Catherine in 60 seconds

Catherine is an insurance law specialist. Her expertise covers all aspects of life insurance, including claims (including TPD, Income Protection, personal accident and sickness, and group life policies), PDS reviews, and disputes.

Catherine's insurance law expertise covers all aspects of life insurance, including claims (including TPD, Income Protection, personal accident and sickness, and group life policies), PDS reviews, and disputes.

Her clients include Westpac Life Insurance Services Limited, Colonial Mutual Life Assurance Society Limited, TAL Life Limited, MLC Ltd, OnePath, Challenger Life Company Ltd as well as superannuation trustees.

Catherine acted on behalf of the trustee in the July 2011 NSW Court of Appeal decision of Manglicmot v CBOSC. This case considered whether a person who can only work part time is TPD as well as the duties imposed on trustees by s. 52 Superannuation Industries (Supervision) Act.

Catherine advises life insurers on non-disclosure and misrepresentation issues, as well as policy coverage. She has defended claims for insurers in NSW, Victoria, the ACT and Adelaide, including in the NSW Court of Appeal. Catherine has provided extensive advice regarding the impact of the 2014 changes to the Insurance Contracts Act and the implications for policy wordings. She also drafts submissions on behalf of insurers to FOS.

Catherine has a high rate of success in resolving matters using ADR techniques, including mediation.

Qualifications

  • LLB (UNSW), B Com (UNSW)

Industry associations

  • Member of the Australian Insurance Law Association (AILA)
  • Member of Australian Life Underwriters and Claims Association (ALUCA)

Catherine's Recent Experience

CBA

Acted for CBA and the Commonwealth Bank Officers Superannuation Corporation Limited in the Supreme Court and on appeal to the Court of Appeal regarding a trustees' duties under the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 in the Manglicmot decision. This was a significant  decision for superannuation trustees and life insurers because it confirmed a person who can work part-time is not totally and permanently disabled.

Westpac Life Insurance Services Limited

Acted for Westpac Life Insurance Services Limited in the matter of Davis v Westpac Life Insurance Services Limited, both at trial and on appeal. The trial judge and the NSW Court of Appeal upheld Westpac's policy avoidance pursuant to S 29(3) ICA.

Catherine's Recent Insights

When has a TPD benefit "accrued"?

  • 25 May 2017

This Victorian Court of Appeal decision of MLC v Daffy on 15 May 20171 confirms a total and permanent disability (TPD) benefit does not "accrue" at the time of injury, but rather only acc...

Shuetrim: The Court can rewrite the contract

  • 11 Apr 2016

The NSW Court of Appeal1 has clarified the interpretation of TPD clauses and confirmed the court's power to determine TPD.SummaryThe phrase 'unlikely' in TPD clauses does not mean impro...

Federal Court - Insurance List for short matters

  • 06 Apr 2016

The Federal Court has established an Insurance List for short matters (the List), which commenced in Sydney on 21 March 2016.  The List is intended to provide a forum for questions of con...

Life insured ordered to attend a subsequent medical examination

  • 29 Jul 2015

29 July 2015The Supreme Court of NSW has made orders regarding the attendance by a life insured (who was not a party to the proceedings) at a second medical examination. An interlocutory applicati...