Michael Kavanagh

Michael Kavanagh

Partner Melbourne, Australia

Michael is a Partner in Kennedys’ Melbourne office with over 17 years’ experience in insurance law. Michael’s extensive expertise spans casualty, product liability, aviation and marine.  He acts in personal injury, common law worker claims and VWA recovery actions, as well as property damage claims, product recall, defect claims and logistics disputes.

He provides strategic advice to Australian and London-based insurers and is highly respected by his clients for the outstanding service he provides.

Michael is a member of AILA and the Victorian Liability Claims Discussion Group.

Market recognition

  • Recognised in the 2014-2018 editions of Best Lawyers in Australia for his expertise in Insurance Law
  • Leading Public Liability Lawyer in Victoria in the 2016 edition of Doyle’s Guide.

Work highlights

  • Acting for a large cleaning service provider in a Supreme Court multi-defendant worker claim and VWA recovery (combined potential of over $1M).   
  • Defending a detention centre owner in a third party claim brought by the Commonwealth which attracted significant media attention and required managing sensitive reputational issues raised against the client in addition to the conduct of the defence. 
  • Advising insurers in a range of personal injury matters from high volume, low value claims to catastrophic injury proceedings involving insureds, including Municipal Councils, Water Authorities, cleaning companies, licensed venues, construction and logistics companies, elevator manufacturers, schools and churches.
  • Acting for a construction company in a multi-party litigated recovery claim of $1M arising out of damage to a construction crane which occurred during routine pre-testing.  The claim involved complex issues of apportionment and double insurance together with contractual indemnities.
  • Acting on behalf of a major international freight company and its insurer in a property damage claim ($500,000-$1M) by a major water treatment plant operator following the alleged negligent delivery by the freight company of chemicals to a plant in Western Australia.
  • Representing a large mining chemicals producer in proceedings issued by a marine cargo interest and its insurer in the Federal Court of Australia following alleged damage to goods being shipped from Singapore to Australia.
  • Advising insurers for a Port Authority in a claim by a marine cargo interest following damage to goods which were incorrectly delivered from the Port of Brisbane to a remote location in central Queensland.
  • Successfully defending a claim on behalf of a freight forwarding company which had been issued by a cargo interest following damage to a shipment of wine during transportation from New Zealand to Australia.
  • Acting for and advising an international passenger airline in various personal injury claims brought pursuant to the Montreal Convention.
  • Advising insurers on complex contractual indemnity and policy coverage issues arising in multi-party disputes.