Who we are

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Hughes and Lewis Legal is the start-up that had to happen.

With close to 50 years of combined insurance law experience, the team at Hughes and Lewis have helped insurers and injured people achieve the right results in the right way.

Friendly and easy-going coupled with professionalism, and a winning attitude, is how we approach all our matters.

 
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Our Partners

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Belinda Hughes

Director

Who is Belinda Hughes?

Belinda grew up in regional Queensland.  Until she made it to the big smoke her days were spent studying (yes – you know the type) working at the local bakery and getting down to Shaggy at the school blue light disco… but a career in the compensation field issued its clarion’s call.

Belinda, are you qualified to practise law?

I’d never pretend to be a lawyer —I swear.

Belinda?

Ok, ok. I was admitted as a solicitor in 2003 and I have a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and a Bachelor of International Business.

What have you done in your career?

For the last 12 years I’ve specialised in workers’ compensation and public liability claims, both as a lawyer within WorkCover Queensland, and then as an external panel lawyer contracted to that organisation. Apart from WorkCover Queensland and a number of other workers’ compensation self-insurers, I have also acted for public liability insurers and directly for clients with large excesses. Having acted for ‘defendants’ I have a unique perspective on how to get the best results on the other side of the table, when I’m acting for injured people. 

I also sit on the Executive Committee of Women in Insurance (Qld) and on the Awards Committee for the National Association of Women in Construction (Qld). 

Name your top cases.

I acted for WorkCover Queensland in Clayton v Jetcrete Oz Pty Ltd [2017] QDC 003 in which we successfully proved the incident didn’t occur and there was no fault (negligence) on the part of the employer even if it had.  This decision is significant because it is one of the few matters an insurer has been able to defend in a Northern Queensland Court and it shows how important it is to make sure only the right matters progress to trial and, when they do, they are properly prepared.  

I also dealt with the matter of Alan Seymour Yarrow (as the Executor of the Estate of the late William David Keith Cameron) v Workers’ Compensation Regulator - WC/2016/6, a decision that stopped the practice of some firms double dipping in compensation claims for asbestos in multiple jurisdictions.

I also acted for WorkCover Queensland in Muller v Leighton Contractors Pty Ltd & Ors (unreported, Supreme Court, 5364/2012), a large value case for a mining joint venture where the Plaintiff agreed to judgment in WorkCover’s favour at the end of the first day of trial.  This matter was progressed openly and consistently from the onset.  Early on we identified the worker’s injuries were not related to the claimed incident and this position was maintained.

What’s important to you? 

Empowering women, family, wine… not necessarily in that order...

Head to Belinda’s LinkedIn to connect and get more details of her career.


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Catherine King

Consultant

Who is Catherine King?

Catherine originally hails from South Australia, has access to quality cleanskins (her brother’s a wine-maker) and is literally the Jacques Cousteau (she scuba dives!) of the Hughes + Lewis team. These attributes did not get her the job at Hughes + Lewis Legal – maybe the wine connection helped… What really helped? She’s a fierce lawyer who knows her way around all facets of personal injuries law. 

Catherine, are you qualified to practise law?

I’m confident Hughes & Lewis paid the renewal fee for my practising certificate, so yes, I’m permitted to practice law for this financial year.  I also have a double degree in law and media from South Australia.

Um, does your experience precede this financial year?

Haha yes. I’ve specialised in personal injury/insurance litigation for around nine years.

Give us a rundown of your career.

I worked for a firm that represented injured plaintiffs in Adelaide when I was a law clerk/junior solicitor and when I relocated to Brisbane, continued this work as a solicitor. I spent a few years working at one of the big plaintiff firms, working on the holy trinity of motor vehicle, public liability and WorkCover claims. 

I later jumped the fence to work as a defendant lawyer and have spent the past four years specialising in WorkCover defendant matters. 

Like many other lawyers I had a break from law... to pursue my artistic side in graphic design, so I wouldn’t die wondering. It wasn’t for me but it made me realise that the legal industry is where my true calling lies.

What’s important to you?

Modernising legal industry attitudes and processes, scuba diving, sustainability, wine with friends and family.

If you want to know more about Catherine, connect with her on LinkedIn.

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Jason Lewis

Director

Who is Jason Lewis?

Jason is (cough) a movie star. You may know him from movies such as No Smoking, Bible Squad and Sh*t List.

He doesn’t like to admit his big break into amateur films was because he owned the only suit among the cast.

Jason, are you qualified to practise law?

I’d like to think I am, after 24 long years in law.

C’mon, Jason, be more specific.

I’ve got a Bachelor of Laws. That was after 5 years indentured servitude … I mean, Articles of Clerkship beginning in 1988. I was admitted as a solicitor in 1994. 

Give us a rundown of
your career.

I’ve worked in the compensation field since 1998, helping insurers in worker's compensation and compulsory third party claims (both in private practice and in various in-house roles with both WorkCover Queensland and Suncorp Insurance).  

I was recommended in the 2015 and 2017 editions of Doyle’s Guide as a leading workers’ compensation and WorkCover lawyer (defendant) in Queensland.  

I’ve also helped injured people in worker's compensation, motor vehicle accident, public liability, medical negligence and Total & Permanent Disability claims. I also sit on the Board of a Brisbane primary school, and regularly perform other voluntary work to assist the members of my local community. What can I say? I’m an all-round flexible guy.

Name your top cases.

In my capacity as a panel lawyer for WorkCover Queensland I successfully represented that organisation in the key decision of Sinclair v Sunshine Coast Independent Living Service Inc [2016] QSC 63

We successfully proved the alleged incident never occurred, meaning we had a complete win.  This decision was a strong endorsement of WorkCover’s commitment to selected contested litigation i.e. carefully selecting which matters should be resolved promptly out of court and which should be vigorously and successfully defended at trial. 

Jason, why do you have one top case and Belinda has many?

Because I’m a lover, not a fighter.

Mediation and out of court settlement is what I do best.

What’s important to you? 

Community, family, Star Wars… Star Wars may come first.

Head to Jason’s LinkedIn to connect and get more details of his career.






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Duncan Hutchings

Consultant

Who is Duncan Hutchings?

Prior to becoming a lawyer Duncan was a mash potato consultant, working closely with high end potato restaurants in London, Paris, New York and Boonah (this was not in your CV Duncan…).

Since the potato days Duncan has pursued a love of saxophone, jazz music, hiking and pipe smoking (of the legal kind), and reminisces frequently over his student days when he had an afro bigger than a beach ball.

Duncan, are you qualified to practise law?

Law is like learning an instrument –“practice makes perfect”. I practise at least an hour a day.

Details please, Duncan.

I’ve got a Bachelor of Laws and was admitted in 2005.

Give us a rundown of your career.

For over 14 years I’ve worked for defendants and plaintiffs in the public liability, motor vehicle and workers compensation fields. For the last 10 years I have specialised in workers compensation, working in house and then as a panel member for a major Queensland insurer.

Name your top cases.

I’ve been involved in only two cases which have gone to trial. I won’t bore you with the details, except to say in each case the party I represented won. So far, I have a perfect track record with trials, and hope to keep it that way.

Why so few trials? 

I’m focused on resolving claims quickly, with minimal expense.

What’s important to you? 

In order: family, wine, music, my cat Percy and world peace.

If you want to know more about Duncan, connect with him on LinkedIn.