Commercial Contracts, Banking, Finance and Insurance Sub-area NPA logo with link NPA logo with link

Commercial Contracts, Banking, Finance and Insurance Sub-area

About this Sub-Area

This Sub-area includes matters relating to:

  • commercial contracts
  • insurance
  • banking
  • finance
  • commercial transactional disputes.

Insurance List

In early 2016, the Court established an Insurance List within this Sub-area.

The aim of the insurance list is to provide the insurance commercial community (underwriters, reinsurers, brokers and insureds) with a way to promptly and efficiently resolve legal disputes without the need for lengthy hearings.

The list is not intended to deal with all insurance claims, but principally short matters relating to:

  • policy interpretation
  • the operation of insurance legislation.

The list will cover marine as well as non-marine insurance.

The Insurance List arrangements outline how this list operates within the Court.

Practice Notes

All practice notes are to be read with the Central Practice Note.  It is the essential guide to practice in the Federal Court in all proceedings.

The NPA practice note sets out the arrangements for the management of Commercial and Corporations proceedings in this sub-area:

NPA Practice Note:

Other general practice notes and Court developed guides which may be relevant to this Sub-area include:

General Practice Notes:


Forms, Rules & Fees

Filing fees for commencing a proceeding in this sub-area may apply. Information about Court fees, including the fees payable and circumstances where an exemption or deferral can be given is available in Forms, Fees & Costs or from the Registry.

A person may commence a proceeding in this sub-area by filing:



If commencing an Insurance List matter, practitioners should take note of the arrangements for the Insurance List.

Parties should consider whether it is necessary to file a Genuine steps statement (Form 16) in certain proceedings in this NPA - see r 8.02 of the Rules and the Civil Dispute Resolution Act 2011 (Cth) (including sections 6, 7 and 16).

Latest Judgments

  • 18 Oct 2019: Clarence City Council v Commonwealth of Australia [2019] FCA 1721
    COSTS - no reason to depart from usual order - no separate events
    Judge: O'Callaghan J
  • 17 Oct 2019: Bupa HI Pty Ltd v Chang [2019] FCAFC 180
    HEALTH LAW - proper interpretation and application of Medicare Benefits Schedule - claim by private health insurer under the Australian Consumer Law against ophthalmologist and his service company in respect of allegedly overpaid amounts - primary judge dismissed insurer's claim - appeal dismissed CONTRACT - whether insurer formed a "reasonable…
    Judge: Gleeson, O'Callaghan and Jackson JJ
  • 16 Oct 2019: Commonwealth of Australia v Essendon Airport Pty Ltd (No 2) [2019] FCA 1694
    COSTS - whether costs should follow the event - where the Court did not wholly accept the submissions of either party - where it was claimed that the conduct of the successful party caused the unsuccessful party to incur additional costs - where the decision of the Court did not align with the valuation position put by either party - whether the…
    Judge: Steward J
  • 14 Oct 2019: OPENetworks Pty Ltd v Myport Pty Ltd [2019] FCA 1659
    PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - whether Court should dismiss proceedings on the basis of undertakings - whether undertakings are required to be given to the Court - whether Court should continue proceeding seeking review of a decision of the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) pursuant to section 16(1)(a) of the Administrative Decisions (Judicial …
    Judge: O'Bryan J
  • 10 Oct 2019: Harvard Nominees Pty Ltd v Tiller [2019] FCA 1672
    PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - application by respondents to set aside subpoenas under r 24.15 of Federal Court Rules 2011 (Cth) - whether subpoenas have a legitimate forensic purpose - whether scope of subpoenas too wide - application successful in part
    Judge: Jackson J
  • 8 Oct 2019: Hill v Zhang (No 2) [2019] FCA 1649
    COSTS - application for costs of an interlocutory hearing be paid partly on an indemnity basis, and be taxed and payable immediately - costs ordered partly on an indemnity basis, and to be taxed and payable immediately
    Judge: Griffiths J
  • 30 Sep 2019: Fuge v Commonwealth Bank of Australia [2019] FCA 1621
    CONTRACTS - whether release extended to certain claims - application of legal and equitable principles of construction applicable to wide or general words of release. CONTRACTS - Unjust contracts - When contract or provision of contract is "unjust" - Where money borrowed for farming purposes on basis of business plan prepared on behalf of borrower …
    Judge: Lee J
  • 26 Sep 2019: Langbein v Mottershead Investments Pty Ltd [2019] FCA 1619
    PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - application by appellant for an extension of a stay of the judgment the appellant appeal's from under r 36.08 of the Federal Court Rules 2011 (Cth) - where respondent has offered personal undertakings to repay the judgment sum in the event that the appeal is successful - where appellant has already paid the judgment debt…
    Judge: Stewart J
  • 25 Sep 2019: Comeau v Libbesson [2019] FCA 1577
    PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - application to transfer proceedings from the Victoria District Registry to the New South Wales District Registry pursuant to s 48 of the Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 (Cth) - where applicants are Canadian and respondents are based in New South Wales - where likely witnesses are based in Canada or New South Wales -…
    Judge: Anderson J
  • 25 Sep 2019: Hill v Zhang [2019] FCA 1562
    PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - application for security for costs - where proceedings involve a substantial degree of overlap between claims brought by both an individual and corporate applicant - assessment of the individual's capacity to meet a potential costs order against the corporate applicant - security ordered PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE -…
    Judge: Griffiths J


To stay up-to-date with news in the Federal Court, including developments in this NPA, subscribe to our email subscription services.

We provide subscriptions to the latest judgments and events (by NPA); Practice News to keep up-to-date with changes to practice and procedure; and Daily Court Listings.

All Subscriptions

Important note: This information is procedural advice only. You should seek your own legal advice about legal cases and procedure in the Federal Court and in this area of law.