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David Sefton


David has a vast amount of experience representing corporate clients in the areas of employment, energy and resources, insurance, mergers & acquisitions, litigation & dispute resolution, occupational health & safety, product liability and preventative law & legal risk management. David has over 30 years of experience in private legal practice as a lawyer, legal risk manager, legal executive and business strategist. During this time David has:
- been appointed by major employers as preferred legal provider to advise and defend claims-related litigation;
- acted as client relationship partner for a range of major corporations, including major insurers as a member of their legal panel;
- assisted major employer groups in better managing claims and their relationships with insurers;
- successfully appealed to regulators on behalf of employers on a range of decisions taken by insurers on claims management, claims estimation and premium calculation;
- represented a major insurer from trial to the High Court in a test case involving the interaction between two statutory injury compensation schemes;
- advised a major public organisation in its response to an asbestos-related claim, including advice in relation to liability and quantum, insurance (indemnity) and cover, document retention and discovery developing a protocol for future claims;
- advised a number of international corporations in the development of a comprehensive strategy to defend asbestos litigation.

David has a particular focus on preventative law and legal risk management (LRM). LRM is the application of general risk management principles to the practice of law. David proactively assists corporations in maximising the positive side of legal risk while preventing legal risks from becoming liabilities. David is a member of the Risk Management Committee of Standards Australia, as representative of the Law Society of New South Wales. This committee is responsible for the development of what is regarded as the world’s leading risk management standard across Australia and New Zealand.

David is also a former partner of Ashurst (formerly Blake Dawson). David joined the firm as a partner in 1999 after being the Managing Partner of a smaller Sydney boutique commercial and litigation firm. While partner at Ashurst, David was the Insurance Group Manager Sydney and subsequently Team Leader of the Sydney Legal Risk Management Practice, a role he held until the end of 2006 when David retired as a partner and became a consultant to the firm.

- Macquarie University (Bachelor of Arts), 1985
- Macquarie University (Bachelor of Laws), 1985
- New South Wales Law Society (Accredited Specialist – Personal Injury Law)

Appointments and Memberships
- Member of the Australian Compliance Institute
- Member of the Australian Insurance Law Association
- Member of the Law Society of NSW
- Member of the Risk Management Institution of Australasia
- Member of the Standards Australia & Standards New Zealand Joint Technical Committee – Risk Management
- Member of NSW Rugby Union Judiciary

- Co-author of Standards Australia & Standards New Zealand Handbook HB 296:2007 on Legal Risk Management

David Sefton
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