Brett Turnbull

Brett is a partner in the Insurance group specialising in pursuing subrogated recoveries and defending public liability claims.

Brett has considerable experience in pursuing recoveries across all classes, more notably property, homeowners, contents, motor, goods in transit, travel and strata insurance. He has been assisting insurers achieve recoveries since 1995.

Brett also has extensive experience in defending public liability claims. He was the lead solicitor in Menz v Wagga Wagga Show Society Inc (No 3) [2020] NSWCA 65, where he successfully defended a claim for underwriters based upon s5L of the Civil Liability Act 2002 (NSW). In Menz, the Court of Appeal considered the application of s5L of the Civil Liability Act 2002 (NSW) to exclude liability for harm suffered from obvious risks of dangerous recreational activities. The Court of Appeal presented a clear indication of the approach to adopt in characterising an ‘obvious risk’ and expressed its views on what constituted a ‘dangerous’ recreational activity. The decision will assist underwriters better determine whether they may successfully rely upon s5L to avoid liability.


Brett’s experience includes successfully achieving recoveries for general insurers in the following circumstances from:

  • The State of WA for fire damage to 18 properties when a back burn escaped containment lines;
  • The manufacturer of a solar panel that caught fire and damaged a residential property;
  • The council as a result of defective workmanship that resulted in a burst water main which damaged two properties;
  • A tenant who left a lit candle unattended and a fire subsequently ignited and destroyed the property;
  • Council and a developer for failing to install an adequate drainage system;
  • The manufacturer of a defective air conditioning unit that ignited and substantially damaged a property; and
  • A landlord of a commercial property for failure to maintain the property.

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