Abuse Law Symposium

Once again, with knowledge, deep skills and thoughtfulness, the experts working in the field of abuse law are here to share information about current and emerging challenges from the coalface. Spend the morning skilling up on practice, procedure and evidence relevant to running or defending historical abuse litigation followed in the afternoon with presentations on assessment of damages, mediation and self-care for abuse claim practitioners. WEB243N27Z

Friday, 15 March 2024
11.00am to 11.45am Obtaining Relevant Evidence: Subpoenas and Redactions in Sexual Abuse Context
  • Review of relevant subpoena case law
  • Tricks and tips for obtaining relevant evidence on subpoena
  • Review of relevant case law concerning redaction of information
  • Pros and cons of different approaches to redactions

Presented by Greg Choat, Special Counsel, Koffels

11.45 am to 12.30pm Putting a Price on Human Misery: Approaches to Assessing General, Aggravated and Exemplary Damages
  • Refresher of principles of assessment
  • Review of approaches in various jurisdictions
  • Summary of recent case law
  • Considerations in preparing a claim

Presented by Martin Slattery, Partner and Greg McAllister, Solicitor, Carroll & O’Dea

Session 2: Self Care for Abuse Claim Lawyers, Evidence in Historical Abuse Litigation, Mediation

Chair: Danielle De Paoli, Special Counsel & State Team Leader, Maurice Blackburn

Professional Skills
4.15pm to 5.15pm Institutional Cultures and Contexts: Recovering Evidence of Historical Maltreatment
  • The characteristics of organisational environments and its effect on policy making, practice and record keeping in historical child maltreatment
  • Organisations from a historical perspective: where to look for evidence and what to look for
  • Examples of organisations in discovering and accessing data:
  • a government agency
  • a non-government
  • Take part in an interactive question and answer session

Presented by Prof. Bob Lonne, Consultant, Ferret Consulting and Dr Yorick Smaal, Senior Lecturer in History in the School of Humanities, Languages and Social Science, Griffiths University

Session 1: Practice, Procedure and Damages

Chair: Maithri Panagoda AM, Partner, Carroll & O’Dea

9.00am to 9.45am Framing the Claim or Defence and Proving or Defending It
  • Revisiting the available causes of action, including vicarious liability
  • Identifying the relevant evidence and obtaining it including:
    • Ways to access documentation and information (including under the Personal Injuries Proceedings Act 2002 (Qld))
    • Issues to consider when briefing medical and other experts

Presented by Kristi Riedel, Barrister, Level Twenty Seven Chambers

12.30pm to 1.15pm Economic Loss in Abuse Law: Who Should you Brief and What Should you Ask?

With the publication of decisions around Australia, this presentation will examine recent cases and emerging trends in economic loss claims.

Presented by Asanka Gunasekera, Barrister, Francis Burt Chambers

Practice Management
2.00pm to 3.00pm Running an Abuse Law Practice, Vicarious Trauma and Psychological Safety: Creating Brain-Safe Workplaces
  • Vicarious trauma is a psychosocial hazard under WHS Legislation: what is vicarious trauma and what does the legislation say?
  • Recognising the signs and symptoms: self and others
  • Effective risk management of vicarious trauma: employer and individual
  • Creating a psychologically safe workplace environment

Presented by Rachel King, CEO & Founder, Human Risk Management

Professional Skills
3.00pm to 4.00pm Mediation Pathways in Historical Abuse Claims
  • Different approaches to mediation in historical abuse claims based on observations of a mediator:
  • across jurisdictions
  • by various respondents and various claimant legal teams
  • in the context of evolving case law
  • with the benefit of choice of participation by webinar or in person
  • Discuss what factors make for the best outcome

Presented by Karen Stott, Founder and Principal, Karen Stott - ADR & Mediation Services; Leading Mediators, Doyles Guide, 2023

10.45am to 11.00am Morning break

"Detailed expert advice on the emerging area of law"
"One of the most practical and helpful webinars I have ever watched on Abuse Law"
"Broad coverage of relevant issues"

9.45am to 10.45am A Post-GLJ and Schokman World: How to Size Up a Strong Plaintiff Case
  • The current state of the law on permanent stays
  • What roles and occasions will attract vicarious liability?
  • Is the fact that ministers of religion may not be employees relevant anymore?
Presented by  Luke Geary, Partner, Mills Oakley

Attend and earn 7 CPD units including:
4 units in Substantive Law
1 unit in Practice Management & Business Skills
2 units in Professional Skills

This program is applicable to practitioners from all States & Territories

4.00pm to 4.15pm Afternoon break


Mr. Asanka Gunasekera, Barrister, Francis Burt Chambers
Asanka is a Barrister at Francis Burt Chambers and specialises in personal injury law. Since 2015 Asanka has appeared in matters relating to historical child sexual abuse, motor vehicle accidents, workers’ compensation injury, occupiers’ liability, public liability and fatal accidents. Between 2009-2015 Asanka was the principal of Personal Injury Law Services which represented numerous stakeholders in personal injury claims. Asanka is also experienced in employment and OH&S law having been a sessional lecturer in Occupational Health and Safety (Industrial Relations) at Curtin University and has appeared in the Fair Work Tribunal. Asanka was admitted to practice in 2009 following completion of a 10 year “Managing Clerkship” under the Legal Practitioners Act 1893. Asanka is also experienced in Not-For-Profit Governance having been Chairperson of the WA AIDS Council (Inc) for six years and Secretary of the WA Bar Association (Inc) for three years. Asanka is also a member of the Law Society of Western Australia and serves on its Personal Injury & Workers’ Compensation Committee. In November 2023 Asanka was appointed a legal member of the Legal Services and Complaints Committee by the Legal Practice Board of WA for a two year term commencing 1 February 2024.

Mr Martin Slattery, Partner, Carroll & O'Dea Lawyers
Martin’s diverse career – journalist, guitarist, lawyer – means he has the life experience and the professional expertise to provide what his clients want when it matters – excellent technical advice, combined with practical solutions. With a strong common law background, Martin is an expert litigator. He has significant commissions of inquiry and royal commissions experience. He has a unique insight and empathy into how the various parties to a dispute perceive the same circumstances that are the nub of the issue. As a musician, his clients trust him to explain the complexities of intellectual property law so they avoid pitfalls and take advantage of opportunities. Martin also works with his clients to protect their intellectual property assets through trademark registration and copyright advice and litigation. Martin also works in the not-for-profit team, providing advice to clients from the not-for-profit sector. This includes governance and regulatory compliance advice, drafting commercial contracts and undertaking property transactions. Martin is responsible for the running of the Melbourne office.

Ms Karen Stott, Founder and Principal, Karen Stott - ADR & Mediation Services
Karen Stott has been a full-time mediator and facilitator since 2016, with over 20 years of litigation experience acting for plaintiffs and defendants. Karen’s mediations practice covers a range of matters including abuse law, medical negligence, motor accidents, worker injury, occupier liability, professional negligence, commercial matters, building & construction, insolvency, and the like. Mediation of abuse claims has been a large component of Karen’s practice for many years, involving a range of respondents / institutions and across multiple jurisdictions. Karen is a Court-appointed mediator to the ACT Magistrates and Supreme Courts. She has been named by ‘Doyle’s List’ as a Leading Mediator NSW each year since 2018.

Mrs Rachel King, Founder,
Rachel is a uniquely qualified specialist operating at the nexus of the human sciences and business. She is the creator and driver of a pioneering approach to the understanding and mitigation of individual and in turn, organisational Human Risk of which Mental Health Risk in the workplace is one component of. Rachel draws on an evidenced-based understanding of the critical interplay between human factors and economic factors in creating best practices that produce sustainable cultures aligned to the needs of all stakeholders. The Founding Director of Rachel King - Human Risk, Rachel spent almost 20 years in the financial markets working for Australian, American and European financial institutions both in Sydney and London. Rachel holds a Master of Brain and Mind Sciences from the University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Centre, a Master of Education (Educational Psychology) from the University of NSW and a Bachelor’s degree with an Economics and Psychology major. Rachel also has academic qualifications in Positive Psychology, Forensic Psychiatry, Substance Use Disorders and Leadership and Policy in Mental Health. Rachel is an accredited Mental Health First Aid Instructor, Nationally Accredited Mediator and a member of a number of organisations including the AICD (NFP) and The Ethics Centre.

Prof. Bob Lonne, Consultant,
Bob Lonne, PhD is a Professor of Social Work with a distinguished 40-year practice, managerial, academic and research career in child protection, being an advocate for systemic reform and prevention strategies for child abuse and neglect. He has consulted for a range of Australian and international agencies about practice, policy and system developments. He is an accomplished author and was a former National President of the Australian Association of Social Workers. Professor Lonne has completed numerous high-quality reports as a legal expert witness in civil litigation, Coronial inquiries and judicial inquiries; being cited over 40 times in the final report of the Queensland Carmody judicial inquiry into the child protection system. His reputation is for combining extensive research of the legal/institutional context with a hands-on understanding of how policies and culture shape practice, and how this can lead to harm and unintended consequences. Professor Lonne is the co-founder of Ferret Consulting.

Mr Greg Choat, Special Counsel,
Greg has practiced as a family, personal injury and general litigation lawyer over the course of nearly 20 years in the law. He currently works almost exclusively bringing historical sexual abuse litigation on behalf of plaintiffs.

Ms. Kristi Riedel, Barrister,
Kristi Riedel has a broad commercial and civil practice. She has appeared both led and unled in in a range of trials, applications (including for urgent injunctive relief) and interlocutory hearings in the Queensland Magistrates, District and higher courts. She has also appeared at settlement conferences and mediations involving both smaller and large multi-party matters. She has a particular interest, and experience, in all facets of insurance law, an area she practised in extensively as a solicitor prior to commencing at the Bar. Her recent experience includes advancing and defending actions against a variety of professionals, including against accountants, property valuers, solicitors, livestock nutritionists and medical professionals (including disciplinary proceedings). Further, she has advised in relation to claims stemming from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, matters relating to workers' compensation and consumer protection litigation. In addition, Kristi advises in her own right on a wide range of commercial disputes, including shareholder disputes, commercial leasing disputes, business sale disputes, planning and environment matters, property damage and defamation claims. Kristi was admitted as a solicitor in 2009, and was a Senior Associate within HWL Ebsworth's insurance team prior to commencing practise as a barrister.

Dr. Yorick Smaal, Consultant Legal Expert, Ferret Consulting
Dr Yorick Smaal is an academic historian and senior lecturer in the School of Humanities, Languages and Social Science at Griffith University. He is an elected fellow of the Royal Historical Society (London)and has published widely on the history of sexuality, legal history, and war. With more than two decades of archival research experience, he provides expert advice and assessment for creative and legal professionals on the social, political, and institutional conditions that suppress, erase, and magnify desire and violence.

Mr. Greg McAllister, Special Counsel, Carroll & O'Dea Lawyers
Greg is a solicitor in the commercial litigation and dispute resolution team at Carroll & O’Dea Lawyers. He has broad experience acting in a range of litigation matters involving, among other things, breaches of contract, trade practices, building disputes and debt recovery matters. Prior to joining Carroll & O’Dea Lawyers, Greg worked in various roles in the civil engineering and precast concrete industry. Greg’s work experiences enable him to understand the technical nature of building and construction matters. “Gaining business experience outside the law has enabled me to really understand what clients need. Carroll & O’Dea Lawyers has always encouraged lawyers to work outside the law to augment their legal knowledge.”


Abuse Law Symposium


All Sessions
Friday, 15 March 2024
9.00am to 5.15pm Australia/Sydney
CPD Points 7
Online 20240625 20240315


On Demand 20240625 20240315

On Demand

Morning Session
Friday, 15 March 2024
9.00am to 1.15pm Australia/Sydney
CPD Points 4
Online 20240625 20240315


On Demand 20240625 20240315

On Demand

Afternoon Session
Friday, 15 March 2024
2.00pm to 5.15pm Australia/Sydney
CPD Points 3
Online 20240625 20240315


On Demand 20240625 20240315

On Demand