HBA Legal® boosts WHS credentials with new Partner

Date: February 16, 2021


MEDIA RELEASE: Defendant insurance specialist HBA Legal has bolstered its workplace health and safety offering, bringing in highly-regarded expert Damian Hegarty in Brisbane.

Mr. Hegarty, formerly a partner at DWF, focuses on the defence of actions brought against companies and individuals by various regulators. Damian has been involved in a number of high-profile inquests and prosecutions both in Queensland and nationally.

HBA Legal Director Nathan Hepple said Mr. Hegarty has a strong following in the Queensland market.

“Growing our presence in Queensland has been a goal for some time and we are always on the lookout for cultural fit.  Now, as part of the Crawford & Company® group of companies, we have the support behind us to take our growth aspirations to the next level by bringing in experts like Damian.”

In November 2020, HBA Legal was acquired by Crawford & Company subsidiary Crawford & Company (Australia) Pty Limited. Crawford is the world’s largest publicly listed independent provider of claims management and outsourcing solutions to carriers, brokers and corporations. The acquisition of HBA Legal gives Crawford in Australia the ability to handle the entire claim lifecycle under one roof.

Mr. Hegarty said lawyers traditionally sat outside and separate to the rest of the claims cycle because of the typical business model of law firms: “This idea to have a law firm integrated within Crawford is unique and very shrewd.”

Mr. Hepple added: “As a business, Crawford in Australia now has every piece to the claims management puzzle from first notification of loss through to litigation, recoveries and risk management. This means Crawford has economies of scale as a one-stop-shop and we are able to offer superior and cost-effective solutions to our clients.”

“The compelling nature of the offering for clients, as part of Crawford, a global brand that has been trusted in the market for over 75 years, was a significant factor in my decision to join the business,” Mr. Hegarty said.

Mr. Hepple said: “In my opinion, there is no other law firm that can say to clients, ‘we’ll work as a collaborative group of experts in claims, adjusting, forensic accounting, building and legal to make sure you get the best result possible, with incredible value for money.’

 The value for money is market-leading because we have the efficiency of Crawford experts working together to touch the claim only when they are truly adding value.  Other law firms simply can’t put hand on heart and say that. But we are one company, One Crawford, and we can legitimately offer that service.

“Other claims management companies will pride themselves on keeping lawyers at bay because of the general reputation lawyers have for being expensive. But we know, absolutely, that it’s the legal eye, built into the claims process early on, in collaboration with all those other experts who are also critical in the claims lifecycle like adjusters and builders, that identifies issues which end up helping to reduce the duration of the claim and therefore save clients’ money,” Mr Hepple said.

Mr. Hegarty was recently included on the 2021 ‘Best Lawyers’ list in the area of Occupational Health & Safety.

This announcement comes just weeks after news that the firm had hired Ashurst talent Courtney Steele as partner to lead the Queensland office.




Media contact:

Sarah Tempest, Head of Communications (Crawford Legal Services)
0402 946 603


More about Damian Hegarty

As well as his expertise across OH&S, Damian also operates across the public liability and workers’ compensation space. His advice is sought by clients across sectors including construction, petroleum & gas, mining, manufacturing, environmental, retail, transport and electrical.


About Crawford® and Crawford Legal Services™

Based in Atlanta, Crawford & Company (NYSE: CRD‐A and CRD‐B) is the world’s largest publicly listed  independent provider of claims management and outsourcing solutions to carriers, brokers and corporates with an expansive global network serving clients in more than 70 countries. The Company’s two classes of stock are substantially identical, except with respect to voting rights and the Company’s ability to pay greater cash dividends on the non-voting Class A Common Stock (CRD-A) than on the voting Class B Common Stock (CRD-B), subject to certain limitations. In addition, with respect to mergers or similar transactions, holders of CRD-A must receive the same type and amount of consideration as holders of CRD-B, unless different consideration is approved by the holders of 75 percent of CRD-A, voting as a class. More information is available at www.crawco.com.

Crawford Legal Services (CLS) first formed in the UK in 2016, and today operates out of Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham. It has seen rapid growth in the UK with expertise in fraud, professional indemnity, financial risks, international travel, foreign jurisdictions, and subsidence. In 2019, Crawford Legal Services was named Best Law Firm at the British Claims Awards.

Off the back of the success in the UK, Crawford set out to expand its legal services presence in a number of other countries, including in Australia with the acquisition of HBA Legal.

HBA Legal forms part of the Crawford Legal Services offering globally but currently retains its existing name and brand.   HBA Legal has been in operation for a decade with offices in Sydney, Perth, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and Newcastle.

The business model of Crawford owned law firms, like HBA Legal, is that they can also operate as a standalone firm for clients who don’t need the integrated One Crawford connected claims solution.



www.crawco.com.au                                                                                                  www.hbalegal.com

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