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Colin Purdy



Bachelor of Laws – University of Sydney


Bachelor of Arts – University of Sydney



Admitted to practise as barrister NSW

2000 to date

Law Society of NSW – Unrestricted Practising Certificate (Principal)

1998 to date

Law Society of NSW Specialist Accreditation – Personal Injury

1989 to date

Admission as Solicitor of High Court of NSW

1989 to date

Admission as Solicitor of Supreme Court of NSW


College of Law Practical Legal Training Course

Prior Employment

1 July 2009 to present

Colin Purdy Solicitor – principal

July 1989 to 30 June 2009

Moray & Agnew Solicitors

1 July 2008 to 30 June 2009

Special Counsel

1 July 2000 to 30 June 2008


1 July 1995 to 30 June 1999

Senior Associate

31 July 1989 to 30 June 1995



As barrister: insurance litigation, public and products, professional indemnity, construction and life insurance, product liability, personal injury, professional negligence, construction litigation, commercial litigation and public inquiries

As solicitor, mainly litigation, dispute resolution and related advice work. Areas of expertise:-

Insurance Law (General Insurance & Life Insurance)
Public and Product Liability
Professional Negligence and
Building & Construction

I have conducted litigation in all courts in the NSW legal system and appeared in most. I have managed litigation in all states of Australia including appellate litigation in NSW, Queensland and Western Australia. Highlights include:-

  • Appearing for successful appellant as junior counsel in Hannover Life Re of Australasia Ltd v Dargan, an important decision on the application of standard wording total & permanent disablement provisions of life & superannuation policies;
  • Appearing as junior counsel at trial and on appeal for successful defendant in Laoulach v Ibrahim & ors [NSWCA 2012], a quadriplegic diving case concerning Civil Liability Act defences of obvious risk & dangerous recreational activity;
  • Appearing at first instance and as junior counsel on successful appeal in Izzard v Dunbier Marine Products Pty Ltd [NSWCA 2013], involving issues of “motor accident” and employers’ liability;
  • Acting as solicitor for the defendant insurers in Walker Civil Engineering Pty Ltd v London Insurance plc & Ors [NSWCA 1998], which clarified (in favour of the insurers) the meaning of a common exclusion in contract works material damage wordings;
  • Solicitor for Leighton Contractors Pty Ltd in Optus Networks Pty Ltd & Ors v Leighton Contractors Pty Ltd [NSWSC 2001], which delivered to Leighton a complete indemnity from a subcontractor co-defendant against a claim exceeding $30 million;
  • acting as the insurers’ solicitor in National Vulcan Engineering & Insurance Group Ltd v Transfield Construction Pty Ltd & Ors [NSWCA 2003], an important decision on the relationship between insurer and insured under policies extending indemnity to multiple insureds.
  • Solicitor for Leighton Contractors Pty Ltd in Fox v Leighton Contractors Pty Ltd & ors [2009] HCA 35 in successful High Court appeal reaffirming the limitations on duties of care owed by managing contractors to workers on building sites.


I have delivered numerous papers at commercial seminars, client functions and internal training seminars mostly in areas of interest in insurance law including the following:-

  • “Total & Permanent Disablement Claims” Moray & Agnew Lawyers CLE Internal Series February 2013
  • “Obvious Risk & Dangerous Recreational Activity” UNSW CLE Seminar November 2012
  • “From the Top Down – Liability of Principals for Injuries on Worksites” Edmund Barton Chambers Seminar Series March 2012
  • “Cover for Legal Costs: a Surprising Result” Moray & Agnew Legal Directions October 2008
  • “The Uncertainty of Ambiguity – Indemnity Clauses post-Andar” Moray & Agnew Legal Directions April 2006
  • “Who is the Insured when the Policy covers many?” Moray & Agnew Legal Directions December 2003;
  • “To Disclose or not to Disclose, High Court Answers the Question” Moray & Agnew Legal Directions June 2003;
  • “Sections 40 and 54 Insurance Contracts Act – the Latest Instalment” Moray & Agnew Legal Directions April 2003;
  • General Insurance Law Review – South Tweed Heads Rugby League Football Club v Cole, Burns v Hoyts, Kim v Cole, Henville v Walker & I&L Securities v HTW Valuers” Paper presented at internal Moray & Agnew seminar 19 March 2003;
  • “Liability for Defective Premises” Paper presented at LAAMS Seminar Occupiers Liability May 2001;
  • “Dual Insurance and Other Insurance Clauses – they still don’t Work” Paper presented at Moray & Agnew client seminar 13 March 2001;
  • “Dual Insurance and Other Insurance Clauses – do they Work?” Paper presented at Moray & Agnew client seminar August 2000;
  • “The End of Joint and Several Liability in Building Cases?” Paper presented at Moray & Agnew Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance seminar 10 September 1999;
  • “Property Damage – Some Recurring Issues” Paper presented at Moray & Agnew Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance seminar 10 September 1999;
  • “Contract Works Policies – Petrofina v Magnaload & Subsequent Decisions” Paper presented at Moray & Agnew Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance seminar 27 May 1999

Professional Memberships

  • NSW Bar Association
  • Australian Professional Indemnity Group
  • Australian Insurance Law Association

0414 926 747