Employers & Latent Risk Insurance

Employers & Latent Risk Insurance (ELRI) is an area which requires profound knowledge and an eye for detail. Our asbestos and latent diseases team has a wealth of experience in advising the insurance industry on a number of issues relating to asbestos claims, as well as other latent diseases claims, including silica induced diseases and secondary tobacco smoke.

Our deft flexibility allows us to keep abreast of legal developments associated with latent disease claims throughout Australia and abroad. Our ELRI team provides the legal acumen necessary for our clients to achieve commercially attractive resolutions.

Examples of recent matters in which our ELRI team has represented their clients include:

  • Representing an insurer in a leading case on indemnity issues and interpretation of policy wordings and definitions of “injury” in latent disease cases.
  • Representing the insurer in a High Court landmark case where an airline hostess was exposed to “smoke” in the cabin of an aircraft.   The smoke was construed as a “dust” for the purposes of the Dust Diseases Tribunal Act. Special leave to the High Court of Australia was refused and the Court of Appeal decision remains the leading authority in this area.
  • Advising a major international merchant bank on the insurance and strategic management issues for dealing with the removal of asbestos in their city headquarters.
  • Defending an asbestos claim for the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence which was litigated in New South Wales.
  • Advising a major insurer and litigating one of the world’s first passive smoking cases in a common law jurisdiction which was heard by a Judge and Jury.
  • Acting in a mesothelioma case in relation to cross-vesting in the Supreme Court of New South Wales.
  • Acting in a recovery action on behalf of reinsurers in relation to a number of asbestos claims which were settled in the 1970s and 1980s.

Our senior team members include:

David Chong

Senior Associate
Bachelor of Laws, University of New England 2008

Helen McHugh

Senior Associate
Bachelor of Science (First Class Honours) (University of New South Wales) 2002 / Bachelor of Laws (University of New South Wales) 2007

Michael Poulos

Dip Law (LPAB) 1997

Andrew Spearritt

LLB (University of Sydney) 1983 / BA (Hons) (University of Sydney) 1984

Bharat Vekria

Senior Associate
Bachelor of Laws, Anglia Ruskin University, 1997


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