Simon Black

I see myself as an extension of my clients’ business, not an arms length service provider, and enjoy working with them to achieve solid commercial results.

Back to parent page

Simon Black


Simon Black is a principal in our Insurance and Health team and is based in the Sydney office.

‘Insurance has formed a huge part of my life. My grandfather was an insurance broker and my father is an underwriter. And so, when it came to practising law, it didn’t take long for me to gravitate towards commercial litigation, specialising in insurance. I find insurance work both fascinating and intellectually challenging as it has so many facets. I joined Barry.Nilsson. in July 2015 as one of two partners in the Sydney office. Since that time, we’ve grown into an office of around 35. It’s an exciting time to be with the firm.’

Simon is well equipped to handle complex claims. He specialises in professional indemnity, financial lines (including management liability, and directors and officers, or D&O) and property and construction matters (particularly contract works and ISR matters).

In the D&O area, Simon has advised both insurers and insureds in relation to a number of high-profile Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) investigations, inquiries and prosecutions, as well as securities class actions.

In the property and construction space, Simon has advised markets of domestic and European insurers in relation to a broad range of property claims, including several arising out of tunnel and highway construction projects, including claims valued at in excess of $200 million.

‘I think what distinguishes me from other legal practitioners is my approachability. I’m straight talking. I adopt a commercial approach to any matter I’m running, which I know my clients appreciate. I work closely with my clients to get the results they are after, because I know that claims managers are under a lot of pressure, both in terms of volume of work and internal cost pressures. If I make their lives easier and achieve good results, I believe they’ll see the value in working with me.’

Simon is listed in the 2019 edition of Best Lawyers for Insurance Law. In the 2015 - 2018 editions of Doyle’s Guide, Simon is listed as one of Sydney’s recommended professional indemnity lawyers. His articles have been published in the Australian Insurance Law Bulletin, the Asia Insurance Review and the Trade Practices Law Bulletin.

During the course of his career, Simon has acted for:

  • Architects
  • Builders
  • Engineers
  • Accountants
  • Financial planners
  • Health professionals
  • Film and television production distribution professionals.

‘I think the approach I adopt to working with clients is mirrored across Barry.Nilsson. Even though we’re growing rapidly, there is a commitment to a shared set of values regarding the way we work with clients and each other. Most importantly, we work as a team and don’t silo work. A lot of firms talk about this, but at Barry.Nilsson. it’s something we keep at the forefront of our thinking. This principle is a key part of our culture. Why? Because the work gets directed to the most appropriate partner and that achieves the best outcome for our clients.’


  • Member, Australian Insurance Law Association (ALIA)
  • Member, Australian Professional Indemnity Group (APIG)
  • Member, New South Wales Claims Discussion Group (NSW CDG)
  • Member, Maritime Law Association of Australia and New Zealand (MLAANZ)


  • Professional indemnity
  • Management liability
  • Directors and officers liability (D&O)
  • Financial lines
  • Property
  • Construction
  • Industrial special risks (ISR)
  • Contract works

In the News