Diren Fernando

Diren has extensive experience providing legal services to general and life insurers. He assists clients with pre- and post-litigation claims disputes; advises in relation to policy design and wording; counsels about the impact of statutory change; and provides guidance about general business and claims handling practices. His expertise covers the range of products across the life insurance industry; as well as coverage and claims disputes arising under professional indemnity policies, typically covering financial advisers, builders, and engineers.

Diren also provides advice to clients – both insurers and other commercial entities – about their regulatory obligations, including the duties of financial services licensees under the Corporations Act. He helps his clients to understand their duties, assess risks, and implement compliant practices. His expertise extends to assisting clients with responses to regulators, including ASIC, AFCA and the ESL Monitor, in relation to compliance inquiries.

Diren is a co-editor of the CCH Australian & New Zealand Insurance Reporter service; a regular speaker at events in the insurance space; and publishes a podcast – The Bright Side of Life – to the life industry.


Diren’s experience includes advising:

  • Life and general insurers in claims and coverage disputes – at first instance and on appeal;
  • An insurer client in regards to responding to a large volume of claims and disputes before AFCA, including enquiries about perceived and identified systemic issues;
  • A life insurer on the interpretation of a series of reinsurance treaties, and their application to various disputed benefit types;
  • A life insurer in relation to a proposed forced recapture under a reinsurance treaty;
  • An insurer with reviews of its sales model, call centre scripting, disclosure practices, and general marketing compliance;
  • A large commercial client with a compliance review of its insurance distribution model;
  • A client in regards to assisting with the resolution of a series of disputes between a life insurer and its reinsurer, in relation to the coverage of certain claims under a treaty; and
  • A life insurer in a series of arbitrations of disputes over ‘on risk’ and ‘takeover’ provisions under group life insurance regimes.

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