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Context Must be Considered Where There is Ambiguity in an Insurance Policy
Thursday 29 July 2021 / by Stephanie Davis & Heather McIntosh posted in Insurance Property Opal Tower Construction Insurance Insurance Policy Construction Contract

In the Full Federal Court decision of Liberty Mutual Insurance Company Australia Branch trading as Liberty Specialty Markets v Icon Co (NSW) Pty Ltd [2021] FCAFC 126 given on 20 July 2021, the Full Court addressed the construction and scope of thirdparty liability policies in the context of claims made by a building and construction company for losses occurring as a result of the manifestation of serious defects within a building, during the defects liability period.

Key Take Away
  1. The Full Court maintained that in the event of ambiguity in an insurance policy, the context (including the market) in which the parties are operating, as well as the commercial purpose of the policy, must be considered (Icon’s Cross Appeal); and
  2. Similarly, the Full Court considered that the context of Insurance Policies must always be considered in circumstances where the definition of ordinary words are not clear (QBE Appeal).
  3. The Full Court ultimately prefers Policy Interpretation which refers to extrinsic contextual material where Policy terms are not clear.

Lucy Rooney Listed in Elite Women in Insurance 2021: Insurance Business Magazine

Holman Webb is pleased to announce that Insurance Partner Lucy Rooney has been listed in Insurance Business Magazine's Elite Women in Insurance 2021!


Insurance Webinar Recording: Apportionment and Contribution in Insurance

Click through to watch Holman Webb's latest insurance webinar: Apportionment and Contribution in Insurance.

Presented by General Insurance Partner Peter Bennett and Associate Linda Huynh on Tuesday 6 July 2021, this webinar examines a range of significant cases relating to apportionment and contribution in insurance.

Discussion topics include:

  • Contributory negligence.
  • Failing to keep a proper lookout.
  • Intoxication.
  • Contributory negligence can defeat a claim by being determined at 100%.
  • Contributory negligence in contract.
  • Joint tortfeasor, where judgment entered for a defendant.
  • Proportionate liability.
  • Where the plaintiff is unable to recover from the concurrent wrongdoer.
  • Liability of an employer for a hire worker.

Holman Webb Announces Six Promotions Across Three Offices

​Holman Webb is pleased to announce six promotions across our Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane offices – effective 1 July 2021.


Holman Webb Listed as Finalist - Lawyers Weekly Australian Law Awards 2021

Holman Webb Lawyers is proud to relay that the firm has been listed as a finalist in two categories in the Lawyers Weekly Australian Law Awards 2021:

  • Law Firm of the Year
  • Insurance Team of the Year

Click through for more information on this year's finalists, and upcoming winner announcements.


Upcoming Insurance Webinar: Apportionment and Contribution in Insurance (Tuesday 6 July)

Holman Webb is delighted to announce our second Insurance Webinar of 2021, hosted by the firm's General Insurance Team and presented by Partner Peter Bennett and Associate Linda Huynh.

Click through to register your attendance today!


John Van de Poll Listed as Finalist in the Lawyers Weekly Partner of the Year Awards 2021

Holman Webb is pleased to announce that Partner and Insurance Group National Team Leader John Van de Poll has been listed as a finalist in the Lawyers Weekly Partner of the Year Awards 2021 - Insurance Partner of the Year category!

This finalist position follows John's Insurance Partner of the Year wins in both 2016 and 2019.


Holman Webb Listed as Excellence Awardee in the Australasian Law Awards 2021 – Insurance Specialist Firm of the Year Category
Thursday 13 May 2021 posted in Insurance Insurance

Holman Webb Lawyers is pleased to announce that we have been listed as an Excellence Awardee in the Australasian Law Awards 2021 – Insurance Specialist Firm of the Year category!


Holman Webb Listed in 5-Star Insurance Awards 2021

Holman Webb Lawyers is proud to announce that we have been listed as a 5-Star Excellence Awardee in the recently released ‘5-Star Insurance Law Firms and Lawyers 2021’ list, compiled by  and Insurance Business Australia.

Click through to learn more.


When Can You be Liable, But Not Liable? Shoveller v Dak-Wal Constructions Pty Ltd (No 2) [2021] NSWSC 352

This case note discusses the 8 April 2021 decision of Shoveller v Dak-Wal Constructions Pty Ltd (No 2) [2021] NSWSC 352, in which a 76-year-old retiree fell from a 3m high walkway while visiting a holiday home in Kilcare NSW.


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