Melanie Quixley is a principal in our Insurance & Health team and is based in the Brisbane office.
‘I began my career as a member of the legal liaison team of a major insurer, where I gained experience in litigation and mediation. I then joined a national law firm, where I ran a large number of claims for a diverse array of clients. I also spent time each week working in-house with a major client, giving ad hoc legal advice. This experience made me appreciate that, to be a good insurance lawyer, you can’t simply rely on your knowledge of the law; you have to understand your client’s business. In 2003, I joined Barry Nilsson, where I’ve developed a practice in the areas of general liability and professional indemnity.’
Melanie is committed to a ‘firm, but fair’ handling of claims, taking a robust approach to defending her clients’ cases. She is experienced in advising on and managing claims in the following areas:
- Policy coverage and first party claims
- Public liability (including personal injury, product liability and property damage)
- Professional indemnity (including pure economic loss)
- Subrogated recovery claims.
Melanie’s practice includes a large amount of work for local authorities on insurance issues arising in the areas of personal injury, building and construction, development approvals, nuisance, misrepresentation and misfeasance in public office. She manages a wide portfolio of personal injury claims including claims for catastrophic injury and loss of dependency and also handles CTP and dust diseases claims. With particular expertise in matters concerning defamation disputes, Melanie defends insurers and their insureds in defamation cases, both in regards to social media and traditional media outlets. Her experience includes advising on concerns notices that are issued to publishers of alleged defamatory publications.
Melanie is the preferred lawyer for a national rail company when defending or prosecuting claims for property loss and personal injury. She is also the preferred lawyer for a national construction and services company for their public liability personal injury claims around the country.
Although based in our Brisbane office, Melanie has built a national practice, handling matters for clients in New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.
‘I think my clients appreciate that I’m both accessible and responsive. Insurance law is complex and, as a lawyer, you need to be able to see the big picture. When I work with a client, I want to understand not only the nature of their business, but also how they operate and what their drivers are. This enables me to match my claims management style to my client’s needs, while helping them to achieve their business goals. In the end, the best legal advice is specifically tailored to the client’s particular situation and I’m very focused on this when providing advice.’
In addition to her work as a litigator, Melanie advises her corporate clients on both risk management and contractual terms.
Melanie was the exclusive winner of the 2018 and 2021 Client Choice Award for Insurance in Australia which recognises solicitors from around the world for the level of client care they provide and the quality of their service. She has been listed in Best Lawyers for Insurance Law, Personal Injury Litigation and Product Liability Litigation, and has been named a 'Lawyer of the Year' for Product Liability Litigation in Brisbane, in 2023. She has also been recognised in Doyle's Guide as a Recommended Public & Product Liability Lawyer and Recommended Professional Indemnity Lawyer in the 2023 edition. Melanie is the President of the National Board of the Australian Insurance Law Association (AILA), and is the past President of the Queensland chapter.
‘At Barry Nilsson, we’ve had a reputation for over 50 years as a firm that provides outstanding advice on insurance issues. We’re experienced, specialised and we always ensure that the best lawyer for the job does the work. That’s a big part of the BN culture. We’re very focused on getting the best possible result for the client. Our clients tell us that we provide the best value for money. I suspect that’s because we’re so focused on partnering with our clients to meet their needs.’