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Cooper Grace Ward has a large team of insurance law specialists whose work is significantly focused in the area of self-insurance.

We act for several large self-insured clients in the retail, aged care and local government industries. We also have self-insurance experience in the areas of health, banking, manufacturing, and energy and resources.

Our team routinely advises and represents self-insured clients in relation to the workers’ compensation areas of:

  • entitlement issues, including investigation of, and preparation of Reasons for Decision in pure psychological injury claims
  • preparation of submissions to the Regulator, in applications for review
  • appeals to QIRC, the Industrial Magistrate Court and the Industrial Court
  • claims involving fraud, multiple party (PIPA) claims, and contractual indemnity issues
  • common law claims management, including advocacy in the ADR process
  • litigated claims, including Queensland Court of Appeal and High Court appeals.

Cooper Grace Ward also has a wealth of expertise in public liability claims, including claims for a major self-insurer and a leading Queensland insurer.

Excellence in self insurance law and claims management

We always focus on obtaining the best possible outcome for our clients, at the earliest reasonable opportunity. We appreciate that each claim is distinct and that the individual factors relating to each claim should drive the resolution and settlement strategy. This includes informal settlement, where appropriate, to reduce durations, damages and costs.

Subject to our client’s needs and the complexity of claims, we are able to personally conduct site inspections and investigations. As part of this process we are able to take witness statements, arrange for the review and sorting of documentation and evaluate workplace tasks and practices. We have found that in certain circumstances, inspections and investigations conducted personally have allowed us to resolve claims quickly and in a more cost-effective way for our clients.

Leading technology to drive self insurance claims

Our team has developed a claims management platform which ensures claims are progressed and resolved as efficiently as possible. The platform contains crucial information relating to each claim. This includes important dates, key investigation steps, litigation details, key contacts and requests for records, as well as personalised dashboards and notifications. We tailor the platform for each client. We also provide external access to allow clients to monitor and keep up to date with the progress on each individual claim.

Employer forums and seminars

Our team delivers regular seminars for employers on workers’ compensation issues, such as:

  • investigating workplace accidents
  • how employers can assist in the common law claim
  • calculating damages
  • managing psychological claims.

Find out more about our employer forums and seminars here.

Key contacts

Tony Park
Brady Cockburn
Chris Murphy
Special Counsel
Jess Byrne
Senior Associate
Rebecca Senini
Rebecca Senini
Catherine Dugdell
Insurance Claims Adviser


High Court unanimously finds for WorkCover in unusual vicarious liability case

A significant outcome for employers in High Court case examining vicarious liability.

Supreme Court disallows injured worker’s claim for counsel’s fees in costs assessment

It has often been assumed that a claimant with an injury resulting in a degree of permanent impairment of 20% or more was entitled to recover counsel’s fees on settlement of a claim, pursuant to the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Regulation 2014. However, the Queensland Supreme Court has now definitively held that there is no such entitlement.

Confirmed by Court of Appeal - no negligence in welfare management of emergency services worker on night of catastrophic fire

In Giles v State of Queensland [2021] QCA 206, the Queensland Court of Appeal confirmed the District Court’s decision that the State was not negligent in its management and welfare checking of an injured worker during his attendance at a catastrophic fire.