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James Morse

James is a real expert and a trusted advisor... Quite simply, there is nobody who is better at what he does in this region. He is very measured in his approach and always provides very balanced, commercial advice. He is an excellent strategist.
Client, Chambers 2022

James is an Accredited Specialist in Commercial Litigation, whose practice consists of large and intricate (re)insurance and commercial disputes, with a particular focus on financial lines, warranty and indemnity, directors and officers, professional indemnity, management liability and property.

James is often instructed as defence counsel in elaborate and complex litigation in the Superior Courts of New South Wales and Australia, and regularly advises leading Australian and international insurers (both primary and excess layer) on technical indemnity issues in relation to both direct and reinsurance coverage.

Professional QualificationsSolicitor of the High Court of AustraliaSolicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales


  • Acting for a labour hire and recruitment company in class action proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia, arising from the alleged violation of laws with respect to the employment of international workers.
  • Acting for an international insurer in the defence of multiple claims advanced under a buyer-side warranty and indemnity insurance policy, which were the subject of a consolidated arbitration seated in Singapore.
  • Acting for a US-based insurer from which an Australian corporation sought indemnity pursuant to a US insurance policy in respect of an Australian class action. The dispute gave rise to numerous policy issues, as well as significant conflict of law issues, especially those arising in an international context.
  • Advising an overseas public entity in respect of the potential for it to recover alleged losses - potentially hundreds of millions of dollars - as a result of possible breaches of duty by previous directors of that entity and certain third party suppliers/contractors in connection with a large scale commercial development.
  • Advising and acting in multi-party litigation, such as complex securities/shareholders matters. This also includes acting for an overseas-based captive insurance company in extensive litigation involving 14 defendants and various coverage issues across numerous direct and reinsurance policies.
  • Acting for numerous professionals in defence of claims arising from alleged negligence, breach of contract or statutory contravention. These claims invariably require key focus on expert evidence, causation, contributory negligence and proportionate liability. In a large portion of these cases, the damages claimed are in the many millions of dollars.
  • Advising corporations and individuals regarding the production of documents and/or attendance to give evidence at various inquiries or examinations
  • Advising insurers in respect of claims management, policy drafting and interpretation, regulatory compliance, equitable contribution/dual insurance (including with respect to the potential recovery of funds allegedly owed to an insurer pursuant to a policy of facultative reinsurance with a reinsurer that was in liquidation), internal dispute resolution processes, and the potential recovery of insured losses (including following catastrophic property damage where the potential recovery was in the hundreds of millions of dollars).

    Insight Overview

    James has written articles that have been published in various industry publications, and has worked with The Honourable Michael Kirby AC CMG to produce articles that were published in both Australian and UK journals. He also regularly presents seminars addressing significant legal developments, delivers Risk Management Modules for the Australian Property Institute, and has guest lectured at the University of Western Sydney.

    Memberships And Affiliations

    • Law Society of New South Wales
    • New South Wales Claims Discussion Group
    • Australian Professional Indemnity Group