Laura BeattieSpecial Counsel
Laura joined Sparke Helmore in May 2014 in our Sydney office and has been a workers’ compensation practitioner for more than 25 years. She has specialised in providing legal services to self and specialised insurers for the last nine years and has extensive knowledge and experience of the industry specific legislation and jurisdiction.
What she does
Laura represents clients in the Personal Injury Commission, the District Court of NSW (Civil and Residual Jurisdiction), the Supreme Court of NSW, and the NSW Court of Appeal. Laura is an experienced advocate and acts for clients in statutory workers compensation claims, claims for work injury damages and in coal mining litigation. Laura also advises on liability issues involving injury, causation, incapacity and entitlements with a focus on early resolution where appropriate. Laura has conducted the defence of complex claims, work injury damages and common law matters, as well as scheme-significant matters.
Laura had carriage of a matter for a Treasury Managed Fund (TMF) client and was successful in the Court of Appeal on behalf of her client in a section 11A dispute (Northern NSW Local Health Network v Heggie  NSWCA 255). This has become a benchmark case for the application of section 11A with regard to raising a defence based on reasonable action on behalf of an employer in a psychological injury claim.
Laura’s self- insurer focus allows her to create whole of business solutions for her clients.
Laura is also a skilled negotiator applying ADR techniques to informal settlement conferences, conciliations and mediations.
Laura regularly conducts workshops and provides in-house training to clients on workers’ compensation and legislative issues as well as best claims management practices. This work includes providing training on legislative changes, standards of practice and drafting a suite of precedents for several clients.
Who she works with
Laura works with specialised insurers and self-insured employers including energy providers, transport and local Councils. She also assists Joanne Palamara with specialised work in the coal mining industry.
Laura has a Diploma in Law (LPAB)
Life before Sparkes
Laura previously worked at DLA Piper and Phillips Fox for over 15 years in statutory insurance.
Life outside of Sparkes
Outside of work Laura loves spending time with her family, friends and two dogs. She also enjoys going to the theatre, ballet and live music.