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Media Releases

Released 06/15

New additions to the Gilchrist Connell team in Melbourne and Sydney

Gilchrist Connell is delighted to announce the appointment of a new Principal and Senior Associate to our Melbourne team and a Special Counsel to our Sydney office.

Melbourne Office Expansion – Senior Appointments

Jason Newman is the firm’s newest Principal who joins existing Principal Sampath Soysa in Gilchrist Connell’s Melbourne office, which opened in July 2014.

During his 20 years in insurance law, Jason Newman has developed an excellent reputation as a leading insurance practitioner. He handles a wide range of litigation for insurers especially in product, public and personal injury liability claims, and defence of statutory injury worker compensation claims brought by the Victorian Workcover Authority. As well as general personal injury and liability claims, Jason has developed a special interest and skills in the defence of coverage claims, particularly involving non-disclosure and s54 issues. He also has wide experience with claims in the education and faith sectors, including bullying, coronial inquests and other sensitive issues.

Jason brings with him Marini Mann as Senior Associate, who provides advice on a wide range of insurance matters including professional indemnity and general insurance claims and public liability matters.

“Client support for our presence in Melbourne has been very strong right from the start,” said Managing Principal Richard Wood. “Jason’s team is a great fit with our firm’s strategy and culture and we were very happy to bring them on board,” he added. Melbourne practice leader Sampath Soysa noted,

“As we looked to expand our senior ranks and capacity, Jason and Marini were attracted by the fact that we concentrate solely on the insurance market and welcomed the opportunity to transition their existing clients to such an environment.”

Jason’s strong liability and personal injury claims background complements the existing Melbourne team, led by Sampath Soysa which has mainly focused on professional indemnity, construction and financial lines claims and complex multi-party property liability claims.

Both Jason and Sampath have a common interest  and skills in complex subrogated recovery matters for property insurers.  Jason and Marini’s arrival allows the firm to expand its service offering in Victoria across all key claims areas of relevance to insurers.

Sydney – Special Counsel Amanda Cowley

The firm has also recently appointed Special Counsel Amanda Cowley to its Sydney office. Amanda has recently returned to Australia after a lengthy stint in the US, where she acted for leading insurers defending high value PI and directors and officers claims.

“In Sydney, Amanda Cowley’s appointment will help the firm respond to the increased demand – particularly in the professional risk field – for our services in NSW,” explained Richard.

Amanda has built her expertise in the defense of professional negligence, directors and officers and public liability claims during her 25 years in commercial litigation and insurance law, both in Australia and the US.

Gilchrist Connell’s Client Approach

Gilchrist Connell’s service offering is purely insurance  law and defendant-side litigation and dispute avoidance. This encompasses virtually all fields in which insurance can be obtained – including public liability, professional risk of all types, directors and officers, construction, management liability, employment law, CTP and workers’ compensation.

The firm’s growth has continued year on year since opening its first offices in Sydney and Adelaide back in 2008. It now has 13 partners and around 60 lawyers operating nationally from offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide.

“Our growth has only ever been in response to client demand,” said Richard.

“Bigger is only better if it enables us to provide what our clients want – common-sense, commercial, realistically priced and easy to use legal services from people who understand both the big picture and the small details. With the new appointments of Jason, Marini and Amanda, we look forward to continuing to deliver the right service and value package for our clients,” he said.


For further information or  an interview, please contact:

Richard Wood,  Managing Principal, Adelaide Office

T: (08) 8215 7001

M: 0403 069 807


Sampath Soysa Principal, Melbourne Office

T: (03) 9044 5034

Jason Newman Principal, Melbourne Office

T: (03) 9044 5445