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Kieran O'Brien

Partner
About

Kieran has vast experience in class actions/mass torts, product liability/product recalls, complex insurance claims (public liability, professional liability and property damage), commercial litigation.

Kieran is the International Co-Chair of the DLA Piper Class Actions and Collective Redress Group and heads DLA Piper's Australian Product Liability practice.

Kieran regularly advises on mandates that have global reach, working closely with clients and colleagues in the US, Europe and Asia. He assists clients traverse the complexity of cross-border litigation and regulatory action.

Kieran has a particular focus on the Life Sciences, Manufacturing/Industrial, Food and Beverages, Sports and Insurance sectors, and acts for many leading global companies and sporting codes in those sectors.

For instance, Kieran regularly acts for several global life sciences companies (pharmaceuticals and medical devices) in product liability and commercial litigation matters around Australia, and providing litigation and regulatory advice. Recent examples include class action litigation involving pelvic mesh, the Parkinson's Disease treatment drug (Cabaser), various medications including the smoking cessation medication Champix, and a variety of medical devices including hernia mesh, contraceptives, spinal implants and cardiac, ventilation and surgical equipment

Kieran has been included in Best Lawyers in Australia (a publication of the Australian Financial Review) since 2012 for the practice areas of Insurance, Litigation, Product Liability and Class Action. In 2013, Kieran was recognised as a leading lawyer in the International Who's Who of Insurance & Reinsurance Lawyers.

Kieran also actively participates in DLA Piper's Pro Bono program. He has been a partner champion for the UNICEF Child Rights Project, and has taught Civil Procedure to law students at the University of the South Pacific in Port Vila.  Kieran is also a Board Member of Maddie Riewoldt's Vision, a charity dedicated to funding research and treatment into, and ultimately a cure for, bone marrow failure syndromes.

Professional QualificationsBarrister and Solicitor of the High Court of Australia, 2005Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria, 1994

EXPERIENCE

  • Acting for a global pharmaceutical company in a recently settled Federal Court class action, being a failure to warn case involving over 200 group members alleging side-effects from the consumption of two medications used to treat symptoms for Parkinson's Disease and restless leg syndrome.
  • Acting for a global food distribution company in a Federal Court class action.
  • Acting for a Victorian Council in a Supreme Court of Victoria class action relating to the Mickleham bushfires in February 2014. Claim recently settled with Court approval.
  • Acting for the Australian Football League (AFL) in mass tort litigation arising from the Essendon Football Club supplements saga.
  • Successfully acted both at trial and on appeal for the plaintiff in Amaca Pty Ltd v CSR Ltd & Anor [2015] VSC 582 and [2016] VSCA 320, a Supreme Court of Victoria group proceeding involving in excess of 200 claims for equitable contribution as a result of a product liability partnership dispute between two asbestos manufacturers in the 1960s-1970s.
  • Acting for a global medical device company in litigation relating to the supply of medical equipment.
  • Acting for a UK company in litigation arising from the purchase/acquisition of a water products company.
  • Acting for a Korean company in relation to a substantial claim for losses arising from the supply of allegedly non-compliant component parts for motor vehicles that led to a global product recall.
  • Acting for two global Swedish companies (hygiene products and furniture) in product related litigation and advisory work.
  • Successfully acted for the defendant solicitor in a professional negligence claim (and awarded indemnity costs): Taseska v Carus & Anor [2019] VSC 342.
Education

    Awards

    • Best Lawyers - Recognised by Best Lawyers™ in Australia since 2012 in the areas of Insurance, Litigation, Product Liability and Class Action Law.
    • Leading Lawyer in the International Who's Who of Insurance & Reinsurance Lawyers.
    • Doyle's Guide for:
      • 'Leading (pre-eminent) Dust Diseases Lawyers & Law Firms - Victoria 2016 onwards.
      • 'Leading (pre-eminent) Public Liability Lawyers - Victoria 2017 onwards.

    Insight Overview

    Kieran has presented countless seminars both in-house and externally at client and industry events.

    Kieran has published numerous articles for internal and external publications, has provided special commentary on both television and radio, and has had an article published in the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age (Melbourne).

    Publications

     

    Seminars

     

    Memberships And Affiliations

  • Law Institute of Victoria
  • Australian Insurance Law Association (including past President of the Victorian Branch)
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