by a major development being constructed at the neighbouring property. The recovery was pursued against the property developer, principal head contractor and excavation subcontractor.
  • Subrogated recovery action for a loss exceeding $3 million against an insurer regarding material damage following an explosion at a factory premises (under the Civil Liability (Third Party Claims Against Insurers) Act 2017).
  • Subrogated recovery action against a structural engineer for rectification costs and contractual penalties incurred by an insured building contractor following the collapse of an excavation wall and neighbouring property due to defective/negligent design plans for temporary retention and shoring of the site.
  • Subrogated recovery action against a geotechnical engineer for failing to exercise reasonable care and skill expected of a competent qualified geotechnical engineer when performing certain underground testing. The geotechnical engineer struck an underground electrical service causing extensive damage to the electricity network at the property.
  • Subrogated recovery against an earthmoving/excavation contractor engaged by an insured to construct a large-scale dam at the insured farming premises. The dam collapsed due to its poor design, inappropriate methods of construction and extensive water damage sustained to the insured residence on site. A successful commercial recovery was achieved without the need for litigation.

Construction + Trade

  • Defending a claim for an insured principal contractor completing a large-scale development made by the owner of a neighbouring property. The claim was successfully defended with the parties reaching an informal settlement on favourable terms.
  • Defending a claim against a demolition contractor engaged to perform demolition works on site made by the third-party owner of a property. The claimant alleged the works were defective and claimed negligence and breach of contract. The claim was successfully defended with the parties reaching a settlement at mediation on very favourable terms for the insured client.
  • Defending a claim against an insured builder who had been engaged to perform a large renovation to a property made by the third-party owner of the property. Settlement was reached pre-litigation following extensive negotiation and expert assessment of the damage.
  • Defending a claim in negligence, nuisance and for alleged breach of development consent terms, on behalf of an insured principal contractor completing a large-scale development. The claims were made by the owner of a neighbouring property, who alleged the excavation works had undermined the structural stability of the common boundary and resulted in settlement damage.

Professional Indemnity

  • Defending an insured accountant in allegations of misappropriation of trust monies, which included providing coverage advice.
  • Defending an insured travel agent in claims for misrepresentation relating to the itinerary and quality of accommodation and service in an overseas photography tour. This included providing coverage advice and achieving a favourable settlement pre-litigation.
  • Successfully defending a real estate agent in a claim for alleged misrepresentation and / or misleading and deceptive conduct.
Areas of Expertise
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Commercial Property
  • Construction + Contract Works
  • Industrial Special Risks
  • Professional Liability
  • Subrogated Recoveries
  • Transport + Marine

Industry Representation
  • Construction + Infrastructure
  • industrial + Commercial Property
  • Professions + Business Services
  • Financial Institutions + Services
  • Transport + Marine
  • Manufacturing + Consumer Goods

Professional Affiliations
  • Australian Insurance Law Association
  • Young Insurance Professionals Australia
  • Property Claims Discussion Group
  • Australian Professional Indemnity Group