Invited Speakers

Gavin Beardsell

Investment Manager - Omni Bridgeway

Gavin Beardsell is an Investment Manager based in Omni Bridgeway's Sydney office, responsible for managing funding opportunities in Australia and New Zealand. He is currently managing Omni Bridgeway's investments in a range of funded claims. In Australia, this includes the Sirtex Medical shareholder class action, Combustible Cladding class actions and the CoreStaff mine workers class action, and in New Zealand, the CBL Corporation shareholder class action and Combustible Cladding class action.

Gavin has over 25 years' experience in commercial litigation and class actions. As a Partner at the UK's largest insurance law firm, BLM, he acted for several leading UK insurers and their clients in relation to high value claims in the High Court of Justice and the Court of Appeal.

Since 2008, Gavin has practised in Australia, as a Partner at Gilchrist Connell and then as Senior Consultant at Clyde & Co. He has acted for insurers and large corporations defending and/or advising on high profile class actions brought by shareholders, debenture holders and other investors in the Federal Court of Australia, and the Supreme Courts of NSW and Victoria. These include OZ Minerals, WorleyParsons, UGL Limited, Australian Executor Trustees and RiverCity Motorway Group.

Professional background
Gavin has a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) from Exeter University, England and a Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice (Distinction) from the College of Law, England. He is admitted to practise law in Australia and in England & Wales.

Marcus Burke

Associate Director at EY in the Infrastructure Advisory team

. Prior to joining EY at the end of 2021, Marcus spent ten years at the National Transport Commission, including leading the national reform program for the commercial deployment of automated vehicles in Australia. This included developing: - the first Australian guidelines for automated vehicle trials, - national safety policy for automated vehicles, - the national approach to motor accident injury insurance for automated vehicles and - national automated vehicle reform roadmap, agreed by Transport Ministers in February this year.

Marcus is a global leader in policy and regulatory reform for transport technology. Marcus also has experience in the software industry in consulting and product management.

Marcus has a Bachelor of Laws/ Bachelor of Science from the University of Melbourne and a Masters in Diplomacy and Trade, International Trade, Economics (Monash University)

Melody Carr

National Head of Financial Lines and Professional Indemnity Claims Advocacy - Marsh

Melody is a qualified Corporate Solicitor possessing extensive experience in guiding many of Australia’s largest ASX 200 listed corporations through complex, large scale class action litigation. In her role as the National Head of Financial Lines and Professional Indemnity Claims Advocacy with the world's leading insurance broker Marsh, Melody provides advanced specialty advice, guidance and support to corporate clients throughout all aspects of complex class action litigation, assisting to navigate and overcome coverage complexities and effect protocols for stakeholder and risk management to mitigate loss and improve the client experience.

Prior to joining Marsh Melody gained an enhanced insight into the diversity and scale of financial lines class action proceedings across a vast number of industries, having worked within financial lines claims for Australia’s largest domestic Insurer Allianz Australia Limited, in Corporate Insolvency, Risk, Compliance and Dispute Resolution for one of Australia’s largest BIG4 Australian Banks, and in private practice for Jones King Solicitors and Milton Graham Lawyers.

Throughout her career Melody gained a wealth of experience in the procedural logistics, complex coverage issues and intricacies of large scale class action proceedings in the financial lines insurance arena, and has a passion for devising advanced claims management strategies which proactively minimise carrier and client risk exposure. Possessing a wealth of established industry relationships in the financial lines insurance and legal sectors Melody excels in the active engagement and collaboration of all stakeholders within the client loss experience, and is committed to going above and beyond to achieve outstanding outcomes.

Simone Dossetor

CEO Insurtech Australia

Simone was appointed CEO of Insurtech Australia in October 2021. Simone brings to the role of CEO her practical experience of developing and transforming insurance businesses to be fit for an increasingly competitive future.

Insurtech Australia is a national not-for-profit organisation with a vision to create a world leading insurtech ecosystem. Simone has been a supporter of the association since its earliest days and previously served as Non-Executive Director on the Insurtech Australia Board since February 2020.

Simone has over twenty years’ experience in financial services and the consulting. Her previous role was that of Chief Operating Officer for Munich Re in Australia where her focus was on delivering the operational platform and capabilities that supported Munich Re’s Life and Non-life business units in delivering innovation opportunities and client solutions. Prior to that she had roles in the Calliden Group, Deloitte and Trowbridge Consulting, now part of Finity. Additionally, she has been a Non-Executive Director of the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF) since August 2018.

Simone is a strong advocate for innovation, inclusion and the future of insurance.

Kieran Doyle

Partner - Head of Cyber, Privacy and Tech Liability

Kieran leads W+K’s Cyber risk, incident and breach response team. He has one of the largest cyber coverage practices in the market, advising insureds and insurers on the most important and significant incidents in Australia.

Kieran is experienced in setting up and managing data breach response vendor teams and managing incidents from ransomware attacks to full scale data breaches – including assessing and monitoring the incident in its entirety. Kieran advises on privacy law compliance, notification obligations and acts as a cyber breach lawyer for first- and third-party cyber risks, including defending claims against businesses and government agencies resulting from a breach. More broadly Kieran defends IT managed service providers in professional liability matters, many of which involve cyber incidents.

He advises insurers and their clients on pre-breach compliance with privacy laws, including how international privacy law applies to local businesses, as well as developing incident response plans for large multi-national organisations and SME clients.

Chris Ehlers

Partner at MDD Forensic Accountants

Chris is a partner at MDD Forensic Accountants with offices in Sydney, Perth and Auckland. He began his career with MDD in Houston in 2004 and worked in the London Market in 2007 prior to relocating to Sydney in 2008 to open MDD’s first office in the region. Chris has spoken at numerous industry seminars and hosts the MDD Annual Damages Forum which is an event for the Insurance Market which focuses solely on Economic Damage policy related issues.

Currently his key practice areas include property and cyber related business interruption as well as a wide variety of matters which require expert accounting evidence. Chris has provided expert reports and given expert evidence numerous times in both State and Federal court.

Michael Gill

Michael Gill has practised law for more than 40 years, much of the time as an insurance lawyer, covering most types of insurance law, including general advice, document drafting, coverage disputes, major inquiries and commissions, commercial transactions, as well as regulatory and compliance matters. For many years, he focused on professional indemnity, D&O, products liability, aviation and livestock classes.

Michael has acted for insureds, intermediaries, insurers and reinsurers, Lloyd's Underwriters and the London Market captives and mutuals, industry associations, regulators and the government. He has represented clients from Asia, Europe, the United States and New Zealand and has been instrumental in significant initiatives such as Lawcover, the Solicitors Mutual Indemnity Fund, the MAA and the General Insurance Code of Practice.

Michael has designed programs for managing insurance claims portfolios, including reinsurance claims allocation and run-off, as well as advising insurers on alternative methods of claims handling.

Tom Harvey

Senior Property Treaty Underwriter at SCOR Reinsurance Asia Pacific

Tom Harvey is a Senior Treaty Underwriter at SCOR, responsible for Property business in Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands. In addition to his underwriting and portfolio responsibilities, he is the ESG champion for the APAC region.

With a background in Geology and Geophysics, Tom’s insurance journey began when he joined Guy Carpenter’s model development team. This role focussed on developing natural hazard models for secondary perils such as flood, bushfire, and windstorm. He then transitioned to a market facing broking role, with exposure to property, lender’s mortgage, and terrorism reinsurance programs.

He is an active committee member for the Australian Lloyd’s Development Group as well as the Vice President of the NSW Reinsurance Discussion Group.

Patrick Hill

Global Head of Professional & Financial Lines, DAC Beachcroft LLP (London)

Patrick is a solicitor with global law firm DAC Beachcroft LLP, which is part of the Legalign Global Alliance of insurance law firms, including Wotton + Kearney in Australia and New Zealand. Patrick is based in the London office and with over 20 years’ experience, is recognised in the London insurance market as leader in the financial lines and cyber fields.

Patrick has extensive experience of defending a range of professionals and financial institutions in complex, high value disputes around the world. He also has wide experience of handling claims concerning financial institutions and D&O, including domestic and international trust related claims as well as many other types of claim emanating from the banking and finance house sector.

Patrick is a lead partner in DAC Beachcroft's Cyber & Data Risk team and advises corporate and insurer clients on managing domestic and international cyber incidents and data breaches, including a number of incidents which have hit the headlines around the world. Patrick has lectured extensively on cyber risk in Europe, the US, Latin America, Asia and Australia and is an acknowledged leader in the field of cyber risk and data breach insurance.

Richard Hilliard

Chief Technology Officer at My Plan Manager

As Australia’s largest NDIS Plan Manager, MPM now helps over 30,000 clients make the most of their NDIS funding while also ensuring prompt payment for service providers. MPM recently finished 2nd overall in the Deloitte Tech Fast 50. Prior to joining MPM, Richard was CIO at ORIX Australia and Head of Digital Transformation at Aussie Home Loans.

Gareth Horne

Within the financial lines and general litigation practices, Gareth has acted in defence of claims against directors and officers and professionals. This includes acting as defence and coverage counsel in class actions, insolvency claims, negligence claims, Australian Consumer Law and contract claims, as well as public inquiries and Royal Commissions.

Gareth's first party property and business interruption experience includes policy drafting (ISR and cyber BI), working on claims in the mining, commercial property, manufacturing and energy sectors and catastrophe insurance and reinsurance claims arising from major catastrophes including earthquakes, bushfires and windstorms. Gareth has experience in dealing with captive insurers, catastrophe pools and treaty and facultative reinsurance programmes, and also frequently acts in subrogated recovery claims and litigation against third party wrongdoers.

Gareth is recognised as a recommended lawyer in Insurance by Legal 500.

Dr Kourosh Kayvani

Partner, HKA

Dr Kourosh Kayvani has more than 30 years’ experience as an executive leader, Chartered Professional Engineer, technical expert and academic in the built environment sector.

Dr Kayvani is a Partner at HKA, leading Forensic Technical Services in Australia and New Zealand for one of the world’s leading consultancies in risk mitigation and dispute resolution for the capital projects and infrastructure sector.

Dr Kayvani’s career in engineering has included many extraordinary highlights. Among these was his role as Lead structural engineer on the ANSTO OPAL Nuclear Reactor at Lucas Heights, which was opened in 2007; Lead design engineer and project leader for the roof and arch of London’s Wembley Stadium, again opened in 2007; and Design Director responsible for erection engineering of the complex roof structure of the Express Rail Link, West Kowloon Terminus in Hong Kong, which opened in 2018.

A Fellow and Board Director of Engineers Australia, Dr Kayvani is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering and a non-executive director at the Australian Steel Institute. He has been a Good Design Ambassador for Good Design Australia since 2020. In 2006, Dr Kayvani was awarded for his contribution to design of long span structures world-wide, with the International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering prize. In 2016, he received the John Connell Gold Medal the highest accolade given annually by the Structural College of Engineers Australia, and in 2009 was also named by Engineers Australia as one of the 100 Most Influential Engineers in the country.

Quinton Kotze

Cyber & Technology Product Manager, A&NZ

Quinton is responsible for Chubb’s Cyber and Technology insurance underwriting strategy, portfolio management, product and services development across Australia and New Zealand.

Quinton has 20 years of insurance industry experience, having started his career in London working for both insurers and Lloyds markets. He has held various underwriting, broking and management roles in the UK, New Zealand and South Africa.

Associate Professor Tania Leiman

Associate Professor and Dean of Law, Flinders University

Dean of Law at Flinders University, Associate Professor Tania Leiman is committed to equipping legal professionals to identify opportunities for innovation, understand impacts of emerging technologies and use this knowledge and skill to increase access to justice.

Tania's current interests include automated vehicles, disruption in the legal profession, artificial intelligence and legal tech.

She serves on the
- National Transport Commission [NTC]'s Automated Vehicles Industry Insights Group
- Australian & New Zealand Driverless Vehicles Initiative [ADVI]’s Policy and Risk Group
- National Advisory Board of the Australian Society for Computers and Law.

She has published and presented nationally and internationally on the legal implications of automated vehicles. She is currently collaborating with a multidisciplinary group of UK and EU industry experts regarding the ethics of AVs breaching traffic rules.

Recent relevant publications include:
Reed, Leiman, Palade, Martens & Kester, ‘Ethics of automated vehicles: breaking traffic rules for safety’ (2021) Ethics and information Technology (forthcoming) Leiman, ‘Law and tech collide: foreseeability, reasonableness and advanced driver assistance systems’ (2020) 40 (2) Policy and Society 250

Professor Andy Pitman AO

Professor in Climate Science | University of New South Wales

Andy Pitman, AO is a Professor in climate science at the University of New South Wales. He is the Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes. He has 35 years’ experience, and broad interests extending across climate modeling, climate change, and climate extremes. This experience places Andy at the forefront of assessing the appropriate use of, and risk of misuse of, future climate projections.

At the international level he has been a lead author on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. He was a review editor of the 2013 report. He was also a lead author of the Copenhagen Diagnosis. On a national level he has had multiple senior advisory roles in climate science for the Federal Government, the NSW State Government, as well as senior national roles in e-research infrastructure strategy. He was also a member of the science committee advising the Climate Measurement Standards Initiative.

He won the Priestley Medal in 2004, the AMOS Medal in 2009, the NSW Climate Scientist of the Year in 2010, the Royal Society of Victoria medal in 2020 and was elected Fellow of the American Meteorological Society in 2016 and is a Fellow of the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society.

Among his over 200 international papers, he co-led a 2021 publication in Nature Climate Change titled Business risk and the emergence of climate analytics which provides a careful analysis of the risks of misuse of climate change data by business.

Scott Reeves

Head of New Markets at Munich Re Australia

Scott Reeves is the Head of New Markets at Munich Re Australia, responsible for identifying and delivering new revenue segments beyond the traditional reinsurance marketplace. The focus is principally on assisting banks and financial institutions to understand, measure, and manage the physical risks emerging from climate change.

Scott is also the Client Manager for a global P&C insurance company, and was previously Chief Underwriting Officer for Munich Re Australia.

Scott is a qualified actuary, and a member of the Actuaries Institute board, and Audit & Risk Committee.

Lyle Steffensen

Practice Leader, Marsh Care Solutions | Sydney, NSW

Lyle has more than 25 years of corporate experience, the majority of which has been spent in the insurance and risk management advisory sectors. Lyle works for a multinational insurance broking firm as the Practice Leader for Marsh Care Solutions across Australia & New Zealand. The Practice provides risk and insurance advice to organisations who are purpose-led rather than profit-driven. Lyle’s passion for social justice is reflected not only in her work but in her personal pursuits as a volunteer for a number of organisations who provide support to vulnerable people, and this is reflected in her wholistic, grounded and personal-focused approach. As a result, Lyle has won a number of industry awards in the last 3 years as a function of her work for the industries she works on behalf of.

Lyle is a vocal and active advocate for making the insurance industry more accessible for those who are diversified by culture, gender, race, religion or ability. She is a member of the Marsh Australia I&D Committee, Women & Allies at Marsh Committee, Women on Boards Association, a volunteer for The Women of Colour Australia Collective, and looks to ‘push the I&D agenda’ wherever possible.

Lyle is a first generation migrant with a (very) mixed ethnic background who grew up in the apartheid era in South Africa, and came to Australia in the “Recession We Had to Have” when she was 15 with her parents and siblings. Lyle is Co-CEO of a blended family, with 4 children ranging between the ages of 24 and 13. Lyle loves all the good things – food (eating and cooking!), growing all manner of plants, knitting, and singing, and is always seeking to wear as comfortable clothes and shoes as the corporate workplace will allow. Lyle is a self-confessed nerd who loves her messy, busy, and full life.

- Inaugural Winner Marsh I&D Awards WAM Champion of the Year 2021: A Woman Who is a Catalyst for Change
- Included in Top Global 100 Brokers 2021
- Included in Insurance Business Hot List 2020, 2021
- Elite Woman in Insurance Award Recipient 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
- Graduate Australian Institute of Company Directors
- Women on Boards Member
- Fellow Australian & New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (Grad Dip Insurance)
- Ongoing Qualified Practicing Insurance Broker and Certified Insurance Practitioner

Dr Andries B Terblanche

Global Lead for Dynamic Risk Assessment, KPMG

Andries specializes in scientific advances in risk management to address the rapidly changing environment that produces unprecedented exposures, including combinations thereof, for which there is no past data or precedent.

He studied risk management and quantitative finance at Tsinghua University in Beijing, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, the London School of Economics and New York University’s Stern School of Business. Until 2016 he served as Adjunct Professor in Risk and Actuarial Studies at the University of New South Wales where he taught systemic risk.

Andries’ contribution to risk management involves the application of expert elicitation and network theory to overcome data paucity restraints associated with statistical risk management methodologies. He has advised more than 500 organisations around the world, in different economic sectors, on their systemic risk exposures. They include the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and the World Economic Forum in Davos in January 2020.

In 2015 he was invited by Prof Menachem Brenner, professor in advanced derivatives at New York University’s Stern School of Business and inventor of the VIX volatility (or “fear”) index, to become a member of the international honors society Beta Gamma Sigma in recognition of his academic achievements and his contribution to business. In 2016 he was appointed (with, amongst others, Nobel Prize laureates) as a Senior Research Fellow to the Global Institute of Finance.

In November 2020 his risk management model won the Geneva based CIR Risk Magazine’s ESG Innovation of the Year Award.

Geoffrey Watson SC

Geoffrey Watson specializes in product liability, professional negligence, general insurance and appeals. He has a national practice, appearing in the High Court, the Federal Court and the Supreme Courts of each of the States and Territories. His clients have included the Australian, British, American, New Zealand and Fijian governments; the NSW and other State governments; many State and federal government agencies; all major insurers; and the major mining, industrial and banking houses.

Mr Watson has appeared as counsel assisting in several large scale public inquiries, investigating allegations of corruption amongst NSW politicians and police misconduct and corruption. He is a director of The Center for Public Integrity, and has acted as an adviser to federal, State and Territory politicians on integrity and corruption issues.

Mr Watson is active in pro bono work for asylum seekers, especially for the children on Nauru.

Mr Watson has been recognized as Preeminent in the 2019 Doyles Guide for Leading Insurance Law Senior Counsel.

In addition to his professional commitments, Mr Watson pursues an interest in academic work. He writes and lectures on the subjects of tort law, insurance, anti-corruption law, and legal history. He is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Notre Dame.

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