Quality and consistency through collaboration

Sparke Helmore is pleased to announce that three senior lawyers have joined the firm to grow our market-leading Health team.

Our Health team is led by Partner Kerri Thomas and made up of partners and senior lawyers who have expertise in both health and insurance law. In the health space, our team advises medical defence organisations, domestic and international underwriters (and Lloyd’s syndicates) and insurers, underwriting agencies and cover holders. We act for hospitals, clinics, registered health practitioners and other medical services providers in medical malpractice litigation, investigations and disciplinary hearings, and coronial inquiries.  We also advise on matters related to regulatory compliance, policy drafting, and coverage and indemnity issues.

In Sydney, Marie-Clare Elder joins us as a Partner and Marie Panuccio as a Special Counsel. Adelaide-based Lani Carter is a returning Sparkie, re-joining us as a Special Counsel after a short stint at another firm.

Marie-Clare Elder—Marie-Clare is a highly regarded lawyer with experience in health, medical negligence, and personal injury litigation. She has been a partner in private practice in Australia, held senior in-house roles in both Australia and the United Kingdom and is a former clinical nurse specialist in intensive care. Her expertise includes medical negligence proceedings, coronial inquiries, disciplinary and regulatory matters, employment, impaired practitioner hearings, Medicare audits and reviews, privacy complaints and hospital inquiries and investigations.

Prior to entering private practice, Marie-Clare was the Senior Legal Counsel—Manager Legal Services at Medical Insurance Group Australia (MIGA) where she was responsible for leading the eastern seaboard team and as the General Counsel/Head of Legal Services for The Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, delivering legal services to 6000 staff and the hospital executive.

Marie Panuccio—Marie specialises in the defence of claims for professional negligence, disciplinary proceedings, coronial inquiries, and criminal matters on behalf of medical indemnity insurers, medical practitioners, nurses, and healthcare facilities.

Marie has advised and represented medical practitioners of varying specialities on issues of informed consent, assault and trespass, negligent diagnoses, catastrophic claims, and all aspects of medical negligence litigation in the Supreme and District Courts of NSW. She also has a specialist expertise in defending medical practitioners and healthcare facilities in criminal matters.

Lani Carter—Lani has re-joined our insurance team in Adelaide to lead the professional indemnity practice in both South Australia and the Northern Territory. She assists professional services specialists to defend claims made against them and regulatory complaints made to professional bodies.

Lani acts for medical and allied health professionals, lawyers, brokers, accountants, agents and builders across a wide spectrum of matters including having advised on Royal Commissions and inquiries.  She also provides advice on property liability claims and recoveries.

Health team leader, Kerri Thomas said, “Marie-Clare, Marie and Lani bring to the team a wealth of experience, expanding the depth and breadth of our truly national coverage and demonstrating Sparke Helmore’s unwavering commitment to the broader health sector both domestically and internationally.”

About Sparke Helmore

We’ve come a long way since our doors first opened in the Hunter in 1882. We’ve had an office in Sydney since the ‘60s and we recently opened our ninth office in Darwin.

We cover six key areas of law – Corporate & Commercial, Commercial Insurance, Government, Property Environment & Finance, Statutory Lines of Insurance and Workplace – with more than 30 specialised areas of expertise. We’re a truly national, full service and proudly Australian firm that delivers results through deep collaboration with our clients. Wherever our clients need us, that’s where we’ll be.

Covering a big country needs a big team—we’re more than 850 people now and still growing. And in true Australian spirit, we’re friendly, approachable and easy to work with. And when you work with one of us, you get the expertise of all of us.

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