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Matt Ellis



Matt Ellis

Matt Ellis



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Matt Ellis is an insurance partner in our Melbourne office with a broad corporate, commercial and disputes practice. He regularly advises clients on regulatory compliance and disputes, insurance business reorganisations and transactions, governance and risk management.

Regional experience
Full Profile

Matt advises the insurance sector in both non-contentious and contentious matters, with a broad practice covering corporate transactions, commercial contracting, distribution, regulation, reinsurance and disputes.

With over 20 years’ experience in the insurance sector, Matt has worked in both the Australian and London markets. He has extensive knowledge of the sector across general, life and health insurance, and a deep understanding of all facets of the conduct of insurance business.

Matt has acted for insurers and their insureds under a range of liability policies (PI, D&O, public liability, management liability) on both coverage and defence mandates. He has extensive experience in cyber insurance (including incident response) and has represented clients in class actions and Royal Commissions, most notably in respect of the Black Saturday bushfires in Victoria, and the Hayne Royal Commission into the financial services sector.

Matt has advised clients on corporate transactions, including acquisitions and divestments of insurance businesses and related assets, such as IT platforms and insurance data. He has helped his clients through Federal Court approved insurance business transfers (portfolio transfers), internal reorganisations, joint ventures and related regulatory approval processes, including under FSSA and IATA. He has extensive experience advising underwriters on the risks in M&A transactions and coverage under warranty and indemnity insurance.

Matt also has a strong focus in insurance and financial services regulation, assisting clients navigate the significant regulatory reform agenda in Australia. He advises clients on AFSL licensing and compliance, breach investigation and reporting, prudential regulatory compliance (including material outsourcing, governance and remuneration) and the response to regulatory investigations and intervention.

Matt is a member of the Victorian Committee of the Australian Insurance Lawyers Association and is a regular speaker at industry and client events.


Corporate insurance

  • Advising Enstar Limited on the acquisition of Zurich’s CTP insurance business (in runoff) by way of court approved insurance scheme (portfolio transfer) and associated collateralised reinsurance.
  • Advised Ensrar Limited on the acquisition of Munich Re’s Australian agency businesses (in runoff) by way of court approved insurance scheme (portfolio transfer).
  • Advised AIG Australia on the disposal of certain personal lines business and associated IT assets.
  • Advised both local and foreign based W&I underwriters on a significant number of M&A transactions.

Insurance and disputes

  • Acted for an Australian life insurer in the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.
  • Acted for an Australian life insurer in class action litigation relating to the sale of consumer credit insurance.
  • Acted for a range of general insurers under professional indemnity, D&O and general liability. policies, both in coverage and defence roles, and in all Victorian and Federal courts.

Insurance Regulation 

  • Advised insurance clients on AFSL licencing and compliance, including breach reporting, licencing changes and applications, fit and proper requirements, remediation and risk management.
  • Advised on the implications of the Financial Accountability Regime and its likely application to the insurance sector, including implications for governance, group structuring and entity and individual liability.
  • Advising on a range of regulatory reform issues, including recent changes to add-on insurance products, design and distribution obligations and product governance generally, claims as a financial service, and the implications of s912A(1)(a) (particularly the element of “fairness”) in the conduct of insurance business.


  • Insurance



  • Commercial

  • Corporate

  • Regulatory & Investigations