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Our legal experts will keep you up to date on all relevant and current developments.

Tuesday 28 January 2014 / by John Van de Poll posted in Insurance

In a recent case (470 St Kilda Road Pty Ltd v Robinson [2013] FCA 1420), the Federal Court ruled against an insurer that sought to rely on a professional services exclusion in a D&O Policy to deny indemnity.

The case provides useful guidance on the court’s approach in construing exclusion clauses and the meaning of ‘profession’ and ‘professional’.


Friday 13 December 2013 / by Dr Tim Smyth posted in Health Aged Care & Life Sciences Insurance

FEBRUARY 2015 - UPDATE: “Please note that this case has been the subject of a successful appeal by Dr Dekker to the WA Supreme Court. Readers should review a report on this appeal in the February 2015 issue of the Holman Webb Law Bulletin  

A recent finding of the State Administrative Tribunal of Western Australia has sparked debate amongst Australian doctors and brought into focus the wide scope of what might constitute “improper or infamous” conduct by a registered medical practitioner.


Monday 2 December 2013 / by Rachael Sutton posted in Food Law Insurance

Late last year the NSW Government implemented its reform of directors' liability creating new offences of executive liability which took effect earlier this year. 

The Miscellaneous Acts Amendment (Directors' Liability) Act 2012, applies to all legislation which contains director and manager liability provisions in NSW (except Work Health and Safety), by reducing the number and severity of provisions which make directors and managers liable for the offences of the corporation.


Friday 8 November 2013 / by John Van de Poll posted in Insurance

The path to discovery never does run smoothly. But in a recent case, the High Court has criticized parties to proceedings for going off on a tangent, and incurring unnecessary costs to resolve an issue which the Supreme Court had jurisdiction to resolve. In a Judgment handed down on 6 November 2013 in Expense Reduction Analysts Group Pty Ltd v Armstrong Strategic Management and Marketing Pty Ltd, the High Court ordered a firm of solicitors who had inadvertently received legally privileged documents in the course of the discovery process, to return them. The Court also discussed the duties of a Solicitor who receives privileged documents in the course of litigation.


Friday 27 September 2013 / by Peter Bennett posted in Insurance Property

The Owners  Strata Plan 61288 v Brookfield Australia Investments (New South Wales Court of Appeal, 25 September 2013)

BACKGROUND

SP 61288 is the owner of the common property of serviced apartments, the Mantra Chatswood Hotel (rather than a residential development).  The statutory warranties by the builder under the Home Building Act (which allow a 6 year period for the discovery of structural defects) did not apply to the construction, as those warranties only apply to residential building work.


Tuesday 24 September 2013 / by John Van de Poll posted in Insurance

The Insurance Contracts Act (ICA) has been described as one of the most significant and comprehensive pieces of consumer protection legislation ever enacted in Australia. Fundamental changes have recently been introduced, but it has also left matters silent on other fronts. The various provisions begin at different times between 28 June 2013 and December 2015, in order to allow insurers some time to amend their internal policies and procedures to take account of the new changes, many of which apply to general commercial policies. The majority of the provisions also only apply if the policy is entered into after the provision has commenced. It is imperative that brokers and underwriters are made aware of these changes.


Monday 23 September 2013 / by Peter Bennett posted in Insurance Property

The NSW Court of Appeal has decided that a breach of section 62 of the Strata Schemes Management Act 1996 (the mandatory obligation for a strata plan to maintain the common property) does not give rise to an action for damages for breach of its statutory duty.


Wednesday 31 July 2013 / by Alison Choy Flannigan posted in Business, Corporate & Commercial Food Law Government Health Aged Care & Life Sciences Insurance

NEWS - Holman Webb appointed to the Commonwealth preapproved Law Firms List

Making further external recognition of Holman Webb’s legal expertise, we are pleased to advise of our recent inclusion in the Commonwealth Government’s Legal Services Multi-User List. All Commonwealth Government departments and agencies (other than Commonwealth companies and government business enterprises) are required to use the law firms included on this list for their external legal services from 1 July 2013.


Friday 19 July 2013 / by John Van de Poll posted in Insurance

Summary of article by UK legal academic Gerald Swaby entitled “Blurring distinctions: Should innocent insureds be tarred with the same brush as their fraudulent agents? (Insurance Law Journal April 2013 Vol 24 No. 1).

A husband and wife go through an acrimonious separation. One spouse acts violently against the other by burning the house down. Should the victim forfeit his/her insurance claim?


Mandatory notification has been in place for three years now, and, if we look beyond the encouraging rhetoric about improving patient safety, the scheme has kicked up some surprises, including last year's 40 per cent surge nationally in the number of reports made, which, the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Authority (AHPRA) has, so far, been unable to explain.

While the increase might encourage belief in the scheme fulfilling its goals of ensuring patient safety, we should aslo bear in mind that the rise also increases the chances that health practitioners, who take the serious step of making a report, may face legal action when they do so. If we drill down into the 40 per cent increase, we find that the most significant contribution comes from Queensland where the number of reports has almost tripled, rising from 85 to 220.The increase is even more troubling because health practitioners making mandatory reports about colleagues are not absolutely protected from defamation. Put simply, doctors reporting colleagues, and members of the public reporting health practitioners, can be sued for defamation.


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