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Media Releases

Released 07/23

Gilchrist Connell elevates 12 and bolsters national practice with a further seven senior hires

Leading insurance sector law firm, Gilchrist Connell, is known for its people-first culture; a key factor in its significant and continuing growth. In keeping with that, the firm has promoted 12 lawyers, including two Special Counsel, five Senior Associates and five Associates, in addition to the elevation of Tiarn Pauletto to Principal, in its July 2023 promotion round.

In addition, since January 2023, Gilchrist Connell has bolstered its senior ranks with a further three Special Counsel and four Senior Associates. This consolidation of expertise in key areas of client demand follows the announcement of the firm’s fifth national Workplace principal, Bhrig Chauhan, in May 2023, and renowned D&O specialist, Celia Wright, who joined GC in October 2022.

Managing Principal, Richard Wood, commented, “We work hard to make sure we get the right people in the door to do good work for great clients. The calibre of the GC lawyers being promoted, as well as the senior hires joining us across our network, is therefore particularly pleasing.”

As of 1 July 2023, the Gilchrist Connell partnership split will be 40% female to 60% male. Our flexible work practices continue to support equal participation in the workforce across all levels, with 61% of fee earners identifying as female and 39% male. The gender split at firm level is 73% female to 27% male.

1 July 2023 promotions

Special Counsel

  • Adriana Reina (Workplace, Sydney): Adriana is a widely experienced employment and migration lawyer. Her clients include businesses across a range of industries, including the technology, financial services, media and fitness industries and foreign-owned subsidiaries. She provides a range of front and back-end advisory for employers and incorporates all aspects of workplace and migration law including pre and post termination claims and investigations and Fair Work Commission proceedings, discrimination and harassment complaints and more.
  • Thomas Dayman (Insurance, Adelaide): With a background in insurance law, Tom specialises in the defence of medical malpractice claims and regularly appears in various Courts and Tribunals on behalf of his clients, including as Counsel in the Coroner’s jurisdiction. Tom prides himself on providing clear, concise and pragmatic advice to his clients, and working closely with those clients to achieve positive resolutions and outcomes.

Senior Associates


  • Nicholas Waight (Insurance, Brisbane)
  • Linda Zeng (Insurance, Sydney)
  • Shakti Srikanth (Pro Bono, Sydney)
  • Cassandra McAlary (Insurance, Sydney)
  • Mathew Grey (Insurance, Sydney).

Recent senior hires

Special Counsel

  • Amanda Tucker (Insurance, Brisbane): Amanda is a senior litigation practitioner with extensive experience working with national and international insurers, local councils, unions and the State Government assisting with their public and product liability claims with a focus on injury liability. She is also experienced across workers’ compensation, medical negligence, CTP, TPD in both the private and public sectors.
  • Emily Payne (Insurance, Perth): Emily has over 17 years of experience in personal injury claims, encompassing product and public liability, workers’ compensation and recoveries across Western Australia and Victoria. Her diverse background includes roles as plaintiff and defendant solicitor, as well as claims consultant positions with global insurers and a prominent global brokerage.
  • Jessica O’Dell (Insurance, Melbourne): Jessica has re-joined Gilchrist Connell after five years as a professional standards claims examiner and manager of professional standards within an insurer. Jessica is a senior litigator of public and product liability claims, property damage claims and workers’ compensation claims.

Senior Associate

About Gilchrist Connell
Gilchrist Connell is a leading insurance sector law firm operating across all Australian jurisdictions from its five offices. The firm’s fresh approach to legal services sets it apart. Gilchrist Connell is trusted by clients across Australia to provide commercial advice and representation. The team of over 150 lawyers advises insurers, brokers, underwriting agencies, self-insureds, insureds and businesses operating nationally and internationally across all lines of insurance. We also provide employment, WHS, restructuring and insolvency, corporate and commercial advice, and front-end solutions, to businesses, including the insurance sector, at all stages of their life cycle.