HBA Legal appoints first special counsel

A seasoned defendant litigator has joined

HBA Legal appoints first special counsel

HBA Legal has appointed its first-ever special counsel.

Toby Whyte has joined the insurance-specialist NewLaw firm. She moves after more than two years as a senior associate at Moray & Agnew. She was also previously with Jarman McKenna and K N Allan, both in Perth. The new special counsel has more than 15 years’ experience providing legal services to the Insurance Commission of Western Australia, the firm said.

“Toby is well respected as one of Perth’s best defendant personal injury litigators, particularly when it comes to motor vehicle claims, so having Toby on our team is a big win for us,” said Brett Ablong, HBA’s managing director.

Whyte will join the firm’s malpractice and health law practice led by Dr Andrew Lu OAM, who the firm recruited in June to spearhead the practice in Perth.

“As we grow our health industry portfolio under Dr Lu, Toby will also assist in the resolution of vocational and disciplinary matters involving health practitioners and at inquests involving doctors and hospitals,” Ablong said.

Whyte will also work in the motor injury insurance practice led by partner Ruth Slater. Her focus will include personal injury matters, such as medical treatment liability and motor injury cases, for some of the firm’s key clients, the firm said.

“She is renowned for providing timely, proactive claims management advice to her clients based on the principles of early intervention, accurate advice and effective risk management,” Ablong said. “In Toby, we have gained wisdom of experience thanks to her handling of matters involving complex issues of medical causation, as well as her ability in giving advice on liability and quantum for dependency claims that arise from more serious accidents.”

Whyte said that the move is personally and professionally exciting for her. HBA is known for its collaborative partnership with clients and its creative and pragmatic approach to problem solving. The firm meets client needs via a bespoke fee structure that takes into account challenges faced by the client, she said.

“The legal profession is undergoing great change right now and HBA is at the forefront of that and, now, so am I,” Whyte said.

HBA Legal is part of the HBA Group, which also includes claims management business Paratus and legal process and technology provider Pillion. The businesses were founded by Ablong and Nathan Hepple.


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