find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Come work for a firm ranked in Lawyers Weekly Top 25 Attraction Firms
View details
Associate - Workplace Relations & Safety
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Employer of choice · Strong team culture
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Specialist insurance firms on the grow

Specialist insurance firms on the grow

FIRM MORAY & Agnew now stands as one of the largest national specialist insurance firms in the country after plundering Herbert Geer & Rundle’s Melbourne insurance team.Five

FIRM MORAY & Agnew now stands as one of the largest national specialist insurance firms in the country after plundering Herbert Geer & Rundle’s Melbourne insurance team.

Five partners, 8 lawyers and 12 support staff from the insurance litigation department of HGR joined the Melbourne office of Moray in July 2006. They included newly appointed managing partner Bill Papastergiadis, who spent 12 years at HGR, while partner Anthony Scott has been at HGR for 17 years and partner John Wycherley approximately 20 years.

For Papastergiadis, the move was indicative of a developing trend toward specialist insurance firms in Australia.

“I can see a trend developing in the marketplace for people to co-ordinate their skills and their clients in this way,” he said. “What’s becoming apparent is that there is a clear dichotomy sometimes between insurance divisions and the commercial division of many firms, hence the separation we have seen in recent times of insurance divisions.”

Moray’s Melbourne office now includes 10 partners and 16 lawyers, while there are more than 140 legal staff members nationwide.

“I believe real specialisation is the only way to excel in the current insurance market,” Papastergiadis said.

“The conflicting fee structures and different work practices across departments in commercial law firms make servicing specialist insurance clients too difficult. To offer truly competitive rates without compromising service, insurance lawyers need to find an appropriate specialist insurance environment to operate in.”

The exodus from HGR also made good commercial sense to Papastergiadis.

“I think it’s a fit, [given] … there’s a stronger commitment towards understanding our clients’ needs and requirements, and the marketing issues that surround those commitments. There is [also] a dedicated investment in IT technology that a lot of our insurable clients are now demanding,” he said.

In fact, IT capability was one of the core reasons that insurance clients are attracted to Moray, because “the key driver in most of the tenders that we’re confronted with relate to the systems, the processes and the resources that a firm has, to enable the insurer to monitor data almost on a real-time basis — that’s a key part of what Moray & Agnew offers,” he said.

According to Papastergiadis, the recent growth in the Melbourne office is only the beginning — he hopes to double again in size over the next 12 months.

“We’re in discussion with a number of allied government and insurance service departments in other firms, and we’re quite hopeful about being able to expand quickly … and we see that as an important part of the firm’s progress, because you need the critical mass to be able to offer the appropriate service to the relevant large national and international insurers,” he said.

Asked whether he thought this would make his competitors worried, Papastergiadis said, “I think so. We would like to think that we’re on the panel of most of the major national insurers. We have a large presence in the UK — we fund trips to London twice a year — and send over three or four lawyers to do substantial marketing there.”

Moray currently competes with insurance provider Phillips Fox, and to a lesser extent UK firm Kennedys, which has absorbed the Minter Ellison professional indemnity team in Sydney.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Specialist insurance firms on the grow
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Oct 23 2017
How to fail well
The legal profession is due for an attitude adjustment when it comes to perceived failures, accordin...
Oct 23 2017
Lawyers slam rushed consultation for SA repeat offenders bill
The Law Society of South Australia has expressed concern for a proposal to roll out new laws amendin...
Oct 23 2017
The pursuit of happiness in the law
A panel of legal experts have explored how to define success in the legal profession, and how lawyer...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...