Thomas Byrne

Barry.Nilsson. has a great collegiate environment that’s built on honesty, trust and a common goal of wanting to be the best we can be. Above all, everyone in the firm is committed to providing the highest quality of work to our clients.

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Thomas Byrne

Special Counsel

Tom is a Special Counsel in our Insurance & Health team based in the Sydney office. He is a commercial litigation specialist focusing on professional indemnity, construction and first party property (including ISR and contract works) matters as well as intellectual property (including patent infringement and copyright disputes).

Tom regularly acts for Australian and London based insurers with respect to high value construction claims, intellectual property and complex indemnity disputes. He also regularly acts in the defence of participants at all tiers in the construction industry.

Some matters in which Tom has recently defended insureds in litigated matters include:

  • acting for an structural engineer in relation to proceedings issued in the NSW Supreme Court issued by the landowner as a result of alleged defects in the slab of a development in Gosford, NSW;
  • acting for an air conditioning contractor in relation to proceedings in the NSW Supreme Court issued by a developer and head contractor arising from alleged air conditioning defects in a development in Sydney CBD;
  • acting for architects in relation to an appeal against a determination of the Architects Registration Board;
  • acting for an excavation contractor in relation to proceedings commenced in the NSW Supreme Court by a developer and head contractor arising from a wall collapse; and
  • acting in defence of a certifier in relation to judicial review proceedings issued by a council in the Land and Environment Court arising from alleged defects in multiple complying development consents;
  • acting in defence of a beverage supplier in Federal Court of Australia proceedings arising from alleged infringement of various patents;
  • acting in defence of a sporting association in the Federal Circuit Court arising from alleged trademark and copyright infringement.

Tom frequently advises on complex indemnity issues across first party property and construction risks as well as PI construction. Some of Tom’s recent complex indemnity matters include:

  • acting for primary insurer in relation to the late notification of a claim by its insured arising from alleged defects in the runway of an army base in Queensland;
  • acting as coverage counsel for an Australian based insurer regarding late notification of a claim arising from alleged defects in major Tunnel in Sydney;
  • acting as coverage counsel for a London based contract works insurer in relation to claims for indemnity arising from damage to cables during construction of several solar farms in Queensland;
  • acting for a head contractor in relation to a coverage dispute with its contract works insurer involving the operation of a DE4 exclusion;
  • advising various major Australian and London based insurers in relation to complex indemnity disputes including:
    • application of an amended LEG2 exclusion;
    • application of continuous cover;
    • application of mitigation cover extensions under a Design and Construct PI Policy.

Tom previously worked as a solicitor in London and has been an accredited civil and commercial mediator since 2012.

Tom has a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Law & Government and a Masters in Criminology and Criminal Justice.

Tom is member of several professional organisations specific to his practice, including the NSW Claims Discussion Group, Australian Professional Indemnity Group (APIG), Australian Insurance Law Association (AILA), the Society of Construction Law and Young Insurance Professionals (YIPS).

Tom is also a committee member of the Engineering Discussion Group.