Karen Francis

Senior Associate
Norton Rose Fulbright Australia

T:+61 8 6212 3261
T:+61 8 6212 3261
Karen Francis

Karen Francis



Karen Francis is an insurance and litigation lawyer in Perth. Her practice focusses on professional indemnity claims and coverage disputes in the financial services and infrastructure industries.

Karen has broad experience in insurance litigation and has defended claims brought against lawyers, engineers, financial advisors and medical practitioners. She also worked as in-house counsel to a Canadian provincial securities regulator, where she developed regulations governing securities dealers and advisors, and as in-house counsel and privacy officer to a Canadian accounting, consulting and corporate finance firm, where she advised on a range of issues including risk management, D&O liability, professional indemnity, regulatory compliance and data privacy issues. Karen’s in-house experience helps her to look at matters from her clients’ perspective and to provide practical, business-focussed advice.

Karen has represented clients in all levels of court in Western Australia and Alberta and has acted in complex international commercial arbitrations, private mediations, and judicial dispute resolution conferences.

Professional experience

Expand all Collapse all

2007 Master of Laws, University of Toronto
2001 Juris Doctor, University of Saskatchewan

  • Supreme Court of Western Australia 2013
  • High Court of Australia 2013
  • Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta 2003

  • acting for a stockbroking and financial services firm in respect of multiple claims by clients who incurred losses as a result of investing in a financial advisor’s fraudulent investment scheme.
  • advising a motoring and driver training company and its insurer in a claim for damages arising out of a workers compensation claim.
  • acting for the geotechnical engineers employed by an oil and gas exploration and production company in a multi-million dollar dispute with a horizontal directional drilling company in connection with the construction of a gas pipeline.  
  • acting for the consulting engineers in a dispute with a property developer relating to the design and construction of a man-made lake and geo-synthetic lake liner for an upscale residential development.
  • acting for a physiotherapist in a wrongful death action alleging that the physiotherapist performed a high velocity neck manipulation causing a vertebral artery dissection.  
  • defending numerous lawyers on instructions from the Alberta Lawyers Insurance Association in respect of various malpractice claims concerning failure to know or apply the law, breach of confidentiality, conflict of interest, or failure to follow instructions.
  • advising insurers in coverage disputes in professional negligence and motor vehicle accident claims.  
  • co-counsel to an international pipeline company in a US$15 million dollar UNCITRAL arbitration of a contract dispute with a Venezuelan agent.

Karen is committed to giving back to her community and volunteers as a mentor with the Smith Family’s iTrack online mentoring program. The program runs weekly from April to September and is offered to senior high school students from low socioeconomic areas in metropolitan Perth.

  • English