insurance lawyer

To minimise the downside

We’re your legal partners

Kott Gunning’s Insurance and Risk team has a reputation for excellence. Our three senior insurance law partners have combined experience of more than 85 years. Their hands-on approach means our best people are working on every case. We advise and represent Australia’s major insurers, intermediaries, self-insurers and fund managers, offering insurance advice and litigation and a range of advisory services from policy wording to risk management, fraud investigations and training. Our exceptional and comprehensive knowledge gives us an edge – in both positive outcomes and cost-effectiveness.


Highly regarded senior partners Stephen Williams, Ashley Crisp and Vidal Hockless bring extensive insurance knowledge to the table.

The practice is lead by Vidal Hockless, chairman of partners at Kott Gunning, and a member of the Personal Injuries Committee of the Law Society of WA. He’s worked in the area of insurance law for more than 35 years.

Stephen Williams has spent over 20 years in the field of insurance law focusing on workers compensation and dust disease claims and litigation. He is the national vice president of the Australian Insurance Law Association, a State committee member and the past President of the WA Chapter.

Ashley Crisp, has worked in insurance law for over 30 years. He worked on the drafting of the legislative review report for the 2009 review of the WA Workers’ Compensation and Injury Management Act.

As well as claims and litigation support across all areas of insurance law we provide policy drafting, legal updates and alerts to clients, and training and mentoring.


We advise clients operating across many sectors including manufacturing, retail, construction, mining, engineering, health and aged care, sport and hospitality, public and private companies and state and local government. Our experience spans all insurance product lines, including employers’ indemnity and WorkCover WA, public and product liability, dust diseases, contract works and ISR, mining and resources, professional indemnity including medical negligence, aviation, motor vehicle, transport, construction, directors and officers, engineering, business interruption, compulsory third party, maritime, property damage, income protection and life insurance.

Some recent examples of our work and results for clients include:

  • Successfully settling a WorkCover WA stress claim application listed for Arbitration hearing by careful and methodical preparation, avoiding the costs of arbitration and a potential payment of up to $200,000. The matter was settled on a without admission of liability basis for $60,000.
  • Reaching settlement on a WorkCover WA matter in which a worker alleged psychological stress resulting from bullying and harassment. We proved that the worker’s employment did not contribute significantly to his condition, and obtained a nominal commercial settlement of $8,000 on a no admission of liability basis including resignation.
  • Negotiating to remove our client – one of four defendants – from proceedings after a plaintiff suffered major injuries after falling from a multi-storey building. We successfully argued that our client’s insured should not be party. This has saved our client significant ongoing legal costs and exposure to a judgement.
  • Achieving a swift, positive outcome in a harassment case in WorkCover WA in which the worker’s claims had some support. In a case which would have become expensive and protracted, the settlement involved a reinstatement of the worker’s minimal leave and a payment of $1,000 in costs – an excellent result.
  • Securing settlement in a workers’ compensation matter in which the employer had been negligent, saving our client a significant payout. At a settlement conference prior to hearing we secured settlement for $95,000 plus costs and disbursements – an excellent result for our client given the prospect of a $200,000 judgement.

What we do

  • Advice and recommendations on claims and policies
  • Claims defence
  • Litigation strategies
  • Settlement strategies
  • Risk management strategies and advice
  • Fraud investigations and prosecutions
  • Occupational safety and health, advice and representation
  • Training
  • Policy development, interpretation and wording
  • Prosecution defence and coronial proceedings