First Australian decision on liability for ACP Cladding – what does it mean for insurers?

First Australian decision on liability for ACP Cladding – what does it mean for insurers?

Owners Corporation No.1 PS613436T & Ors v LU Simon Builders Pty Ltd & Ors [2019] VCAT 286

Early morning on 25 November 2014, a resident of the Lacrosse Apartment building, in Melbourne, extinguished a cigarette in a makeshift ashtray sitting on a timber table on his balcony.  A small fire started in the plastic ashtray, spreading to the table and then to the external cladding of the building. The cladding was made of Aluminium Composite Panels (ACP). These panels had a core containing highly flammable polyethylene, which was not compliant with the Building Code of Australia (BCA). The fire spread quickly up the side of the building, racing up thirteen floors in roughly fifteen minutes and causing extensive damage.

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Chambers Rankings 2018

The Chambers rankings were recently released and we are pleased to announce Fee Langstone was ranked in Band 2 for Insurance.  The feedback from those interviewed was that Fee Langstone staff were “adept in both contentious and non-contentious matters.” It was further noted that the firm’s “expertise extends to policy review and product liability disputes.” Philippa Fee was mentioned as a notable practitioner in the firm. She was also ranked individually in Band 1 for Insurance. Those interviewed said she “maintains a prominent position in the market” and clients “regularly engage her and have confidence in her.” Pauline Davies was also singled out, receiving a Band 2 ranking for Shipping, with interviewees praising her work in maritime insurance claims. 

Click here to see the rankings

Corporate Challenge 2018

On Wednesday, 21 November a large group of Fee Langstone staff and family members braved the rain to run in the 2018 Corporate Challenge.  Fee Langstone placed 22 out of 94 in the teams division. Luke Humphries was the first in for FL with a time of 19:33mins with Andrew Durrant closely behind him at 20:07mins. Ali Cornwell was our first female across the line at 25 minutes. Luke also came in as runner 31 out of 1049! After the race the team took shelter at Flying Burrito Brothers in Newmarket to refuel with burritos and tacos. Good work Team FL!


Fee Langstone's submissions on the draft Code of Conduct for Financial Advisers

On 11 October 2018 the Financial Advice Code Working Group released the draft Code of Conduct for Financial Advisers which applies to insurance brokers (amongst others). Feedback was sought on the draft Code from interested parties by this Friday, 9 November. Fee Langstone has been following developments closely in this area because of the importance it has to all insurance brokers in New Zealand.

According to partner Craig Langstone, the draft Code raises a number of issues that need to be addressed before the Code is finalised. As a result Fee Langstone has made a formal submission on aspects of the draft Code. The Fee Langstone submission can be accessed here

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District Court – Health and Safety at Work Act 2015

District Court – Health and Safety at Work Act 2015

The new Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (the Act) came into force on 4 April 2016.  One of the major objectives of the Act was to recognise and legislate for an increasing trend in employment relationships and in the workplace environment where multiple entities simultaneously have control of a workplace and those working in it.  WorkSafe v Athenberry Holdings Limited [2018] NZDC 9987 is the first defended hearing to be brought under the Act.  

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New defence to defamation

New defence to defamation

The Court of Appeal has recently recognised a new defence to defamation.

The defence of qualified privilege arises where a person has a legal, social or moral duty or interest to make a statement to someone with a corresponding duty or interest to receive it.  Lange v Atkinson extended qualified privilege to publications concerning the conduct of publicly elected officeholders and those seeking such office (i.e. politicians).  The court in Lange v Atkinson declined to extend the defence further to include matters of public interest. However, the Court of Appeal in Durie v Gardiner held that societal and legal developments justify such a defence now being recognised. In doing so, it set the boundaries of a new defence of public interest.

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