Stephen is a partner in Kott Gunning’s Insurance and Risk practice group.
Since 1987 he has practised almost exclusively in insurance law. Prior to joining Kott Gunning in 2007, Stephen was an insurance partner at Pynt & Partners and Freehills. His practice covers a range of insurance related matters, almost exclusively for defendants (insurers and employers), principally in the workers’ compensation or employers’ indemnity, personal injury and public liability areas, including straightforward personal injury claims where both liability and quantum are disputed as well as more complex disputes involving multiple dates of injury or multiple employer/insurer situations and indemnity disputes. Stephen has asbestos litigation experience.
Stephen’s clients include insurers, self-insurers and industrial and commercial corporations. His experience spans:
- Acting as instructing solicitor and appearing as counsel in trials in the District and Supreme Courts of Western Australia.
- Appearing as counsel in Coroner’s Court.
- Appearing as counsel in WorkSafe prosecutions.
- Acting as counsel in applications to the Workers’ Compensation Board, Conciliation & Review Directorate and Dispute Resolution Directorate of WorkCover WA and in appeals to the Compensation Magistrate’s Court.
- Acting for insurance companies on insurance claims.
- Acting for self-insurers and corporations on insurance claims, including risk management and serious incident investigation.
- Asbestos litigation.
- Formal mediation training.
He has, for many years, been a member of the Australian Insurance Law Association (AILA), and served two year terms as state chapter secretary and committee member. In November 2016 Stephen was elected national Vice-President of AILA, and continues as a state committee member. After one year chairing the education sub-committee, he now assists in preparing and presenting the popular AILA monthly breakfast seminar programme, and preparing and presenting, in conjunction with UWA and other international universities, a biannual insurance intensive day-long conference.
Stephen served two years as the firm’s deputy managing partner and two years as managing partner, overseeing the re-brand and website upgrade coinciding with its 95th birthday. He retains a strong interest in legal practice management, serving as a committee member of the WA branch of the Australian Legal Practice Management Association (ALPMA) until elected to the AILA national committee.
Leading Workers Compensation Lawyers (Defendant) – Western Australia, 2017 (Recommended) and Leading Dust Diseases Lawyers & Law Firms (Defendant) – WA, 2017 (Leading)
Best Lawyers – Insurance Law
- Be Prepared, or be Better Prepared – Insight From Rodgers v Amcor Ltd  WADC 134
- Look Out! Pedestrians Running in Front of Vehicles. Avoidable or Not?
- Judicial Interpretation of Policies of Insurance – Not as Dull as it Sounds
- Cyber Liability Insurance – Insuring the Intangible
- Superannuation and the Age Pension where Injury Causes Reduced Life Expectancy – Compensable Loss?
- Australian Insurance Law Association (immediate past National Vice President and an immediate past committee member of the WA branch (serving as chair from 2012 to 2013))
- Australian Legal Practice Management Association (former Committee member of WA Chapter)
- Law Society of Western Australia