HBA Legal investing in talent as part of Crawford & Company®

Date: January 28, 2021


MEDIA RELEASE:  National insurance law firm HBA Legal has started implementing its talent acquisition and growth plan just 12 weeks after integrating into Crawford & Company®, the world’s largest publicly listed independent provider of claims management and outsourcing solutions to carriers, brokers and corporations.

Courtney Steele joins the defendant insurance specialists as partner, following 13 years with Ashurst, and brings with her Solicitor Kaila Leendertz.  Ms. Steele will head up HBA’s existing Brisbane office.

HBA Legal Director, Nathan Hepple, who now leads strategy and growth for the law firm in Australia, said Ms. Steele joins the business with a great deal of enthusiasm for the changing operating model.

“As part of Crawford®, we can now offer clients a compelling solution: the ability to handle the entire claim lifecycle under one roof,” he said.

“As a business, Crawford in Australia now has every piece to the claim puzzle from first notification of loss through to litigation and recoveries, plus risk management. That means we have economies of scale and we are able to offer a broad range of expertise, excellent service and cost-effective solutions,” Mr. Hepple added.

Ms. Steele said with the changing legal landscape and evolving expectations from clients, she was excited to start the next chapter.

“Clients, for a long time now, have wanted their legal providers to work with them on their ‘more for less’ challenge. Our clients have commercial realities and as a true business partner we owe it to them to innovate and deliver in that regard,” she said.

“The One Crawford connected claims solution is unmatched in the market today and I’m thrilled to be joining early in HBA’s journey with Crawford.  I am energised to start talking to clients about how we can do more for them,” Ms. Steele added.

Mr. Hepple explained the importance of a streamlined and aligned claims journey: “Having a number of different service providers involved across the life of a claim, which until now has been the reality, creates the risk of service providers going over the same ground in validating claims.  And the client is paying for that potential duplication of work.

“So whether the client is a big insurer or a self-insured corporate, by working with Crawford they are assured that critical evidence is housed in the one place, there is efficiency because we are one organisation and they can have comfort that the legal eye is built into the process from the beginning. It’s this integrated model with loss adjusters, forensic accountants, TPA claims managers, building experts and lawyers, working side by side, that helps save clients’ money because we are able to help reduce the duration of claims,” he said.

Crawford & Company (Australia) Pty Limited acquired HBA Legal in November last year as part of its strategy to build a truly integrated global law firm. Adding a law firm to its existing lines of business means Crawford® can offer clients a seamless connected claims solution.

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 offering.




Media contact:

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



More about Courtney Steele

 Ms. Steele is widely considered an expert across medical malpractice & health law, workers’ compensation, public liability, personal injuries, contractual disputes and indemnity disputes.  Courtney’s reputation lines up with key industry areas of HBA Legal – Health Law and Retail, Hospitality, Leisure and she has extensive experience in the mining industry.

Ms. Steele advises insurers and public companies.  She has experience working with clients from the first incident investigation until the last piece of litigation that arises. Along the way, she assists clients with witness interviews, risk management and assessment, review of policies and procedures, training staff and then managing all aspects of litigation in the aftermath of incidents including public liability, workers’ compensation, monetary claims and breach of contract and indemnities. Her most high-profile cases include large scale incidents, fatalities, armed robberies, assault and catastrophic injuries.


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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