Areas Of Law

Education Law

  • Our Education Law experience includes acting on behalf of independent schools, independent school associations, state-run schools and the Department of Education & Early Childhood Development - DEECD (and its predecessors) and universities, in the defence of litigated claims by students and parents including alleged:
  • inadequate supervision during recess times, before and after school or during sports events, other outdoor activities and camps. We have expertise in assessing the adequacy of staff-student ratios, systems of supervision within the school yard and any additional supervisory requirements for recreational activities involving increased risks.
  • unsafe playground equipment. We have experience in liaising with engineers and playground consultants in the application of the relevant Australian Standards to a range of different types of playground equipment. Issues considered have included design, fall heights, entrapment points and slip resistance, as well as adequacy of under-surfaces.
  • failure by educational institutions to provide an appropriate standard of teaching and resultant claims for reimbursement of fees.
  • bullying, sexual abuse and other forms of harassment (including internet communication). We have acted on behalf of schools in matters involving alleged assaults (including sexual assaults) perpetrated by students and staff. Many matters have involved liaison with the Victoria Police. Davidís experience as both a lawyer and psychologist allow him to deal with such matters sensitively and to critically evaluate expert opinions as to claimed psychological injury.
  • We have also acted for independent schools in a range of commercial matters including alleged breaches of contact (e.g. non-payment of fees etc).
  • We have acted for schools in employment disputes. We have acted for schools in Occupation & Health Safety investigations.
  • We have also acted in cases of alleged defamation by school staff.
  • We offer extensive experience in crisis-management in cases of: (i) student catastrophic injury (which have included cases of quadriplegia, brain injury and limb amputation); (ii) death; and (iii) alleged serious assault, including sexual assault. On a number of occasions, we have attended schools on the day of a catastrophic incident to reassure staff, deal with any acute legal concerns and formulate a plan to gather evidence in a "sensitive" but timely fashion.
  • We have assisted private schools and the DEECD (and its predecessors), in liaising with the media in such.

medical defence law

We have experience in all areas of medical defence law and we have provided legal advice and claims management to a major medical defence organization for over 20 years. During that time, we have developed a thorough and detailed understanding of the strategic legal and business imperatives of medical defence organisations.

Our medical defence expertise includes:

  • the defence of negligence claims against medical practitioners and other allied health professionals;
  • acting for medical practitioners in hearings before the Medical Practitioners Board of Victoria in claims of unprofessional conduct;
  • acting for medical practitioners in Coronial Inquests;
  • acting for medical practitioners facing allegations of failing to comply with Department of Human Services regulations in the treatment/management of drug-dependent patients; and
  • acting for medical practitioners in investigations involving Medicare Australia and Professional Services Review.

Occupational Health & Safety law

We have experience in all areas of Occupational Health & Safety law at State and Commonwealth levels.
We have acted in many industry sectors including government, retail, construction, manufacturing, training and transport.
We have acted in many matters involving serious workplace injuries or fatalities.
We have assisted in the development of Manuals for Safety in various work settings and David is a member of a Risk Management & Occupational Health Committee of a large employer. Over many years we have developed a thorough and detailed understanding of the strategic legal and risk management/compliance issues faced by employers.

Occupational Health & Safety expertise includes:

  • conducting investigations of incidents
  • liaising with investigating authorities including WorkSafe and Comcare
  • defending companies, directors and senior officers in prosecutions under Occupational Health & Safety laws
  • assisting witnesses in the preparation of statements to investigating authorities
  • advice relating to summonses to appear before court and legal implications of giving or not giving evidence
  • assisting employers to develop strategies to comply with Occupational Health & Safety requirements including legal compliance audits and to deal with Improvement and Prohibition Notices
  • assisting employers in cases of alleged harassment and bullying
  • representation at Coronial Inquests

We have also acted for self-insurers for many years and can provide advice in relation to Workers Compensation claims.
We provide assistance and advice in relation to all aspects of Occupational Health & Safety law.
We are available 24 hours a day / 7 days a week to assist in responding to critical incidents.
On many occasions, we have attended work sites on the day of a critical incident to reassure staff, deal with any acute legal concerns and formulate a plan to gather evidence in a "sensitive" but timely fashion.
We have assisted employers in reputation management, including liaison with the media.

WorkCover law

We have experience in all areas of WorkCover law and have provided legal advice and claims management to the Victorian WorkCover Authority (previously the Accident Compensation Commission) and self insurers for over 20 years. During that time, we have developed a thorough and detailed understanding of the strategic legal and business imperatives of self-insurers. We now act exclusively for self-insurers.

Our WorkCover expertise includes:

  • "front-end" strategic claims management advice;
  • assisting employers to develop strategies to reduce claims costs;
  • assisting employers to develop strategies to manage complex claims and long-term claimants;
  • the conduct of complex pre-litigated claims and litigated claims in all jurisdictions;
  • section 138 recoveries under the Accident Compensation Act; and
  • the defence of prosecutions pursuant to the Occupational Health & Safety Act.