Assistant Crown Solicitor
Lara specialises in government insurance and risk and has over 20 years’ experience in litigation and dispute resolution in the private and public sectors. She leads Crown Law’s Government Insurance and Risk team, a team of over 35 lawyers and support staff, which advises and represents the State of Queensland in public liability and medical negligence claims.
With the removal of limitation periods in Queensland in 2017 for victims of historical child sexual abuse, Lara’s specialist team also manages all child sexual abuse litigation brought against the State, adhering at all times to the Whole of Government Guidelines for responding to civil litigation involving child sexual abuse.
During her career at Crown Law, Lara has personally conducted more than 500 complex personal injury claims for the State of Queensland and has represented the State in the High Court of Australia, the Court of Appeal, Supreme Court, District Court and Magistrates Court
As an expert litigator, Lara takes a proactive approach to her work. She has had conduct of some of Queensland’s most significant personal injuries litigation claims on behalf of the State including the Mount Isa lead poisoning litigation. Lara also acted for the State in the cases of Hardy v Queensland Corrective Services Commission and Hegarty v Queensland Ambulance Service, which led to precedent making law regarding personal injuries claims.
Lara has extensive experience advising and delivering presentations and workshops to government clients on a range of topics including historical sexual abuse claims, managing legal risk in the public sector, disclosure and managing workplace stress.
- Managing the Mt Isa Mines Special Project which involved a series of claims concerning alleged poisoning of children in Mt Isa, causing illnesses and developmental delays as a result of exposure to lead from direct ingestion of contaminated dust and inhalation of dust.
- Defending the Queensland Ambulance Service in the matter of Hegarty v Queensland Ambulance Service (2008) HCA Trans 121 in the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and ultimately in the High Court of Australia, setting precedent making law in relation to stress claims brought by emergency services workers.
- Defending the Queensland Corrective Services Commission in the matter of Hardy v Queensland Corrective Services Commission (2000) QSC 010 in the Supreme Court. The matter created precedent law in relation to stress claims brought by workers who were not in typically stressful jobs and the requirements of employers to guard against risk of psychological injuries in the workplace.
- Conducting asbestos litigation arising from exposure to asbestos in the workplace and exposure to asbestos by family members of State of Queensland employees.
- Conducting complex bullying and harassment claims involving claims for serious psychiatric illness often occurring over a period of time and involving multiple defendants and third parties under the Workers’ Compensation Legislation and the Personal Injuries Proceeding Act 2002.
- Overseeing and supervising her team’s conduct of thousands of claims including some of the State’s most significant, sensitive and complex personal injuries claims including:
— litigation involving sexual abuse perpetrated on minors in the care of the State of Queensland
— litigation involving catastrophic injuries sustained by minors as a result of domestic violence
— litigation involving catastrophic injuries sustained by tourists engaged in risky activities in Queensland’s national parks.
— claims for psychiatric injury caused during a mine subsidence incident at Collingwood Park in 2008
— litigation dependency claims brought by family members who were killed in the sinking of the vessel 'Malu Sara'
— litigation concerning alleged illness caused by formaldehyde used in State-owned buildings