Fiona Sennett

Fiona is highly respected and always looks to assist with contacts. She’s very good in mediation conferences.

- Client Perception Survey, 2015
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Fiona Sennett

Principal

Fiona Sennett is a principal in our Insurance & Health team and is based in the Brisbane office.

‘I joined Barry.Nilsson. as an articled clerk. At the time, the firm was in the process of building its Asian commercial retail business practice. I came to the attention of the managing partner at the time, David Barry, because I’d recently finished an arts degree majoring in Japanese and was just about fluent, having spent three years living in Japan. After a couple of years in the commercial team, I began working in the insurance team and found it fascinating. In 2007, I became the first woman partner in the Insurance & Health team at Barry.Nilsson.’

Fiona specialises in public liability (including personal injury and property files) and product liability. She has a special interest in agricultural claims.

‘I believe clients like working with me because I’m approachable and convivial.  At the same time, I’m forthright and decisive. I always answer the phone if I’m in the office and I’m happy to provide off-the-cuff advice. In addition, I’m known for being able to quickly understand the issues in a case. I always map out the various options open to my clients and make a recommendation as to what I think is the best choice for them. This involves examining the commercial realities in which they’re operating, as well as their preferred approach. Ultimately, I’m known for achieving good outcomes for my clients.’

Fiona is also a very capable and respected advocate. As a result, she is able to resolve matters promptly and efficiently. In addition, her clients appreciate the streamlined way in which she manages files, which impacts on both the final resolution of a case and the costs.

‘When managing files, I’m acutely aware of the client’s needs, as well as their key performance indicators (KPIs). In addition, I’m succinct and pragmatic, while also being thorough. I don’t go down every dry gully just for the sake of it. Instead, I outline the various options available and offer practical solutions that match the way the client wants to handle their claim and that comply with their internal KPIs. My clients like how I approach conferences, because I always hit all their points and ensure that they are aware of all the issues they will face if the case goes to court. It’s remarkable how many cases settle once the claimant gets a proper understanding of the facts.’

Fiona was listed in Best Lawyers in both 2016 and 2017, and was recognised as a leading public liability lawyer in Doyle's Guide 2016.

‘At Barry.Nilsson., we work together to make things better for our clients. Each member of the Insurance & Health team has different strengths that we can capitalise on. We also have excellent systems, which we tailor to suit the needs of our clients. This makes us very efficient and ensures that our interactions with clients run smoothly.

‘We also take the time to understand client drivers, which is important. We work together with our clients as a team. Our relationships with our clients are underpinned by our shared values and cultural fit, which means we’ve always built longstanding relationships. Some of these relationships go back 20 years or more.

‘Interestingly, it’s our clients who tell us that we’re better than our competitors. Our performance is constantly being measured against our clients’ KPIs and those of other firms. We consistently outperform the other panel firms, as well as meet/beat client KPIs in relation to settlement pay-outs, as well as reserve accuracy. We also routinely achieve 100% compliance with service standards.

Leadership

  • Member, Australian Insurance Law Association (AILA)
  • Member, Women in Insurance (Queensland)

Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Laws (Hons)
  • Bachelor of Arts (Hons)