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        Workers Compensation

        DWF Australia is a long-term member of key state and local government workers compensation legal panels and in addition we act for numerous self-insurers.

        We operate one of the largest workers compensation practices in Queensland, resolving between 400 and 500 common-law claims a year. Our track record has affirmed us as leaders in managing common law claims.

        Armed with a team of leading Workers Compensation lawyers, we have a large background knowledge and an acute understanding of the insurance claims market, the plaintiff firms, and the ebb and flow of liability and quantum expectations. We are therefore equipped to handle claims professionally and efficiently, and partner with our clients to provide superior claim outcomes both in terms of reduced claims costs and shorter claim durations. 

        Our workers’ compensation team provides advice to both the insurer and our employer clients in the following areas:

        • Advice in relation to common law claims including sensitive claims for psychiatric injury and the defence of these claims through our panel position with WorkCover Queensland.
        • Statutory advice addressing the operation of the relevant workers’ compensation legislation, including complex claims for psychiatric injury.
        • Defence of complex high value multiparty claims including catastrophic injury claims.
        • Employment advice in relation to rehabilitation requirements and potential adverse action claims for workers in receipt of workers’ compensation benefits.

        Our focus in common law claims is on the early identification of issues and developing a strategic plan for each matter. We provide comprehensive advice, clear analysis of the issues and a timeframe for resolution. Claims are thoroughly investigated and prepared to provide the optimal available evidence. We use external investigators and our own in-house investigator to ensure quality investigations for each matter.

        Our senior lawyers directly manage all claims and take responsibility for achieving client outcomes. They are always available to handle client queries throughout the matter be it by phone, email or in person. We communicate all developments, as they occur, and ensure our clients are kept fully up-to-date.


        A small percentage of claims are not able to be resolved during the pre-proceedings stage, and move to litigated proceedings. Often these matters are able to be resolved prior to the trial through involvement of Counsel, mediator and further negotiation. However, on occasion the matters may become litigated with the risk that the claim may proceed to a full hearing before the Courts.

        DWF does not adopt litigation as a default position. Rather litigation and in particular a hearing is only a last resort when all other methods of alternative dispute resolution have been exhausted. A hearing not only adds significant time and costs to a claim, but it also introduces an element of uncertainty as to the outcome of the hearing. The risks of a hearing must be balanced against the potential precedent that will be set and possible adverse publicity.

        Although we acknowledge that litigation is a last resort, when we do litigate, we have a successful track record. We have been involved in some of the leading liability cases in the workers’ compensation arena in Queensland.  In more recent years, we have been successful in more than 80 percent of our litigated claims, evidencing our success as litigators and our strategic approach to target litigation appropriately. 

        Contact Us

        To find out more about our work in this field, please contact our Head of Insurance Damien van Brunschot or Managing Director Jamie McPherson.

        Damien van Brunschot

        • Principal Lawyer // Head of Insurance (Australia)

        Jamie McPherson

        • Managing Director (Australia)

        Hamish Broadbent

        • Principal Lawyer

        Julien Fraccaro

        • Senior Associate

        Andre Wyman

        • Senior Associate

        Jennifer Davis

        • Senior Associate

        Matthew Giles

        • Senior Associate