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Released 12/22

Gilchrist Connell appoints leading Financial Lines and EPL lawyer, James Duffy, as principal

Leading Australian insurance sector law firm Gilchrist Connell is delighted to announce the promotion of James Duffy from Special Counsel to Principal, effective 1 January 2023.

James draws upon his longstanding insurance litigation experience working with clients across Australia and London to advise national and international insurers and underwriters on claims and disputes. Clients value James’ breadth of expertise in coverage and defence of insurance matters, particularly in the areas of professional indemnity and employment practice liability. These are key areas of client demand, particularly the EPL work which has seen a 50% rise in traction nationally over the last year.

“One of the best parts of running a law firm is to see really good people coming through to our senior ranks. James’ promotion is a great example of that – he has long been a vital part of our practice in the important WA market and is a valued team member,” explains Richard Wood, Managing Principal at Gilchrist Connell.

Deborah Templeman, Gilchrist Connell Perth Office Head Principal, expands: “We are delighted to have a fourth principal in our Perth office, from within our own ranks. The timing is excellent, given the period of rapid growth in Perth, which has increased in size by more than a third since 2020 to 35 people. James is very highly regarded by all stakeholders in our market, and we know they will be thrilled to see him in this new role.”

James was recognised by Best Lawyers in 2022 and 2023 (Insurance Law) and by Doyle’s Guide (Recommended Professional Indemnity Lawyer – Western Australia) since 2020. Since joining the firm in 2013, James has been an avid contributor to thought leadership, regularly writing articles and presenting on insurance and coverage related matters, often alongside clients. James is the WA State President of the Australasian Professional Indemnity Group (APIG) and a Board Member of WA Aids Council Inc (WAAC), a not-for-profit organisation which aims to optimise sexual health and wellbeing by reducing stigma and discrimination, improving access to information and reducing transmission of HIV, sexually transmitted infections and blood-borne viruses.

James’ promotion is the latest in a trend of internal principal promotions by Gilchrist Connell. Since 1 January 2021, the firm has increased its principal cohort by 28%. Of this 28%, 83% were internal promotions, and the remaining 27% were lateral recruits. Gilchrist Connell’s Chief People Officer, Belinda Cohen, explains, “We take pride in realising the potential of our people and are committed to nurturing the professional development and promotion of our colleagues.”

Richard Wood
Managing Principal
08 8215 7001
0403 069 807