Melissa is a litigation and dispute resolution lawyer, specialising in insurance law, with a focus on financial lines and professional indemnity.
She has extensive experience advising both local and international insurers on a wide range of coverage and liability issues in both litigated and non-litigated matters.
Melissa has defended claims brought against insurers in coverage disputes as well as acted in defence of insureds, including directors and officers, lawyers, brokers, engineers, architects, accountants, and financial planners.
Additionally, Melissa has experience in class actions and advising on cyber claims in relation to incident response, coverage issues, and privacy issues.
She has also acted for commercial clients in general commercial litigation matters.
Melissa's areas of expertise include:
- directors' & officers' liability;
- professional indemnity;
- financial services;
- class actions; and
Between 2017 and 2018, Melissa completed an eleven-month secondment with QBE386 where she managed the financial and specialty market claims, including professional indemnity, directors, officers and financial institutions' liability claims.
Melissa was recently named a young gun in the Australian insurance industry by the Insurance Business Australia Young Guns 2019. In 2014, Melissa was also named by Australasian Lawyer as one of fifty rising stars in the Australian legal industry as an up-and-coming litigation and dispute resolution lawyer.
Melissa's experience includes:
- successfully defending insurers in a special leave application to the High Court of Australia in relation to complex coverage issues of non-disclosure, and the conduct exclusion and advancement of defence costs;
- successfully defending professional indemnity insurers in the Supreme Court of New South Wales involving notification issues and the application of section 54 of the Insurance Contracts Act 1984 (Cth);
- defending structural engineers in relation to a high-profile class action proceeding and related proceeding in the Supreme Court of New South Wales in relation to allegations of design defects;
- defending the Commonwealth of Australia in relation to a class action by members of the Navy;
- defending an international communications company in proceedings commenced by a multinational information technology company in relation to internet capacity services and DDoS protection;
- defending a director of a construction company in a multi-million dollar insolvent trading proceeding;
- acting as coverage and monitoring counsel in relation to shareholders’ class action in which directors and officers were sued;
- defending a roofing company specialising in roof installation in relation to extensive water damage to a building with a potential quantum in excess of AUD10 million;
- advising a multi-national petroleum company in relation to a data breach incident and undertaking contract review work in relation to the cyber incident so as to advise on recovery prospects;
- acting as privacy counsel in relation to a data breach incident involving a healthcare service provider.