Insurance Litigation

Claims Management

Insured want to be certain that if a claim is made against them, the relevant policy will respond.  That might be straight forward or it might be complicated.

Mark Sheller is experienced in managing all aspects of that process.  Insurance is in some respects a language of its own.  He understands that language and enjoys assisting insured to ensure that their claim for indemnity (however it may be framed) is paid.  In that regard he often partners with brokers and risk advisors to assist them and their clients with the management of a claim.

Claim Defences

Mark has had more than thirty years of experience in defending an extensive range of professionals against claims which have been made against them.

Accountants, auditors, tax agents, insolvency practitioners, lawyers, doctors, hospitals, quantity surveyors, directors, company officers and many more - he has acted for them all and knows the ins and outs in resolving the claims against them in the best terms possible.

Disciplinary Proceedings

The claim that is made may take the form of disciplinary proceedings.

Mark has acted for professionals who have found themselves before such bodies as the Company Auditors and Liquidators' Disciplinary Board 

(as it was formerly know) and internal disciplinary boards.

This is not a pleasant place to be because it triggers a high level of

embarrassment and self-doubt.  Mark is experienced in minimising these concerns and getting his clients through the process as quickly and effectively as possible.

Policy Litigation

 

Sometimes a discussion, doubt or dispute about a policy's interpretation can, unfortunately, only be resolved by following down the path of litigation.

Mark is experienced in all aspects of policy litigation having been successfully involved in a number of disputes which have reached that stage.  A particular feature with Mark's style of being a lawyer, but particularly in this area is to make sure that the client understands the relevant case theories and each step of the process.

If it is a necessary commitment to make, it is a big commitment to make and Mark strives to make sure that the client is educated from the first step to the last.

 

Case Studies

 

  

  • Acted for various parties in insurance litigation including Perry v FAI (Section 54 of the ICA and the failure to notify circumstances), Placer v Dyno (proper law of an insurance policy and dual insurance), Strategic Property Holdings No3 Pty Ltd v Austbrokers RWA Pty Ltd (Policy sub-limits and negligent broker advice), Pantaenius v Watkins (section 54 of the ICA and dual insurance) and SCM v QBE 386 (assumed liability and non-disclosure).  Mark has recently completed an assignment for an Australian publicly listed company, involving a policy dispute in the United States which he resolved through mediation in New York.

  • Acted for insureds and their insurers in numerous accountants’ professional indemnity claims, particularly claims turning on audits and the completion of tax returns. Examples of those cases include the McKechnie Bros litigation, Columbia Coffee and Tea Pty Ltd v Churchill t/as Nelson Parkhill (liability for economic loss) and Smiles v Moon (liability of tax agents).  Other professional industries in which Mark has been involved, include insurance brokers, quantity surveyors, fund managers and medical.

  • Acted for insureds and their insurers in numerous D&O claims including: the Compass proceedings and Antico v C.E. Heath Casualty and General Insurance Ltd.  These proceedings not only explored the boundaries of the liability of company directors, the consequent decisions are seminal decisions on Sections 48 and 54 of the Insurance Contracts Act.  Mark’s involvement in cases concerning Section 54 has rendered him a highly sought after speaker on this topic.