Patrick is engaged by insurer and insured clients to help them resolve directors & officers and professional indemnity claims and coverage issues, particularly litigated claims against financial companies and professionals, and fraud and fidelity matters.

Patrick is known for providing measured advice to directors and officers in large claims, during ASIC/ACCC investigations and prosecutions, and at Royal Commissions. He is regularly trusted by multi-national insurers to handle high-profile class actions and shareholder disputes.

As leader of the Wotton + Kearney D&O practice in Sydney, Patrick is responsible for ensuring we respond swiftly and commercially to exceed our clients’ expectations. He also co-leads the firm’s national cyber insurance incident response team and is a “breach coach” for a large multi-national specialist insurer.

Patrick is a regular presenter at industry forums and author of papers on industry trends affecting the future of insurance law. He is also an active committee member of APIG.

Patrick is recognised as a leading lawyer for Insurance Law and Professional Malpractice Litigation in The Best Lawyers in Australia 2021 edition.

Directors & Officers

  • Acting for the primary or excess D&O insurer of current shareholder class actions involving Crown Casinos, Spotless Holdings, RCR Tomlinson, Dick Smith and UGL.
  • Advising one of Australia’s largest commercial insurers on its D&O portfolio exposure and coverage for the Banking Royal Commission.
  • Advising the primary insurer of various financial lines policies about the collapse of one of Australia’s largest financial services companies- involving shareholder class action, Receivers’ action and a 5 year ASIC Investigation.
  • Acting for primary D&O insurers in AFP bribery investigations including in respect of Leighton Holdings, SMEC, Tabcorp, Sundance and Lion Selection.
  • Acting on behalf of an executive director of an ASX listed mining company in respect of various claims by Receivers.
  • Acting on behalf of insurers in respect of a number of coverage disputes for insolvent trading claims.

Class Actions

  • Coverage counsel for primary or excess insurers in respect of current class actions plus significant prior class actions involving Centro Properties, Allco Finance, Leighton Holdings.
  • Acting for a senior director in a multi-million dollar class action arising out of the collapse of MFS Ltd.
  • Acting for the MD, 2 non-executive directors and a senior officer of a failed mid-tier mining company in defence of a shareholder class action and two separate liquidator claims.

Professional Indemnity

  • Advising one of Australia’s largest commercial insurers on its PI portfolio exposure and coverage for the Banking Royal Commission.
  • Acting for the PI insurers in the defence of investor class actions against Pitcher Partners (auditors of Slater & Gordon) and Australian Executor Trustees.
  • Acting for various financial professionals (accountants, financial advisors and fund managers) in defence of claims against them.

Cyber Risk

  • Working with a number of insurers on cyber policy wordings, and identifying and managing risks.
  • Pre-selected as a “breach coach” for customers of a multinational insurer’s new cyber insurance product.

Regulatory & Investigations

  • Advising on coverage for the Banking Royal Commission.
  • Advising the insurer of one of Australia’s largest construction companies about professional services claims globally, including Grand Jury investigations in the US and resultant claims.
  • Acting for insureds in various ACCC and ASIC investigations and prosecutions, including insider-trading and price-fixing investigations and prosecutions.
  • Advising insurers on the James Hardie Special Inquiry and ASIC prosecution of the James Hardie Board.
  • Acting on behalf of various persons in governmental inquiries, including local government inquiries and the RSL Inquiry.
  • Acting on behalf of varied medical professionals (including doctors, dentists and pharmacists) in professional investigations, disciplinary actions and prosecutions.

Fraud  & Fidelity

  • Advising fidelity insurers following significant employee thefts, the largest being $22 million through a 10-year period, and recovery issues.
Areas of Expertise
  • Class Actions
  • Cyber + Data Security
  • Directors + Officers Liability
  • Fidelity + Crime
  • Financial Institutions
  • Healthcare + Lifesciences
  • Inquiries, Investigations + Prosecutions
  • Professional Liability

Industry Representation
  • Energy, Mining + Power
  • Financial Institutions + Services
  • Professions + Business Services
  • Technology + Cyber

Professional Affiliations
  • Australian Insurance Law Association
  • Australian Professional Indemnity Group
  • The Commercial Law Association of Australia
  • Law Society of NSW