Law Firm retained by giant

A Gold Coast law firm has been appointed to a panel of three Queensland legal firms retained to provide advice to one of the majors of the insurance underwriting business.

McLaughlins, which is based at Southport, has been appointed by Liberty International Underwriters, a division of Liberty Mutual, an international multi-line insurer in the property, casualty field.

Liberty Mutual, which has 37,000 staff in 900 offices worldwide, has embarked on an expansion program in Australia.

The insurer, ranked 121 in the Fortune 500 list of largest US corporations, is based in Boston, Massachusetts, where it was founded in 1912.

Cameron Delahunty and Geoff Horne, partners at specialist litigation firm McLaughlins, said yesterday that the Southport practice was the only non-metropolitan one appointed to the Liberty Underwriters’ panel.

“This is proof positive that through the use of technology, quality regional law firms are well positioned to compete with metropolitan firms for top-tier work.”

McLaughlins’ appointment comes on the heels of it enjoying success in the High Court in an insurance case.

The court’s ruling in the matter FAI General Insurance versus Australian Hospital Care clarified the operation of section 54 of the Insurance Contracts Act.

The ruling went against FAI in a matter relating to indemnity against a potential claim by a patient in a Gold Coast hospital.

Mr Delahunty said the decision had far-reaching effects on the nature of professional indemnity insurance cover in Australia.

McLaughlins has been back in the High Court in a landmark public liability case, Borland versus Makauskas.

The firm is representing Paul Borland, who was rendered a quadriplegic in 1995 after diving into a Broadbeach Waters canal.

A Supreme Court jury found in favour of Mr Borland in July 2000, a decision later overturned by the Queensland Court of Appeal.

Source: The Gold Coast Bulletin