Robin is a senior insurance practitioner of 35 years’ experience who assists Australian and international insurers, and their insured clients in the manufacturing, agriculture, consumer goods, health, energy and property sectors, with liability claims. He is particularly known for his expertise in product liability, class actions, product recalls, property damage claims, and for achieving commercially viable settlements of litigated claims.

Robin has handled several high-profile class actions, including the 2009 and 2018 Victorian bushfire claims, the Lacrosse litigation about aluminium cladding and the Bonsoy litigation (about iodine in milk), the latter involving international law issues requiring cross-jurisdictional expertise. His experience in the UK and Australian markets has been invaluable to clients when they need broader insight into how their claims might play out.

Robin leads Wotton + Kearney’s Product Liability team, in whom he has instilled technical excellence and a client-focused ethos. He is considered a thought leader in the insurance industry and has been recognised as a leading Australian lawyer for insurance in the The Legal 500 Asia Pacific and Doyle’s Guide.

Product Liability + Recall

  • Defending a food manufacturer when a customer alleged that its product contained contaminated material and the manufacturer lost a contract to supply the product to a supermarket. The claim settled for a small fraction of the amount originally claimed.
  • Acting for the supplier of eggs to a restaurant that were allegedly contaminated with salmonella, and resulted in more than 85 individual claims. After detailed technical enquiries the claim was settled before trial at a low figure.
  • Acting for a D&O insurer in litigation arising from the recall of products manufactured by Pan Pharmaceuticals.

Personal Injury

  • Defending a claim brought against the public liability insurer of a sports complex following catastrophic injuries when a child dived into a swimming pool. The claim was highly emotional, but was settled at considerably less than the amount claimed.
  • Handling numerous cases involving personal injury including occupiers’ liability, statutory recoveries by WorkSafe Victoria, serious injury claims, catastrophic injury claims and liability cases.

Workers Liability

  • Acting in many matters for liability insurers defending WorkCover recovery claims and claims for serious injury arising out of employment-related injuries.

Recoveries

  • Numerous subrogated recoveries against contractors, suppliers and other third parties following loss. These include flood damage following the failure of a sprinkler system, fire damage to manufacturing plant, and liabilities for defective products down the contractual chain.

Class Actions

  • Handling three class actions arising out of the 2009 Victorian bushfires, all of which were resolved prior to trial, with two at a significant discount. Subsequently, more than 300 individual claims for material damage and business interruption following the fires have been settled.
  • Acting for Pacific Dunlop in the class action commenced following the recall of a heart pacemaker lead, with more than 600 claims individually settled.

Property Damage

  • Advising on the impact of the “contamination exclusion” in an ISR risk policy, which resulted in the claim being withdrawn.
  • Undertaking the subrogation following a fire in a block of units in Melbourne where the aluminium cladding caught fire, causing substantial damage to the fabric of the building. The claim is ongoing.
  • Cases involving economic loss, including business interruption for fire and flood, for businesses in many industry sectors.
Areas of Expertise
  • Accident, Health + Travel Claims
  • Class Actions
  • Environmental Liability
  • Industrial Special Risks
  • Inquiries, Investigations + Prosecutions
  • Legacy, Sensitive + Complex Claims
  • Personal Injury
  • Product Liability + Recall
  • Property Damage (Third Party)
  • Subrogated Recoveries
  • Transport + Marine

Industry Representation
  • Agriculture
  • Energy, Mining + Power
  • Healthcare + Life Sciences
  • Industrial + Commercial Property
  • Manufacturing + Consumer Goods
  • Healthcare & Life Sciences
  • Property & Real Estate

Professional Affiliations
  • Australian Insurance Law Association
  • Australian Professional Indemnity Group