David Chew

David advises insurers on a wide range of complex indemnity and liability issues and acts both in a coverage/monitoring counsel capacity and a defence counsel capacity. This has seen him advising insurers and acting in litigated disputes for their insureds who include companies (private and publically listed), banks, corporate trustees and their directors & officers, and professionals including financial planners, accountants, mortgage brokers, insurance brokers, government bodies, IT professionals, engineers, architects, town planners, building surveyors, real estate agents, property developers and property valuers.

David also offers extensive experience in complex commercial disputes and building and construction claims which often involve multi party class actions with large loss in both, state and federal jurisdictions.

David’s ‘front end’ practice includes policy drafting, review and advice to primary and excess layer insurers and advising corporate clients on insurance related issues and risk management.

David has been listed in the area of leading/recommended professional indemnity lawyer-Victoria, in Doyle’s Guide.


David’s recent experience includes:

  • Primary Insurers – Coverage: Acting as coverage counsel for primary insurers of an insured corporate trustee involved in 2 separate multi party class actions issued in the Supreme Court of Victoria and the Federal Court of Australia, respectively. Both actions involved the collapse of managed investment schemes, leading to alleged losses to investors quantifying in the hundreds of millions of dollars, due to the corporate trustee’s alleged negligence, breaches of the trust deed and breaches of its reasonable diligence obligations under the Corporations Act. Management included advising primary insurers on issues of coverage, liability and quantum, associating in the defence of the corporate trustee in both actions, assisting the corporate trustee with its negotiations with other parties including the group plaintiffs/applicants and liaising with excess layer insurers;
  • Excess Layer Insurers – Coverage: Acting as coverage counsel for excess layer market to advise on complex indemnity issues arising from a claim made by a mining company against an insured engineering company, involving alleged negligence in the design, construction and commissioning of a mining refinery. The claim for damages quantified at AUD $1.2B;
  • Excess Layer Insurers – Class Action Defence: Defending excess layer insurers in a series of actions issued against them directly in the Supreme Court of Tasmania in connection with the collapse of a managed investment scheme conducted by a law firm. Management of the claim involved advising excess layer insurers on complex coverage, liability and quantum issues and negotiating a resolution of the claims with the group plaintiffs and primary insurers;
  • Primary Insurers – Class Action Defence: Defending a state regulatory authority in a multi party class action issued in the Supreme Court of Victoria by residents of a property development. They alleged they suffered economic loss and personal injury as a result of the lateral migration of landfill gas to their homes from a nearby landfill. Resolution of the claim against the state regulatory authority was successfully negotiated prior to the conclusion of trial; and
  • Corporate Advisory & Policy Review: Advising insurer on a broad range of coverage implications and required amendments to its standard excess layer policy wording for use in an insurance programme offered to a multi national client with business operations in Australia.

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