Area of expertise

Insurance Law

  • Catastrophic Claims
  • Motor Vehicle Law
  • Public & Product Liability
  • Income Protection Claims

Richard Clayton

Partner LLB

office Brisbane
phone +61 7 3225 5931

Richard specialises in defendant personal injury matters, particularly CTP and public liability claims. He is also highly experienced in advising on policy coverage issues for income protection insurance.

With over 20 years’ experience, Richard has extensive experience in defending a range of insurance matters, from routine, volume-based claims to complex, catastrophic injury claims arising from major accidents and disasters. His clients include major Australian insurers and Lloyd’s of London syndicates.

He is renowned for his effective approach to claims management and will seek early resolution where liability is not in dispute. He is skilled in settling most of the claims he is handling at or prior to the compulsory conference stage during the pre-litigated phase, which assists clients to avoid going to trial and to minimise their legal costs.

Nevertheless, Richard has appeared in many Queensland courts and tribunals and has in-depth knowledge of all pre-court procedures involving the Personal Injuries Proceedings Act 2002 (Qld) and the Motor Accident Insurance Act 1994 (Qld).

Richard also regularly presents legal updates to Moray & Agnew clients, including seminars on recent legal developments affecting CTP and public liability cases, and has authored multiple articles for the firm’s newsletters and the Australian Civil Liability newsletter.

Major matters

  • Successful defence in Murray v Nominal Defendant [2014] QDC 144, which involved a CTP claim where the plaintiff was ‘rear ended’ by an unidentified vehicle at a ‘drive-through’ business. Richard successfully argued that the plaintiff failed to undertake ‘proper enquiry and search’ in line with s31(2) of the Motor Accident Insurance Act 1994. This matter is seen as a test case which has Scheme significance.
  • In Price v Southern Cross Television (TNT9) Pty Ltd [2014] TASSC 70, Richard successfully defended a public liability claim involving a plaintiff who sustained injuries after jumping off a cliff on the Tasmanian coast. He successfully utilised the ‘obvious risk’ and ‘dangerous recreational activity’ defences available under the Civil Liability Act 2002 (Tas) as well as the defence of voluntary assumption of risk.
  • Smith v Body Corporate for Professional Suites Community Title Scheme 14487 [2013] QCA 80: successful defence of a public liability claim concerning the appellant falling through a glass panel adjoining the entrance to a building in the Brisbane CBD. The appellant’s solicitors sought leave to appeal the QCA decision to the High Court of Australia in November 2013; leave to appeal was refused.
  • Advising a CTP client on a dependency claim brought by two surviving children, which involving reviewing case law on circumstances where the deceased had relationships with several partners, which the claimants’ lawyers asserted had increased the claim for past and future loss of services; the claim was subsequently settled prior to trial below the reserve estimate.
  • Advising a client on a CTP claim concerning a claimant who used the vehicle as a weapon in a ‘road rage’ incident. During this chaotic incident, the claimant was unintentionally injured by the insured driver, and Richard’s advice to his client focused on the issue of the reduced standard of care owed by the insured driver to the claimant. Richard’s investigations enabled him to subsequently settle the claim for a nominal sum.
  • Assisting in a tetraplegic claim including attending a compulsory conference which settled for approximately $7 million
  • Advising a client on a CTP claim concerning an infant claimant cyclist who was run over by a tourist bus. Richard’s advice to his client assisted in settling the claim via sanction for $2.1 million
  • In Graham & Ors v Welch [2012] QCA 282, Richard successfully defended a public liability claim involving the plaintiff slipping on a gum nut on the stairs of her niece’s residence
  • Richard has filed numerous ex parte applications successfully suppressing surveillance and related documents in the pre-litigated and litigated phase of claims. This has assisted his clients in exposing fraud-related claims, resulting in settlements for nominal sums.

Professional Membership

  • Australian Insurance Law Association
  • Queensland Law Society
  • Women in Insurance