Liability Conference NZ

The Liability Conference provides an invaluable professional development opportunity for attendees and features leading industry experts who will explore the latest trends, findings and developments in liability insurance, and provide insights into what the future might hold.

This years program will focus on;

  • #MeToo – harassment and bullying in the workplace and implications under a PI policy
  • Product recall and how policies respond in the market
  • Royal Commission - findings and implications for the insurance industry
  • Metal failures and product liability
  • Pressures on statutory liability and insuring criminal liability


To register three or more attendees, please download the registration form and email the completed version to Customer Service

For further information on this professional development program, contact Joanne Simpson, Event Manager.


  • Neil Beadle

    DLA Piper New Zealand

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    Neil Beadle

    Special Counsel
    DLA Piper New Zealand

    Neil is regularly instructed by insurers on a broad range of claims, but has particular expertise in the defence of Health & Safety and Resource Management Act prosecutions. He has resolved investigations short of prosecution.  Where charges are laid he has successfully defended at trial. Where a guilty plea is appropriate, he assists clients to achieve the best outcome in those circumstances. He has dealt with several cases involving serious injury and fatalities.

    This year he successfully acted on an appeal from an Environment Court direction that a defendant disclose its insurance policy, and he will discuss the underlying focus of the Courts on insurance in sentencing for environmental offending.  He will also discuss the recent health and safety cases which address levels of fines, and calculating reparation for victims, and offer some predictions as to the impact of these decisions on business and its insurers.

  • Michelle Dickinson


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    Michelle Dickinson


    Michelle has a PhD in biomedical materials engineering, runs New Zealand’s only nanomechanical testing laboratory and is a self-confessed adrenaline junkie.

    Her passion for both sports and science has enabled her to travel the world on the search for her next adventure or research project. With specialist knowledge in nanotechnology, Michelle has contributed to the development of cutting edge technologies.

    Secretly, however, Michelle has been working on advancing these developments to help her to achieve her childhood dream of becoming a real life superhero. In her spare time you will usually find her outside kitesurfing, cycling, running, paddle boarding, or inside practicing martial arts.

    Her move to academia from industry was a step towards her goal of inspiring females to push the boundaries in both science and sports, and to encourage environmentally sustainable living through engineering design. As well as being the founder and Director of Nanogirl Labs Ltd, Michelle has also authored two books, No 8 Recharged and The Kitchen Science Cookbook.

    Member of New Zealand Order of Merit Michelle was winner of the Women of Influence award for science and innovation in 2016, was awarded the Sir Peter Blake Leadership in 2015 and was winner of the Prime Ministers Science Media Communication Prize and the New Zealand Association of Scientists Science Communicators Award in 2014. Dr Michelle Dickinson uses the popular twitter handle' Nanogirl ' (@medickinson)On a mission to use science for good, not evil!

  • Tim Grafton

    Insurance Council of New Zealand

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    Tim Grafton

    Chief Executive
    Insurance Council of New Zealand

    Tim Grafton became Chief Executive of the Insurance Council in November 2012. Tim has extensive experience in providing strategic, policy and communications advice to public and private sector leaders. He was an executive director of a leading market research company prior to taking up his position with ICNZ. 

    Tim has a strong understanding of the machinery of government, having been an adviser to former Prime Ministers and Ministers of Finance as well as leading private companies. He has extensive knowledge of post-disaster recovery issues and insurance regulation.

    He is a Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors and holds several governance roles. He is on the Executive Committee of the Global Federation of Insurance Associations, Chairs the Code Compliance Committee of the Fair Insurance Code, Chairs the Representative Users Group of the Deep South Science Challenge which focuses on research to adapt to climate change, and is on the New Zealand Advisory Board of the Australia and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance and the Advisory Board of Victoria University, Wellington’s Chair in the Economics of Disasters.

  • Sarah O'Brien

    QBE Insurance

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    Sarah O'Brien

    National Claims Manager, Liability
    QBE Insurance

    Sarah O’Brien is QBE’s National Liability Claims Manager. She has previously worked in Professional Indemnity claims at NZI and prior to that in insurance and employment law as a Principal at Fortune Manning Lawyers, as a lawyer in Edinburgh, Scotland and as a policy adviser in the then Ministry of Women’s Affairs. 

    She is a qualified solicitor in New Zealand, Scotland and England & Wales. Sarah manages QBE’s New Zealand Liability Claims team handling all Public and Product Liability, Statutory Liability, Fidelity, Crime, Employers Liability and Employment Disputes claims.

  • Andrew Ouwejan

    METLAB Limited - Metallurgical Consultants

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    Andrew Ouwejan

    Owner & Director
    METLAB Limited - Metallurgical Consultants

    Andrew runs his own metallurgical consultancy specialising in the microstructure, properties and performance of metals.  He gets involved in the nitty-gritty details of how and why metals fail and why they perform the way they do.

    In this presentation, Andrew will explain some material issues such as metal corrosion, welding issues, fatigue of metals, heat treatment etc and how these can lead to premature failure.

  • Aaron Sherriff

    Duncan Cotterill

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    Aaron Sherriff

    Duncan Cotterill

    Aaron specialises in complex commercial disputes and insurance law. He has extensive experience acting for liability insurers in both New Zealand and Canada, advising on coverage issues and defending insured claims.  

    Aaron’s experience includes professional negligence claims, claims under public liability and bailees liability policies, claims against directors and officers by minority shareholders and investors, and claims under course of construction (“all risks”) policies. 

    Aaron has appeared regularly in various courts, including the Court of Appeal and the High Court, as well as the Court of Appeal for British Columbia and the Supreme Court of British Columbia.

    Outside of work, Aaron is an avid trail runner, and can often be seen at the beach supporting his daughters at surf life-saving carnivals.

  • Karen Stevens

    Insurance and Financial Services Ombudsman

    Karen Stevens

    Karen Stevens

    Insurance and Financial Services Ombudsman

    Karen Stevens was appointed Insurance & Savings Ombudsman (ISO) in May 1998. Before this, Karen graduated with BA and LLB degrees from Victoria University and was admitted as a barrister and solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand in 1987. Karen practiced as a lawyer in the area of civil litigation and alternative dispute resolution.

    Since her appointment as ISO, Karen has qualified as an Associate of The Arbitrators’ and Mediators’ Institute of New Zealand, a Member of The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK) and a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Management. In 2009, she also completed an LLM degree from La Trobe University in Melbourne, majoring in conflict resolution.

    From 1 November 2015, after 20 years of financial dispute resolution and to better reflect its current membership, the ISO Scheme changed its name to the Insurance & Financial Services Ombudsman Scheme (“IFSO Scheme”).

    The IFSO Scheme provides an independent, impartial and free disputes resolution service for customers of its Participants.  Each year, the IFSO Scheme resolves about 300 complaints and responds to about 3,000 complaints enquiries about insurance and financial services.   

  • Caroline Laband

    DLA Piper

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    Caroline Laband

    DLA Piper

    Caroline is a partner and practice group leader of the insurance team at DLA Piper in New Zealand, where she assists clients in the insurance industry to navigate their way through complex disputes. She has 20 years' experience in New Zealand and the United Kingdom representing insurers, brokers, and insured corporations in High Court, Court of Appeal, Supreme Court and arbitration proceedings. Caroline specialises in financial lines including assisting solicitors, accountants, brokers, directors, financial institutions and construction professionals to achieve early and favourable resolutions to claims.

  • Sophie Devitt

    DLA Piper


    Sophie Devitt

    DLA Piper

    Sophie is a Partner at DLA Piper, specialising in litigation and regulatory issues within the insurance sector. 

    She provides regulatory advice to participants in the financial services industry relating to compliance and risk management issues particularly for general and life insurers, intermediaries and insurance brokers. In the regulatory space, Sophie assists clients across the insurance industry on both contentious and non-contentious matters.  She advises clients on breach reporting, compliance programs, remediation programs and reviews, investigations and notices from regulators.

    Sophie also advises on policy wording, authorised representative agreements, and commercial distribution agreements in the sector.

    Sophie’s litigation practice includes advising clients (policy issuer and policy holder) on public liability/occupiers liability, product liability, professional indemnity and personal injury claims against a range of professionals including health professionals, property disputes and commercial litigation.  She also advises in defence of workplace health and safety prosecutions.  A key area of focus for Sophie is defence of Australian Financial Services(AFS) licensees (in particular insurance brokers).

    Sophie is listed in the AFR 'Best Lawyers' for insurance law.  She is also the Lawyer of the Year for Professional MalPractice in Brisbane in 'Best Lawyers' in 2019/20.


  • Stephen Kay


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    Stephen Kay

    Executive Adjuster / Head of MCL Global NZ

    Steve is Head of the Major & Complex team at Sedgwick NZ where he leads a team of 35 that specialise in the adjusting of commercial property, liability, financial, marine, food, cyber, construction & engineering claims.

    First and foremost however, Steve is an Executive Adjuster who has specialist expertise in crisis claims including product, liability, recall and cyber losses. Steve first became involved in cyber claims approximately seven years ago in what is thought to be New Zealand's first cyber insurance claim investigation, and since then has assisted insurers develop a 24/7/365 response process and team to respond to these cyber losses in an efficient and timely manner.

  • Rebecca Scott

    Wotton + Kearney

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    Rebecca Scott


    Rebecca is a partner at Wotton + Kearney, specialising in professional liability and employment law claims and disputes.

    She has advised on a broad range of claims and disciplinary complaints against professionals, including engineers, solicitors and accountants.

    She also has expertise in coverage issues, particularly with employment practices liability, professional indemnity, and management liability.

    In her employment practice, Rebecca handles personal grievances, manages bullying and disciplinary investigations, and advises on employment processes. She also leads a national employment practices liability scheme for a London underwriter.

  • Jeno Capo


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    Jeno Capo

    Technical Manager - Financial Lines

    Jeno has over 18 years’ experience in the insurance industry. Currently as NZI’s Technical Manager of Financial Lines he is responsible for managing the Professional Indemnity and Directors & Officers portfolio. Prior to joining NZI, Jeno worked for AIG and QBE. At QBE, Jeno lead the Marsh Liability Team that was responsible for all QBE/Marsh corporate liability business. Prior to QBE Jeno held the role of Client Services Manager for American International Group (AIG) with relationship and underwriting roles on major Professional Liability accounts.


Sponsorship opportunities for this event are still available. For more information on how your organisation can benefit as a sponsor of this leading professional development event contact Sara Cheong, Sponsorship Executive, by phone +61 3 9613 7200, or email




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15 May 2019

  • Stamford Plaza
    22-26 Albert St
    Auckland, 1010
  • Registration
    8:30 am - 9:00 am
    Conference Sessions
    9:00 am - 4:30 pm
    Networking Drinks
    4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
  • 6 Points
  • Member $500
    Non-Member $630 Group Booking (3+) $460pp

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