Chanel Bou-FrancisSenior Associate
Chanel has over 6 years’ experience as a litigator, specialising in national liability disputes across the casualty, aviation and property space, including having been seconded to the claims team for one of the firm’s largest insurer clients. During this secondment, Chanel provided complex and technical legal support in response to high profile building and construction disasters, gaining significant legal and commercial insights into the sector.
Chanel’s commitment to nurturing enduring relationships with key clients and her extensive mentoring of more junior lawyers was recognised by the firm in her promotion to Senior Associate at 4 years PAE. She is often praised by Counsel for being astute and canvassing the relevant issues in a case and regularly takes initiative in her approach to defence and preparation of a matter.
Exemplifying a strong commitment to the insurance industry, Chanel is a member of various industry organisations such as Australian Insurance Law Association (AILA), Women in Insurance, Claims Discussion Group and the Aviation Law Association of Australia and New Zealand. In 2022, Chanel also hosted a Young Insurance Professionals mooting competition at the national AILA conference. It is through this total immersion in industry, that Chanel is able to deliver enhanced services and better claims outcomes to her clients.
Strongly passionate about DEI in the insurance industry, Chanel is a regular participant in Women in Insurance events, the Dive in Festival (an insurance movement committed to the promotion of inclusive work practices) and has for the last two years captained the 2022 and 2023 Sparke Helmore Touch of Colour Team (a gala day touch football and fundraising event organised by the insurance industry and KidsXpress to support children who have suffered from traumatic social and psychological experiences). Chanel’s strong dedication to access to justice has led her to build a strong pro bono practice, volunteering at various legal community groups and within her broader local community.
Chanel has also been recognised by her peers in Best Lawyers 2023 and 2024 on the Ones to Watch list in insurance law.
What she does
Chanel has particular experience acting for insurers and their clients in defence of personal injury and property liability claims. She deals primarily with litigated matters across a range of jurisdictions. She regularly appears to represent her clients in complex and often multi-party litigation including hearings in the Local, District and Supreme Courts. Chanel has been seconded to the claims team for one of the firm’s largest insurer clients, managing her own portfolio of liability claim files, some which arose out of highly publicised disasters.
Chanel otherwise devotes her time to taking on various pro-bono matters and initiatives, which is a crucial way of giving back to individual members and groups of the community.
Who she works with
Chanel works with a range of Australian and overseas insurers, their insureds and brokers.
Chanel has a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Notre Dame.
Life before Sparkes
Prior to joining the firm in 2018, Chanel worked with another national firm specialising in insurance and liability. Chanel also worked in an in-house role responding to employment and workplace disputes in the pharmaceutical industry before gaining experience in criminal law, where she was key to defending criminal prosecutions and bail applications.
Life outside of Sparkes
Chanel can be found trail walking and hiking through various national parks and mountain tracks, photographing the great views of nature. She enjoys embracing her cultural background particularly over a traditional dish with her family and friends.