Colin Biggers & Paisley is pleased to announce their latest round of promotions with 14 lawyers newly promoted to senior positions, including four to partner. 

Effective 1 January 2023, Patrick Cavanagh, Stuart McKenzie, Mathisha Panagoda and Georgina Wong will be promoted to partner, Shannon Blain, Leanne Dearlove, Christopher Harrison and Olivera Stojanovska to special counsel, and Elyse Di Stefano, Megan Dudley, Jack Hamilton, Emma Haylock, Richard Martyn and Conor Sheridan to senior associate. 

Patrick has extensive experience in professional indemnity, general liability and casualty claims and providing advice to insurers with respect to professional indemnity and general liability policies. He also acts for life insurers providing advice on policy coverage, and defending claims made under group policies issued to superannuation funds.

Stuart has broad experience in commercial litigation, dispute resolution and debt recovery. Stuart's primary practice involves acting for and advising insolvency practitioners in relation to disputes under the Corporations Act, Bankruptcy Act and Personal Property and Securities Act. Stuart also has experience acting for large national banks in the enforcement of securities, recovery of unsecured loans and resolving disputes between corporate borrowers and financiers.

Mathisha has extensive experience acting for schools, religious institutions, disability service providers and insurers on claims of bodily injury, historical child sexual abuse, professional indemnity and general liability. Mathisha's practice focuses on litigation, dispute resolution and managing end-to-end claims within a principled and outcome-focused framework.

Georgina's practice focuses on public liability personal injury and workers' compensation claims. Georgina also advises on institutional liability, contractual indemnity, dust disease injuries and third-party recovery and she has extensive experience in civil litigation, including matters before the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission and District and Supreme Courts.

Shannon's practice focuses on insurance litigation, with particular expertise in professional indemnity, including coverage disputes and large-scale construction, mining and engineering matters. Shannon provides advice and manages litigation for a wide range of leading Australian insurers, the London market and various Australian coverholders and agents of the London market.

Leanne has over ten years' experience in employment law and industrial relations, providing advice and conducting litigation in relation to all facets of the employment lifecycle. Leanne's expertise includes advising employers on employee misconduct and performance concerns, assisting employers to manage ill and injured workers, discrimination and general protections matters, contract drafting and advising on potential underpayments. 

Christopher has experience in general liability, professional indemnity claims, property damage claims, disciplinary proceedings and medical negligence claims, income protection policy disputes, and claims arising from aviation disasters. Christopher also runs a significant defendant common law practice involving litigated and unlitigated personal injury claims arising from allegations of historical child sexual abuse.

Olivera advises on liability exposure, quantum assessments, strategy and settlement recommendations. Olivera acts for insurers, multi-national companies and individuals and is highly aware of the importance of her clients' commercial objectives when balanced against achieving positive legal and business outcomes in resolving matters.

Elyse has acted in acquisitions and disposals of commercial and retail assets within New South Wales, and has acted for numerous institutional landlords in commercial, industrial and retail leasing. She has also gained experience in acting for hotel owners and international hotel operators in the preparation and negotiation of hotel management agreements both within Australia and internationally.

Megan has over three years' experience in insurance and workplace litigation. Megan's work focuses on general liability personal injury and workers' compensation claims and she has acted for statutory insurers, national and Queensland based insurers. Megan also works across special issues claims such as historical abuse and dust diseases.

Jack has a wide insurance practice and his work includes a mix of public liability, property damage and recoveries claims, and advising insurers in relation to policy coverage and indemnity issues. His practice involves the investigation of claims and providing advice on indemnity, liability, quantum and strategy.

Emma has experience acting for developers on numerous Victorian residential, commercial and land developments. She has acted in the negotiations and settlements of numerous property acquisitions and dispositions for a variety of clients. Emma has also worked on commercial, farming, industrial retail and residential leasing matters. 

Richard has 10 years' experience as a litigator in property disputes, estate litigation, commercial disputes and general civil litigation. On the property side Richard acts on disputes in relation to sale contracts, option deeds, retail and commercial leases, easements, strata matters and all types of property litigation. In estate disputes and will challenges, Richard acts on behalf of executors and beneficiaries, charities and faith-based organisations.

Conor advises his clients, and implements strategies, in relation to estate planning, incapacity planning and business succession to ensure their personal and business assets are protected, managed and transferred in accordance with their wishes. He also assists executors and administrators to obtain grants of probate, letters of administration and reseals, and to administer estates in accordance with wills, or under intestacy. 

This announcement follows the recent appointments of special counsels John Douglas and April Campbell, and senior associates Basel Houchar, Cammie Lee, Madonna Galeano, Azat Valiyff and Stephen Webb.

For more information please contact Linda Branton on 02 8281 4594 or

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