Rhett Kennedy


Insurance & Health

Rhett Kennedy is the National Insurance & Health Lead principal at Barry Nilsson.

"My interest in insurance law began when I took on a general litigation role at Barry Nilsson. A couple of insurance files were sitting in my in-tray. Through those initial files, I developed some very long-standing client relationships. Later, my work at BN led to yearly trips to London to see clients. As I tell my junior lawyers, insurance is not only important because it funds most major litigation throughout the world, but also because its emergence and evolution has been largely responsible for the development of Tort Law."

After a career spanning more than 30 years, Rhett now focuses on handling complex and strategically important claims, as well as managing a team of lawyers who specialise in:

  • Financial lines
  • Professional indemnity, including construction
  • Property
  • Public and product liability.
"I never take a one-size-fits-all approach when advising clients. Instead, I use my experience in the industry, as well as my legal analytical skills and insights into my clients’ aims, to ensure I know what they want to achieve so that I can get the best possible result. In the end, our clients want their legal spend to be appropriately balanced against either the size of their claim or the volume of claims. As a partner, I make sure that happens."

Rhett also has special expertise in claims resulting from catastrophic weather events.

He has experience in the following industries:

  • Building and construction
  • Mining
  • Professional services (solicitors, accountants and engineers).
"At Barry Nilsson, as a firm that has specialised in insurance for many years, we know not only the market but the stakeholders involved in the claims process, which helps us to consistently provide our clients with outstanding service. Even more importantly, our priority is to develop deep relationships with our clients because this makes both our job and theirs easier. It helps us ensure that we get a high-quality result for the lowest possible spend.
We’ve also taken the time to build outstanding teams of lawyers and, unlike a lot of firms, we don’t hide our people behind the scenes. Instead, once they get some experience, we encourage them to meet with our clients. This ensures that our legal work is of a very high standard, because we give our senior associates and associates the chance to get a proper sense of what our clients want to achieve."

Rhett has been recognised in Best Lawyers for Insurance Law since 2016, and was named Lawyer of the Year for Insurance Law in the 2018 edition. In 2021 he was awarded a 5-Star Excellence Award for Insurance Law in the inaugural 5-Star Insurance Law Report. He has also been recognised as a Preeminent Professional Indemnity Lawyer from 2019 to 2023, and a Leading Public and Product Liability Lawyer from 2019 to 2022 in Queensland by Doyle's Guide. Rhett was also awarded Life Membership by AILA.

  • Bachelor of Laws
  • Bachelor of Arts

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