Richard Cavanagh SC

Admission date as a Barrister:

27 February 1998


Commence practice at the Bar.

1998 – 2000

Barrister: 12th Floor, Selborne Chambers.


Barrister: Edmund Barton Chambers.

2007 – 2010

Head of Chambers and Chairman of Edmund Barton Chambers.


Appointed Senior Counsel.

1998 – current:

Barrister-at-law Edmund Barton Chambers (2000-current)
12th Floor Selborne Chambers (1998-2000)

Since admission to the Bar, Richard has maintained a practice in the Commercial and Common Law areas appearing in the Supreme including Court of Appeal, District and Federal Courts as well as at Inquiries, Tribunals and Local Court. Richard has appeared in the Court of Appeal in over 60 matters.

His practice includes a wide range of cases including professional liability, product liability, construction, life insurance, fraud, occupiers liability, D&O, personal injuries Inquiries, insurance law related disputes such as policy issues, statutory interpretation, contribution and s.6 LRMPA claims.

Some examples of cases include:

General Insurance

  • Siegwerk Australia Pty Limited (In Liquidation) v Nuplex Industries (Aust) Pty Limited (2013) FCAFC 130 – Policy interpretation in respect of product liability.

  • Zurich Australian Insurance Limited v Regal Pearl Pty Limited (2006) NSWCA 328 – Sale of Goods – coverage and exclusion clauses.

  • McLennan v Insurance Australia Limited (2014) NSWCA 300 – fire/fraud/coverage clause.

  • Energize Fitness Pty Limited v Vero Insurance Limited (2012) NSWCA 213 – s6 LRMPA – exclusion.

  • Barrie Toepfer Earthmoving & Land Management Pty Limited v CGU Insurance Limited & Ors NSWCA- application of reasonable precautions clause.

  • Camellia Properties Pty Limited & Ors v Wesfarmers General Insurance Limited (2013) NSWSC 1975 – estoppel, assessment of loss.

  • Zotti v Australian Associated Motor Insurers Limited (2009) NSWCA 323 – interpretation of motor accidents policy.

  • Stealth Enterprises  v Calliden Insurance (2017) NSWCA 71

  • Zhang v  National Transport Insurance  (2016) NSWCA 370

Life Insurance

  • Halloran v Harwood Nominees Pty Limited (2007) NSWSC 913 – TPD.

  • Dr Gregory Moore v The National Mutual Life Association of Australasia Limited (2011) NSWSC 416 – fraudulent non-disclosure.

  • Hannover Life Re of Australasia Limited v Dargan (2013) NSWCA 57 – interpretation of TPD coverage clause.

  • Graham v Colonial Mutual Life Assurance Society Limited (2013) FCA 1213 – death claim – non-disclosure – public policy.

General Liability

  • Roads & Maritime Services v Grant (2015) NSWCA 138 – statutory liability – s43A CLA.

  • Uniting Church in Australia Property Trust (NSW) v Miller (2015) NSWCA 320 – school liability.

  • Ramsay Food Processing Pty Limited v Tomlinson (2014) NSWCA 327.- issue estoppel

  • UGL Rail Pty Limited v Wilkinson Murray Pty Limited (2014) NSWSC 159 – professional liability, reasonable settlement.

  • Theiss and Hunter Valley Earthmoving v Dobbins Pty Ltd and Darryl Bate (2016) NSWSC

  • Pollard v Baulderstone Hornibrook Engineering Pty Limited (2008) NSWCA 99.-contributory negligence

  • Parker v City of Bankstown RSL Community Club Limited (2015) NSWCA 246.-occupiers laibility

  • Jackson v McDonalds Australia Limited (2014) NSWCA 162 – occupiers liability./insurance

  • Parkview Constructions Pty Limited v Abraham (2013) NSWCA 460 – construction site.

  • South Sydney Junior Rugby League ats Gazis (2016) NSWCA 8- duty of club to non employee

Catastrophic Injury for Plaintiff

  • AF Concrete Pumping Pty Limited v Ryan & Ors (2014) NSWCA 346 – action per quod servitium.

  • Lee v Carlton Crest Hotel (Sydney) Pty Limited (2014) NSWSC 1280 – Compensation to Relatives – Council liability.

  • Wright by his Tutor Wright v Optus Administration Pty Limited (2015) NSWSC 16 – damages consequent upon attempt to kill at the workplace.

Dual Insurance

  • Colyier v CGU Insurance Limited (2008) NSWCA 92.

  • QBE Insurance v SLE Worldwide (2005) NSWSC 776.

  • QBE Insurance (Australia) Limited v CGU Workers Compensation (NSW) Limited (2012) NSWSC 377.

Solicitor then Partner

Henry Davis York
Solicitor (1982-1988)
Partner (1988-1998)

After 6 years as a solicitor at Henry Davis York Richard became a Partner and established a specialist insurance group. As Head of that insurance group he managed a team of up to 15 lawyers and was responsible for complex and varied litigation as well as providing advisory services including policy drafting