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Ross Donaldson

Special Counsel

People

Ross Donaldson

Ross Donaldson

Special Counsel

People

Ross Donaldson

Ross Donaldson

Special Counsel

Full Profile

Ross's experience involves advising on a range of insurance related matters, both litigated and unlitigated. He regularly defends claims in all courts and tribunals in Australia. He has acted for all major Australian insurers and many international insurance underwriters.

He has defended claims involving large constructions projects, claims brought against most professionals, including the legal, accounting, building, finance and medical professions. He has also defended professionals in the disciplinary and regulatory environment.

Ross's liability practice extends to malpractice claims in respect to medical and allied health professionals, pathology and radiology services, aged care and nursing facilities. This work includes OH&S breaches and investigations and coronial inquest.

Ross has a particular interest in recreation liability and has defended recreation facilities and the providers of recreational service providers including, equine training and teaching facilities, go kart operators, school camps hiking and climbing activities.

Ross has wide experience in defending public liability and product liability claims for business and property owners, including for shopping centres, medical facilities and residential properties.

He has experience in defending claims in regard to employment disputes and has acted for professionals and businesses in defending prosecutions under the occupational health and safety laws.

Ross has also appeared for a number of government agencies in coronial inquests and has represented other parties in respect to inquests into deaths and fires in Victoria.

Ross currently serves on a number of professional committees of the Law Institute of Victoria in the practice areas of litigation, medical malpractice and public liability.

Experience
  • Acted for building professionals in economic loss claims arising out of combustible cladding fixed to Melbourne residential developments.
  • Defended malpractice claim against private hospital in respect to child born with cerebral palsy. Required to coordinate defence of hospital, engage expert obstetricians to advise on liability and quantum, coordinate defence with co-defendant obstetrician, and advise generally on substantial litigation where damages were likely exceed AUD5 million.
  • Advised trustees in in regard to economic loss claim of AUD60 million brought by beneficiaries of and investment trust in regard to the alleged mismanagement.
  • Acted for insurers in regard to directors and officer's insurance claim arising out of the financial collapse of Estate Mortgages and Tricontinental Bank in Victoria.
  • Successfully defended a class action claim (Cranbourne tip methane gas escape class action). Claim against engineer in respect to environmental damage to surrounding residential subdivision caused by landfill site. In this multi-party litigation Ross coordinated a legal team and technical (environmental engineering experts) on behalf of the client’s insurers. The claim required an analysis of complex expert engineering evidence. After a series of multi day mediations over 18 months, an experts’ conclave and further negotiations the claim was settled on favourable terms for the client.
  • Acted for a go kart facility in respect to a number of personal injury claims from go kart accidents. Required a technical analysis using experts of the mechanical causes of the accidents as it related to the characteristics of the go kart and track creation and the safety requirements for users. The application of the Australian Consumer Law as it relates to the provision of recreation services and contractual waivers and exclusions were relevant.
  • Acted for engineers in respect to the Melbourne Aquarium legionella bacteria outbreak class action in the Supreme Court of Victoria. It was a class action brought by multiple claimants including the operators of the aquarium in respect to personal injury and economic loss.
  • Acted for a company prosecuted in respect to the Carlton wall collapse. One of the most significant OH&S prosecutions since the Longford Gas prosecutions, involving a prosecution, coroner’s inquest and potential civil claims.
  • Acted in multi party litigation Supreme Court proceedings on behalf of Lloyd’s underwriters involving allegations against legal, accounting and business professionals arising out of a failed multi-million-dollar business acquisition.
  • Acted for financial advisor in regard to claims arising out of failed Timbercorp agricultural schemes. Requires a consideration of previous class action proceedings brought by investors against the Timbercorp entities and related appeals.

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Expertise

Ross focuses on most aspects of liability and insurance law, including professional liability, malpractice, recreation liability, OH&S, public liability, directors' and officers', product liability, general insurance and life and related illness cover.

Offices & Regions covered