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


Tom is a Principal in our Insurance & Health team based in the Sydney office with over 12 years’ experience as a commercial litigation specialist focusing on construction and property claims in the professional indemnity, ISR and contract works space.

Tom regularly acts for Australian and London based insurers with respect to high value construction claims, intellectual property (including patent and copyright infringement disputes) and complex indemnity disputes. He also regularly acts in the defence of contractors and consultants of all tiers in the construction industry, including in relation to work health and safety investigations and prosecutions.

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

  • acting for a 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 in defence of an architect in multi-party NSW Supreme Court proceedings arising out alleged building, fire and design defects in a development in NSW;
  • acting in defence of a fire engineer in multi-party NSW Supreme Court proceedings in relation to alleged defective cladding installed on a hospital in NSW;
  • 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 on a construction site in Sydney;
  • acting for a large NSW building contractor in relation to a SafeWork prosecution arising from a worker falling through a penetration;
  • acting for Western Australian mining company in relation to an investigation by the Resources Regulator after a worker fell off a scissor lift at a mine in NSW;
  • acting in defence of a certifier in relation to multiple proceedings issued by a council in the NSW 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).


Insurance and Health

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