Jason Symons

Jason is a Sydney Insurance partner specialising in financial lines (professional Indemnity, D&O and financial institutions) and cyber insurance, as well as Royal Commissions, and is the Sydney office’s Pro Bono Co-Ordinator.

Jason acts as defence counsel and monitors litigation on behalf of insurers in Australia and the London market.  His expertise includes interpreting complex financial institutions, professional indemnity and D&O policies, as well as conducting or monitoring litigated claims in the Supreme Court of NSW and Federal Court of Australia, including class actions involving global insurance programmes, and acting for insurers in coverage disputes.

Jason advises insurers and represents parties directly involved in Royal Commissions including with respect to preparing for and attending public hearings to give evidence, as well as in relation to insurance coverage of costs claims and subsequent investigations by regulators.

Jason advises insureds and insurers in relation to cyber risk, data breach planning and incident response, both as an incident response manager (or breach coach) and consulting legal adviser.  Jason has worked with numerous insurers and insureds, IT forensics and media consultants, through cyber incidents, including the notification of data breaches to individuals and regulators.

Jason also advises buyers and sellers with respect to W&I insurance, working alongside the firm’s commercial team in negotiating policy terms for the purpose of share sale arrangements.

Jason is also the Pro Bono Co-ordinator for the Sydney office, managing a number of legal clinics the firm is involved with that provide pro bono legal services to homeless and other vulnerable clients.

Jason is a member of the National Committee of the Australian Professional Indemnity Group (APIG) and serves on the Education and National Conference sub-committees.

Jason is also a qualified New York Attorney having successfully completed the New York Bar Exam in 2008 and is a member of the Australian Chapter of the International Section of the New York State Bar Association.

Experience

Financial Lines experience:

  • SMSF auditor: Acting for an auditor of self-managed superannuation funds and their professional indemnity insurer in relation to negligence and breach of contract actions commenced by the trustee of the fund following a $6 million loss of investments and subsequent investigation by a professional body.
  • Certifier: Acting for a building certifier and their professional indemnity insurer in relation to proceedings commenced by the owners corporation of a 12 unit residential development following the discovery of $5m in defects.
  • Auditor: Acting for an auditing company and their professional indemnity insurer in relation to a liquidators’ examination of a former partner following the collapse of an Australian stockbroking firm.
  • Construction company: Advising a construction company in relation to insurance issues relating to potential claims against the designer of a government transport project.
  • Mining company: Acting for the primary D&O insurer of a mining company in relation to liquidators’ proceedings commenced against directors and officers following its liquidation.

Class Actions experience:

  • London underwriters: Acting for the first excess layer underwriter of an Australian stockbroking firm in relation to a $60 million class action brought following the collapse of a pharmaceutical company following capital raisings for the development of a drug.
  • Government agencies: Part of the defence teams acting for government agencies in class actions commenced following the 2003 ACT bushfires and 2009 Victorian bushfires.

Royal Commissions experience:

  • London underwriters: Acting for London underwriters in relation to monitoring the Banking Royal Commission and advising on subsequent insurance claims by insureds.
  • Healthcare provider: Acting for a large healthcare provider in relation to the Aged Care Royal Commission and Disability Royal Commission, including preparing statements and representing witnesses called to give evidence at public hearings.
  • Healthcare provider: Advising a healthcare provider in relation to notifying their insurer of costs and expenses incurred in relation to the Aged Care Royal Commission.

Cyber Risk / Breach Response experience:

  • Mining consultancy firm: Advising a mining consultancy firm and its cyber insurer in relation to a business email compromise and payments made by clients to the attacker, including preparing notifications to clients, subcontractors and the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, and advising on potential third party claims.
  • Business advisory firm: Advising a family and business advisory firm and its cyber insurer in relation to the investigation of the data breach of a staff member’s email account and subsequent notification to clients and the OAIC.
  • Listed company: Advising a publicly listed company in relation to a potential data breach following a money transfer fraudulently redirected to a third party account.

Warranty & Indemnity insurance experience:

  • London underwriters: Acting for London professional indemnity and D&O underwriters in relation to a $800 million claim commenced by a purchaser against private equity firms and their directors and executive management team and in relation to cross-claims brought against the warranty & indemnity insurers.
  • Healthcare company: Advising an ASX listed healthcare company purchasing a medical supply business based in New Zealand in relation to warranty & indemnity insurance purchased in relation to the share sale arrangement.

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