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Raffaela (Raff) Pisano has 25 years' experience in all areas of commercial and insurance litigation with an emphasis on professional indemnity, directors and officers and banking and securities litigation, and large and complex multi party disputes, including class actions, requiring active day to day management of internal and external project services teams and liaison with key stakeholders. She also has significant experience advising on the development of insurance products and the functions and limitations of insurance as a means of managing project risk. Raff works for corporate and government clients in the insurance and financial services industries.
Raff brings to her work practical insurance experience, having worked with Sedgwick Group Plc in London and as an insurance claims investigator for Sterling Associates Pty Ltd.
Raff is a past President of the Victorian Branch of the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance, a former member of the Comcover Advisory Council, a member of the committee of the Victorian branch of the Australian Insurance Law Association Inc, and a member of the committee and Public Officer of the Victorian Reinsurance Discussion Group Inc. Raff is also a member of the Australian Professional Indemnity Group Inc, the Law Institute of Victoria and the National Product Liability Association Inc. She is widely published on insurance issues and regularly presents at industry conferences.
Raff is listed in Best Lawyers in Australia 2015 and 2016 for Insurance Law.
Areas of expertise include:
Raff has particular expertise in commercial insurance litigation with the focus of her work in this area being directors and officers’ liability and professional indemnity claims. In addition to this, Raff has widespread experience in many other areas of commercial disputes work. This includes joint venture, partnership and quasi partnership disputes, contract disputes including sports management, credit, dealership and franchise, licence and lease agreements, misrepresentation, passing off and design infringement cases, restraint of trade disputes, defamation, trespass, nuisance and occupiers’ liability claims, adverse possession claims, testator’s family maintenance and probate disputes, cy-pres trust applications, resulting and constructive trust disputes, motor vehicle property damage and debt recovery claims.
Raff frequently works with underwriters to develop insurance products. This includes drafting the full suite of claims made policies in the financial lines arena. She also assists corporate clients with annual reviews of their insurance programs, particularly their professional indemnity and directors and officers liability insurances. She also assists corporate and government clients with the review and due diligence of their rights and obligations under the liability, insurance and indemnity provisions of their contracts with third parties.
Raff has significant experience in insolvency and banking and securities litigation. This has included a full range of applications in the Supreme Court commercial and corporate lists and the Federal Court associated with various Corporations Law matters.
Raff's expertise in commercial insurance litigation spans property damage claims, including fire and business interruption, fidelity guarantee claims, including solicitors guarantee fund and bankers blanket bond claims, public liability and product liability claims involving property damage and economic loss. The major emphasis of her work in this area is professional indemnity and directors and officers’ liability claims acting for and against accountants, engineers, insurance brokers, solicitors, property valuers, building surveyors, municipal councils, real estate agents, architects, company directors and officers and their insurers. This has included acting for various professionals in disciplinary proceedings brought against them by bodies such as the Solicitor’s Disciplinary Tribunal, the Estate Agents Board, the Banking Ombudsman and Victoria Legal Aid.