Nicholas is a specialist in the area of personal injury litigation with 20 years' experience in the conduct of complex personal injuries litigation on behalf of the State of Queensland, as well as in private practice prior to joining Crown Law in 1997.
Nicholas currently acts for the State of Queensland in a broad range of complex and high profile litigation claims. Nicholas’ extensive litigation experience includes providing high quality advice in respect to matters arising out of his areas of expertise.
Nicholas was the Deputy Crown Solicitor of the Government Insurance Branch for five years before being appointed to the role of Senior Special Counsel in 2013. In his current role as Senior Special Counsel, Nicholas dedicates his time to the management of complex and contentious civil claims in the area of personal injury litigation.
Nicholas’ complex portfolio contains files with a variety of challenging scenarios including:
- serious physical and psychiatric injuries
- bullying claims
- false imprisonment claims
- incidents involving deaths in custody of prisoners and persons under arrest
- claims relating to allegations of excessive force by members of the Queensland Police Service
- alleged assaults to prisoners whilst incarcerated
- complex liability scenarios with multiple defendants and/or third parties
- unrepresented claimants and those without representation or legal capacity
- sensitive public policy and public relations issues
- allegations of fraud and misappropriation of funds arising out of personal injury claims.
Some of the complex and high profile litigation claims Nicholas has worked on and assisted on include:
- personal injuries claims arising out of the 2011 Queensland Floods Events
- a student who broke into a school swimming pool with friends and subsequently drowned
- a claim relating to the death of a child when a dam wall collapsed in central Queensland in 2008
- Mt Isa lead litigation claims
- Palm Island riot claims
- sinking of the 'Malu Sara' claims
- personal injuries claims arising from the Collingwood Park subsidence.
Some of the more unique areas that Nicholas has been called upon to provide advice include:
- exposure of the Environmental Protection Agency to public liability claims and the effects of the Civil Liability Act 2003 having regard to dangerous recreational activities
- an employer’s vicarious liability for practical jokes committed by its employees
- whether payments under s. 60 of the Corrective Services Act 1988 could be off-set against future awards of common law damages
- payments of statutory refunds under the Health Insurance Act 1998 where no proceedings have commenced and a claimant only seeks recovery of expenses
- the right of a plaintiff to have an expert assess the safety of school property by way of invasive inspection involving potential damage to it.
Nicholas has successfully defended numerous personal injury claims and has brought successful applications to strike out claims for want of prosecution. He has also appeared as an advocate and has represented Crown Law in directions hearings and interlocutory and chamber applications.
Nicholas is also one of the nominated contact officers for the Queensland Government Insurance Fund and meets with them regularly to discuss their particular legal needs and ongoing requirements