Providing legal services to the insurance industry is about more than just giving the best advice. It requires deep industry understanding, an appreciation of issues and challenges facing insurers and the ability to adapt to changing client needs.

MinterEllison’s insurance practice is one of the largest in Australia and truly national. Our knowledge of the insurance industry is second to none and it enables us to tailor advice that focuses on the client and their business objectives. MinterEllison has been awarded 'Insurance Law Firm of the Year' at the Asia-Pacific Banking & Finance annual Insurance Awards each year from 2012 – 2016.

We are the only top tier law firm in Australia to maintain a comprehensive ‘front end’ practice (policy wording/drafting and advice, corporate advisory, reinsurance, agency agreements) and ‘back end’ claims practice (including professional indemnity, D&O, product liability, asbestos, life, marine, aviation, self insureds, government and industrial special risks). We also have significant expertise defending litigation (including class actions) on complex insurance issues.

We have strong professional links with peak industry bodies and consistently support associations through attendance, presentations, sponsorship and involvement in working groups. Our industry involvement assists us to advise clients effectively on the impact of legislative and regulatory changes.

Port Botany and Port Kembla Transaction

Advised the New South Wales Government (NSW Treasury) on the refinancing of Port Botany and Port Kembla in NSW. The project was unique, involving the contemporaneous refinancing and long term lease of two major Australian ports. Our role included extensive legal analysis of the existing assets and businesses and the regulatory landscape; recommending a transaction structure; drafting special transaction legislation; asset restructuring; preparing extensive interrelated transaction documents; tender process and negotiations; and implementation under legal project management. The project was complex and very significant for NSW, with the transaction widely considered to establish a new benchmark in transaction preparation and execution.

IAG's A$1.85 billion acquisition of Wesfarmers Insurance

Acted for Insurance Australia Group Limited (IAG) on the $1.85 billion acquisition of the Australian and New Zealand insurance underwriting businesses of Wesfarmers Limited, the number 1 and number 5 general insurers in Australia respectively. ACCC approval has been granted after close analysis but without the ACCC releasing a Statement of Issues.

Misleading or deceptive conduct and breach of contract

Acting for IT consultants engaged to project manage the implementation of a trading exchange against allegations of misleading or deceptive conduct and breach of contract. The plaintiff alleges that by reason of our client’s breaches, it has incurred substantial extra costs and has been delayed in obtaining a market licence from ASIC, causing it to suffer significant financial losses. The matter is particularly high profile as it affects a potential new operator of a derivatives exchange in Australia.

MLC's 'Best Doctors Program'

Acted in establishing MLC’s ‘Best Doctors Program’, a program designed to give insurers and their families access to a ‘second opinion’ from the world's leading medical experts. Strategically important for MLC and a key differentiator for the company, the program (which won an industry award for innovation) has been extended to other areas of MLC’s business because of its success. Our role included clearing the various legal hurdles, given the program needed to comply with a plethora of legislation, including the Private Health Insurance Act, Life Insurance Act, superannuation legislation and Trade Practices Act. We also drafted and novated the contract between MLC and the international provider.

Alleged loss of existing rights

Acting for a publicly listed general insurance company in defending a A$33m claim against a policyholder arising from alleged loss of existing rights of use for a small island off the coast of NSW.