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Editorial

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Overview

Insurance M&A activity has continued at a steady pace following the relative inactivity of 2014. Pressures on the cost of capital and regulatory difficulties have continued to drive consolidation among both insurers and brokers, and lack of product development is expected to drive further consolidation within the reinsurance market, particularly in Bermuda.

Coverage disputes remain highly active on the contentious insurance side, the most prevalent among these being claims related to professional indemnity, directors and officer’s liability; property damage; and major catastrophes. Sanctions introduced in Russia, and the ongoing political turmoil in Eastern Europe has led to a continued stream of trade credit and political risk work, and the marine and energy sectors have also seen significant activity. On the policyholder side, Clifford Chance and Allen & Overy LLP have notable strength in political risk claims, credit insurance and property damage, and Clyde & Co LLP, whose client roster includes almost every major global insurer and reinsurer, has strong expertise in niche areas such as contingency, bloodstock and cyber liability.

Regulatory changes continue to be one of the main risks facing insurers in the market, particularly when adapting to risk-based capital regimes. The new Insurance Act, which was passed in February 2015 but does not come into effect until July 2016, is anticipated to have a substantial impact on the wider insurance market, and will have important consequences for policyholders. This has increased demand for advisory work in relation to its implementation, particularly in relation to the placing of new insurance law business. The implementation of Solvency II has changed the way insurers manage risk and regulatory capital, and demand for Solvency II-related advice remains high. The uncertainty surrounding regulatory changes has led to much work involving reorganisation, consolidation and occasionally exits from markets and lines of business.

The Jackson Reforms of April 2013 continue to impact clinical negligence and personal injury practices, with risk assessment and increased focus on cost budgeting being the major issues. The reforms, along with the increase in court fees, have resulted in less lower-value claims being taken to trial, and has also led to an increased interest in arbitration. Fieldfisher, Leigh Day and Kingsley Napley LLP have acted on some of the most high-profile clinical negligence claims of the past year, and Capsticks LLP, Hempsons and Kennedys continue to be highly rated on the defendant side.


Clinical negligence: claimant

Index of tables

  1. Clinical negligence: claimant
  2. Leading individuals (Claimant and Defendant)

Fieldfisher’s ‘top-tier clinical negligence team’ provides ‘the highest levels of customer service’, and ‘takes a real interest in cases that other solicitors might shy away from’. Paul McNeil (who is ‘one of the most experienced claimant lawyers’) heads the practice, which includes the ‘formidableSamantha Critchley, ‘capable and professional solicitorMark Bowman, and Edwina Rawson, who recently secured £3.8m in a cancer treatment negligence claim. Iona Meeres-Young is ‘very good at working with the bereaved’.

Irwin Mitchell’s ‘strong litigation team’ provides ‘a sophisticated system of support’ and has ‘excellent contacts with medical experts’. Practice head Alison Eddy specialises in brain and spinal injury, and has ‘unparalleled experience and first-rate skills’. Ian Christian is ‘very highly regarded’, and Auriana Griffiths is ‘intelligent, determined and committed’. Newly promoted partner Anita Jewitt is recommended for obstetric and spinal cord injury cases.

Kingsley Napley LLP is noted for its ‘efficient, effective and friendly client care’, and for its track record handling a broad range of catastrophic and fatal injury claims. Clients single out Kate Rohde for her ‘wealth of experience and cutting-edge approach’; she frequently acts for bereaved families on behalf of profoundly injured children and adults. Terrence Donovan heads the group, and is ‘well known for his expertise in brain injury claims’.

Leigh Day’s team is headed by ‘top solicitorRussell Levy, and includes radiography specialist Suzanne White, ‘meticulous investigatorOlive Lewin, and Nicola Wainwright, who is currently handling a number of brain damage and birth injury claims. Claire Fazan is noted for her handling of ‘the heaviest cases with great intelligence’.

Stewarts Law LLP’s ‘leading’ group has significant expertise in high-value catastrophic injury claims, securing substantial damages awards on behalf of its clients. Department head Muiris Lyonscommands respect amongst all his peers’, and has successfully acted opposite numerous NHS trusts. The ‘unflappableNick Knowles and ‘great tacticianRobert Dransfield are also recommended.

At Anthony Gold, Dr Jock Mackenzie is ‘a cerebral and hugely persuasive lawyer with a great eye for detail’, and has a strong focus on complex neurological, brain and spinal cord injury cases. Practice head Jon Nicholson has ‘an incisive intellect, and a first-class grasp of legal and technical law’, and Ali Malsher is recommended for surgical, cardiac and emergency medicine claims.

Bindmans LLP’s ‘excellent’ team has notable experience handling birth injury, brain damage and orthopaedic-related negligence claims, among others. Jon Crocker is ‘an excellent solicitor who sets the tone for the team’ and is ‘totally committed to his clients’. ‘Tough negotiatorSiobhan Kelly wins plaudits for her ‘first-class client skills and tactical awareness’. The 'tenacious' Alla Murphy attracts praise for her 'commitment, dedication and good judgment and client-care skills'.

Bolt Burdon Kemp is ‘outstanding for its approach to client care, and its willingness to take on high-risk cases’. Child brain injury specialist Caroline Klage is recommended along with Philippa Tuckman, who handles military negligence claims, and Jo Chapman, who ‘has an excellent understanding of all relevant issues’. Team head Suzanne Trask specialises in cancer misdiagnosis claims.

Russell-Cooke LLP provides the full range of clinical negligence support to clients, including advice on public law and Court of Protection matters. Janice Gardner is ‘an incredible lawyer and tactician who is tough with opponents, but also fair and approachable’; she recently acted in a high-value infection case arising from a routine thyroidectomy. Deborah Blythe heads the team, which includes Dominic Fairclough and Sarah Towler.

Hodge Jones & Allen LLP’s Agata Usewicz is ‘an excellent tactician; utterly competent, and always has the client’s interests at heart’. Julie Say is noted for her ‘great care and dedication to her cases; she leaves no stone unturned’. Nina Ali handles the full spectrum of negligence claims, and has particular expertise in psychiatric cases.

At McMillan Williams, Shurouk Al-Sabbagh handles complex maximum severity claims for adults and children, and Gwyneth Munjoma ‘combines a medical background with a very astute legal mind’. Jacqui Hayat joined from Slater and Gordon.

Slater and Gordon’s group is headed by James Bell, who attracts praise for his ‘excellent attention to detail and good judgement on liability issues’. Paul Sankey’s expertise includes brain injury, cancer misdiagnosis and mistakes leading to amputation.

Dr John White’s team at Blake Morgan LLP includes Ruth Powell, who has notable experience in cerebral palsy, maternal injury and plastic surgery related claims; and Malcolm Johnson, who specialise in child abuse compensation cases.

Devonshires Solicitors LLP is ‘a specialist firm with a solid reputation in high-value catastrophic claims’. The ‘experiencedNick Grant is recommended along with ‘outstanding lawyer’ Nicola Bould and Liz Bryant, who specialises in cases involving serious nerve damage.

Hudgell Solicitors is ‘a strong player that is able to deal with catastrophic life-changing cases as well as more routine work’. Amanda Stevens, Rosamund Rhodes-Kemp and Chris Moore are all key practitioners.

Hugh James’ practice is led by the ‘immensely experiencedGrainne Barton, who has notable expertise in maximum-value obstetric claims, and is ‘indefatigable in pursuit of her clients’ cases’. Cardiff-based Stephen Webber is also recommended.

At Penningtons Manches LLP, John Kyriacou is ‘a very experienced lawyer who does a solid job for his clients’. The firms handles maximum severity negligence matters, with a key specialism in cases involving severe brain damage in infants.

Simpson Millar LLP handles a broad range of clinical negligence cases, with a notable focus on cerebral palsy claims. Neil Fearn heads the team, which includes Peter Stefanovic.


Clinical negligence: defendant

Index of tables

  1. Clinical negligence: defendant
  2. Leading individuals (Claimant and Defendant)

Pre-eminent defendant firmCapsticks LLP is noted for its ‘exceptional service and excellent industry knowledge’. The group frequently acts for the NHSLA and the Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland, along with various Lloyd’s underwriters and private health providers, including Care UK and Compass Wellbeing. Department head Philip Hatherall acted for the South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust in a claim concerning a hallucinogenic drug brought by a high-profile individual. The firm also successfully defended the NHSLA in a substantial psychiatric injury claim. Managing director Alison Morley is the other key figure.

Clyde & Co LLP’s ‘hugely respected’ group attracts praise for its ‘empathy with clinical staff at inquests’ and for its ‘sound, friendly advice in difficult situations’. Practice head and ‘formidable opponent’ Claire Petts is ‘an excellent partner, offering sound judgement and a great wealth of knowledge’. The team also includes catastrophic injury expert Kevin Bitmead, Rob Wilson, who acts for malpractice insurers and NHS bodies, and Duncan Batchelor, who represents various healthcare professionals before the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service and General Dental Council. The practice expanded further with the merger in 2015 with Simpson Marwick.

DAC Beachcroft LLP provides ‘solid advice and practical resolution strategies’ to its extensive client base. Matthew McGrath heads the regional team, which includes medical malpractice and casualty expert David Weatherburn; Nigel Montgomery, who specialises in group actions and catastrophic injury matters; and Rachel Roberts-Jenkins, who handles high-value birth injury cases.

Hempsons has strong links with the NHSLA, and has handled a number of complex negligence claims at first instance and in appellate courts. The ‘insightful, acute and incisiveBertie Leigh heads the practice, which includes John Holmes, who is ‘a steady hand, providing calm and reassuring advice across a range of issues’; and recent arrival Mary Menjou, who is ‘an outstanding performer, and always secures the best possible outcome’.

At Kennedys, practice head Janet Sayers has strong experience handling cerebral palsy, spinal injury and anaesthetic-related claims, and Christopher Malla has ‘excellent judgement, and a superb knowledge of liability and quantum issues’. Spire Healthcare, the Medical Protection Society and the NHSLA are all key clients.

Joanne Easterbrook leads the ‘competent and helpful’ team at Bevan Brittan LLP, which acted for Medway NHS Foundation Trust in a complex spinal injury claim, and also represented the client in a case concerning delay in the diagnosis of a stroke. The firm acts for numerous private insurers, and has strong expertise in Human Rights Act claims.

Weightmans LLP successfully acted for Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust in resisting an interim payment application in a potentially high-value claim. Practice head Rachel Kneale has ‘particular strength in catastrophic claims’ and is recommended alongside Vanessa Splaine, who has ‘an unerring instinct for how to run a case’, and Beth Buchanan, who has ‘a very good understanding of medicine’.

BLM’s Gary Allison is ‘an incredibly safe pair of hands for large, high-value and complex claims’. Department head Vicki Swanton has ‘a huge breadth of experience and sound judgement’, and ‘always fills clients with confidence’. Greg McEwen handles medical product litigation, along with major claims for the NHSLA and the MPS.

Hill Dickinson LLP frequently undertakes disease-related work for the NHSLA, and recently represented the Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust in a secondary victim claim which proceeded to the Court of Appeal. Andrew Craggs heads the team along with Ian Gardiner and the ‘pleasant and conscientiousJanet McWhinney.

Nabarro LLP’s ‘outstanding’ team is led by the ‘impressive’ Chris Horsefield, who ‘combines a deep knowledge of the law with a robust commercial sense and faultless forensic judgement’. Mike Jennings and Yvonne Screene have ‘a strong eye for detail’, and are ‘cool under fire’.

At RPC, Dorothy Flower acts for a variety of medical malpractice insurers, private hospitals, clinics and individual healthcare practitioners, and has a strong knowledge of pharmaceuticals. Recent work includes acting for Spire Healthcare and Royal Sun Alliance on more than 700 claims arising from the activities of a consultant surgeon.


Insurance: corporate and regulatory

Index of tables

  1. Insurance: corporate and regulatory
  2. Leading individuals

A cut above the rest’, Clifford Chance’s team is ‘particularly strong in coordinating multi-jurisdictional advice and presenting it in a consistent and appropriate manner’. Global insurance head Katherine Coates and corporate and regulatory lawyer Ashley Prebble are both ‘exceptionally bright, well-informed specialist lawyers in the sector’, and Clare Swirski is recommended for M&A transactions, joint ventures, listings and reorganisation work. Highlights included advising the Singapore arm of China Minsheng Investment on its $2.2bn acquisition of Sirius International Insurance Group, and acting for Just Retirement Group on its £1.7bn merger with Partnership Assurance Group. Other key clients include AXA, MetLife and Aspen Re.

Led by Andrew Holderness, Clyde & Co LLP’s corporate and regulatory insurance team is ‘excellent on all fronts’, and is strong in the life and non-life sector. Gary Thorpe acts for clients across the oil, mining, natural resources, shipping and aviation sectors, and frequently handles matters including mergers and acquisitions, group reorganisations and general corporate issues. Ivor Edwards advises a mix of insurance companies, Lloyd’s vehicles and brokers on a range of non-contentious matters. Key clients include Swiss Re, Aviva, Met Life and China Re. Stephen Browning is well regarded in the Lloyd’s market.

Hogan Lovells International LLP has ‘an outstanding knowledge of the industry environment and practices’, and provides ‘an excellent service that can accommodate small queries through to more complicated ongoing projects’. Charles Rix and Steven McEwan are advising the Equitable Life Assurance Society on the £375m sale of an annuity business to Canada Life; Nicola Evans is acting for Suramericana on its £403m acquisition of Royal Sun Alliance’s Latin America operations; and practice head Tim Goggin is acting for Syncora Guarantee UK on the Part VII transfer of its business to a newly formed UK branch. Victor Fornasier advises on traditional and non-traditional insurance structures, and Helen Chapman is recommended for regulatory matters.

Linklaters LLP provides ‘an excellent client experience; the team responds quickly, and balances the commercial and legal aspects of advice as required’. The well-regarded and ‘technically brilliantVictoria Sander heads the team, and recently advised Friends Life on its £2.4bn longevity swap transaction with the trustees of the Scottish & Newcastle Pension Plan. Other key figures include Duncan Barber, who acted for Swiss Re on its £1.6bn acquisition of the Guardian Financial group of companies, and Dan Schuster-Woldan, who attracts praise for his ‘great balance of commercial and technical input’. Schuster-Woldan recently acted for RSA Insurance Group on the £403m sale of its Latin American business to Suramericana. Madhu Jain and James Gardner are also recommended.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s ‘impressive team’ advises on the full range of transactional and regulatory matters, and has notable experience in complex restructurings and cross-border M&A. Practice head James Bateson advised Saga on the £26m purchase of motorbike insurance broker Bennetts from BGL Group, and also acted for XL Catlin on its £105m sale of the issued share capital of Box Innovation Group to Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance Company. David Whear and Bob Haken are ‘very knowledgeable on London market insurance matters’, and recently acted for The Hanover Insurance Group on the $60m sale of its subsidiary, Chaucer. Maria Ross has notable expertise in life assurance and bancassurance transactions, and acts for clients such as AXA and Prudential. New client wins include Investec, Probitas Holdings and Shanghai Insurance Brokers.

Slaughter and May has ‘a wide breadth of knowledge of the market and extensive experience with regulators’, and is ‘excellent for listed company work’. Oliver Wareham leads the department and handles M&A, portfolio transfers and regulatory matters. He is supported by Jonathan Marks, whose track record includes advising on pension scheme de-risking techniques; and Craig Cleaver, who has a strong focus on M&A and risk transfer transactions. Highlights included advising Aviva on the re-risking of the RAC Pension Scheme by way of a £600m longevity swap transaction, and acting for China Re on its $2bn IPO on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKSE).

Ashurst’s client roster includes a mix of both life and non-life insurers, and the group advises on the full range of matters including M&A, captive insurance, alternative risk transfer arrangements and regulatory compliance issues. Highlights included advising Royal London on documentation relating to derivatives and repo transactions with multiple counterparties. Jonathan Haines and practice head Adam Levitt are assisting Pension Corporation with derivatives agreements for the hedging of its interest rate, which involved, among other things, advising on regulatory market developments.

CMS is ‘very easy to work with; it knows the markets in which it operates, and ensures efficient completion of the task at hand’. The group has notable expertise in the life insurance and pension de-risking sector, acting for numerous major players including Pension Insurance Corporation, Standard Life and MetLife. James Parker is currently advising SCOR Global Life on a $5bn longevity insurance transaction with Sun Life, covering payments for members of Bell Canada’s pension plan. Paul Edmondson has ‘a good knowledge of regulations’, and acted along with Chris Southorn on MetLife’s $16.2 acquisition of Alico.

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP fields a team of ‘real professionals with exceptional business experience’ and ‘a very deep understanding of regulatory matters in multiple jurisdictions’. James Scoville focuses on M&A and capital markets transactions involving major insurers, and recently advised AIA Group on its $750m senior notes offering on the HKSE. Jeremy Hill is the other key figure, and is advising Bermuda-based insurers and reinsurers on various transactional matters.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP provides ‘excellent, insightful knowledge and great value for money’. The practice acts for various insurers and intermediaries on complex restructuring and reinsurance transactions. Geoffrey Maddock has ‘excellent technical knowledge and an in-depth understanding of the issues faced by the client’. In other highlights, Barnaby Hinnigan acted for Willis on its acquisition of an 85% stake in Miller Insurance Services, and on the subsequent proposed disposal of a stake to BB&T.

At Holman Fenwick Willan, Richard Spiller is ‘incredibly smart, with knowledge that extends across an improbably wide range of non-contentious insurance issues’. Spiller is currently advising Ironshore on regulatory approvals required across various jurisdictions, including the UK, Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore. James Lewis specialises in corporate finance transactions, and Nick Hutton is recommended for M&A, joint ventures and restructurings.

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP’s ‘consistently outstanding’ team attracts praise for its ‘in-depth expertise, responsiveness, solid work ethic and real understanding of the client’s business’. The group advised Everest Re on the establishment of a Lloyd’s syndicate, and acted for HCC Insurance Holdings on its $7.5bn sale of Tokio Marine Holdings. Joseph Ferraro heads the department, which includes Nicholas Bulger.

Allen & Overy LLP’s ‘responsive, committed’ group ‘consistently provides leading expert knowledge, along with pragmatic and solution-focused advice’. Philip Jarvis is ‘outstanding; an incisive and perceptive lawyer whose experience and intellect sets him apart from others’. Jarvis is acting for insurance giant Aviva on its £5.6bn acquisition of Friends Life Group, and is also advising the client on the £1.7bn disposal of its latent risk portfolio to Swiss Re. Other key clients include Guardian Financial Services, Morgan Stanley and Munich Re.

At DAC Beachcroft LLP, practice head Mathew Rutter specialises in insurance regulatory issues, and recently advised AIG on various regulatory matters and distribution agreements. Mark Neville ‘provides an outstanding level of customer service’, and Adrian Williams is ‘great with insurance M&A deals’.

Paula Gaddum and Simon Brooks head the department at Eversheds LLP, which advised ABI on the operation of its Flood Re Scheme to provide insurance to 350,000 homes at significant risk of flooding. Paul Pugh specialises in corporate law, and Andrew Henderson heads the non-contentious financial services regulation practice.

Pinsent Masons LLP is ‘highly responsive’, with ‘good commercial acumen and extensive market knowledge’. The ‘fantasticHannah Brader acted for Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance on the sale by auction of its engineering businesses to Inflexion Private Equity. Nicholas Bradley heads the team, which was joined by David Heffron and Elizabeth Budd from Addleshaw Goddard LLP and Charles Russell Speechlys LLP, respectively.

Clients of RPC’s ‘responsive’ practice rate its ‘invaluable understanding of insurance contracts’. James Mee acted for RFIB Holdings on the sale of its business to Calera Capital, and also advised Ironshore on its establishment of the Patria SPS structure. RSA, AIG and Markel are also key clients.

Shearman & Sterling LLP acted for Fairfax, along with a consortium consisting of ACON and Albright Capital Management, on the consortium’s $253m recommended public offer to acquire APR Energy. Practice head Barney Reynolds advises on regulatory requirements, outsourcings and M&A, among other issues. Thomas Donegan and Laurence Levy are also recommended.

Sidley Austin LLP is noted for its ‘excellent understanding of clients’ requirements’, and ‘always makes sure to address unanswered questions’. Martin Membery and Matthew Deningboth have a sound professional approach, technical understanding and good commercial sense’. Nancy Corbett acted for Brit Insurance on a Bermuda-domiciled sidecar transaction totalling $50m.

Simmons & Simmons has advised extensively on the implementation of Solvency II, and has strong experience in both the life and non-life market. Jennifer Yao and Pollyanna Deane are ‘highly credible practitioners’; Deane has notable expertise in Part VII transfers and new insurance products, and Yao specialises in the Lloyds market and runoff insurance.

Taylor Wessing LLPresponds promptly to queries’ and ‘has a clear understanding of commercial insurance issues’. Peter Kempe advises on the full range of transactional matters, and has notable experience in the corporate finance, private equity and venture capital spheres. Dion Williams has ‘a sound knowledge of the intricacies of the Lloyd’s market’. Key clients include Munich Re, Boston Marks and JC Flowers.

Addleshaw Goddard LLP has ‘a deep understanding of applicable law and regulation’, and is ‘able to provide insight into the best market practice’. Mark Pring and Neil Woolhouse head the practice, and recently acted for Simplyhealth Access on its sale of assets to AXA PPP Healthcare.

Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP’s Adam Bogdanor advised Pembroke on five new warranty and indemnity matters, and acted for BLP on twelve new W&I deals. Geraldine Quirk is ‘a market leader in corporate insurance, regulatory and restructuring work’.

Cooley (UK) LLP’s key partners include the ‘knowledgeable and pragmaticChris Finney, Jon Yorke, who advises on all aspects of insolvency, and insurance and reinsurance expert David Kendall. Highlights included advising Charles Taylor and Santam on a number of issues, including a Part VII transfer of Cardrow Insurance.

DLA Piper’s Prakash Paran advises on life and non-life transactions in the insurance sector, and also has experience handling joint ventures, corporate reorganisations and equity capital markets deals. Aviva and AXA are key clients.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP’s George Swan acted for The Hartford Financial Services Group on the restructuring of businesses into a single runoff entity, and also advised Marsh on its acquisition of Jelf Group. The group’s regulatory expertise spans the antitrust, corruption, tax and consumer protection spheres.

Gowling WLG’s group advises both insurers and policyholders on various transactional and regulatory matters. Practice head David Breslin heads the team and has a strong reputation amongst Bermudan insurers and reinsurers, and frequently advises on policy wording. Key clients include Thomas Miller Holdings and Marsh.

Ince & Co’s ‘highly recommended’ team is headed by Stephen Jarvis, who handles a wide range of insurance-related corporate work, and includes Jennifer Donohue, who specialises in transactional insurance and reinsurance matters, with particular experience in cross-border directives.

Colin Scagell’s team at Mayer Brown International LLP is advising the Government of Gibraltar on its strategy to attract an insurance-linked securities business, and is also acting for Beazley on its proposals to return its management from Ireland to the UK. Andrew McGahey and Alexandria Carr are the other key figures.


Insurance: insolvency and restructuring

Index of tables

  1. Insurance: insolvency and restructuring
  2. Leading individuals

Clyde & Co LLP’s ‘first-class’ team acts for a wide range of major insurers, and is a frequent adviser to the Lloyd’s market. The ‘excellent’ Geraldine Quirk is ‘a market leader in corporate insurance, regulatory and restructuring work’, and is ‘great to work with’. Stephen Browning assisted Barbican Insurance Group with arrangements to manage a new Lloyd’s syndicate, and acted for White Mountains Insurance Group on its $2.2bn sale of Sirius International Insurance Group. Andrew Holderness heads the team.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP has notable expertise acting for the FSCS in insurance company defaults; and acting for policyholders on solvent schemes of arrangement and Part VII transfers. In other key mandates, practice head Laurence Elliott advised the provisional liquidators of Independent Insurance Company on all aspects of its liquidation, and Christopher Foster acted for Barbican Managing Agency in commercial court proceedings concerning a number of professional indemnity policies. Kevin Pullen is also recommended.

Hogan Lovells International LLP has a strong track record advising insurers and reinsurers, Lloyd’s participants, banks and intermediaries on the full range of restructuring matters. Department head Joe Bannister is continuing to assist the administrators with the schemes of arrangement for OIC Run-Off Limited and The London and Overseas Insurance Company. Other notable clients include KPMG, SCOR and Lloyd’s Banking Group. Nick Atkins, Tim Goggin and Charles Rix are also key practitioners.

Mayer Brown International LLP’s ‘excellent’ team ‘can cut through difficult and unusual claims issues with clarity and authority’ and is ‘very proactive in dealing with issues as they arise’. Practice head Devi Shah advises on contentious insolvency and restructuring issues, and ‘is a joy to work with, always delivering on technical issues’. Key clients include ACE, Ernst & Young, Zurich and Liberty Syndicates.

Norton Rose Fulbright provides ‘solid transactional, regulatory and restructuring advice’ to its wide-ranging, cross-border client base. Key figures include Maria Ross, who specialises in life assurance and bancassurance related matters; David Whear, who has solid expertise in the Lloyd’s market; and Bob Haken, who focuses on regulation and restructuring in the runoff sector. Highlights included advising Travelers Management on the $88.5m strategic restructuring of its UK operations in order to maximise its capital and operational efficiencies.

RPC’s ‘pragmatic, knowledgeable and responsive’ group provides ‘strong advice related to the interpretation of relatively new and untested regulations’. Key areas of expertise include solvent schemes of arrangement, part VII transfers and exit mechanisms in the runoff field. Department head Vivien Tyrell is ‘an extremely well-respected lawyer who considers each case on its own merits’, and has ‘a very wide knowledge of insurance insolvency matters’. RSA, Partner Re and Argo are key clients.

Led by Alexander Wood, Weil, Gotshal & Manges’ ‘very strong’ team ‘knows the market really well, which makes all the difference in relation to the pivotal moments in a deal’. The firm handles a wide range of issues on behalf of lenders, debtors, sponsors and insolvency practitioners including Advent International and The T&N Asbestos Trustee Company. Mark Lawford and Adam Plainer are the other key names to note.

Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP’s ‘very reliable’ team is ‘highly knowledgeable about the complexities of insurance insolvency. David Leibowitz is ‘absolutely brilliant – very clever, and always delivers for his clients’. Highlights included acting for Markel International Insurance Company on the £60m disposal of its business to RiverStone Insurance (UK).

Clifford Chance’s ‘well-regarded’ group is led by Philip Hertz, who handles the full range of domestic and cross-border insolvency and restructuring matters, and has particular expertise in schemes of arrangement. David Steinberg left to join Stevens & Bolton LLP.

Cooley (UK) LLP’s advice ‘shows a high level of understanding of the prevailing regulatory and legal environment’. Jon Yorke and David Kendall head the group, which advises on all aspects of insolvency across a wide range of industries.

At Pinsent Masons LLP, Nicholas Bradley is ‘an excellent choice for high-value insolvency and restructuring work’. Bruno Geiringer and associate Chris Riach are ‘particularly well-informed and attentive’; Geiringer has strong business transfers experience, and acted for Canada Life in its £875m acquisition of Equitable Life’s annuity business. Other clients include Sterling Insurance Group, British Gas, Allianz UK and Aviva.

Sidley Austin LLP has a ‘really strong specialist group’ with ‘a huge depth of knowledge and experience in insurance insolvency’. Martin Membery is acting for various insurer clients on a range of PLA Handbook/FCA Rulebook requirements. Consultant Nigel Montgomery is ‘a first-rate lawyer who knows the area well’, and is ‘calm and courteous even when under pressure’. Adriana Cotter ‘provides discreet, efficient and very shrewd support’.


Insurance litigation: for policyholders

Index of tables

  1. Insurance litigation: for policyholders
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Allen & Overy LLP’s ‘outstanding’ practice has strong experience in high-value coverage disputes, with notable expertise in D&O claims, and is highly active within the Lloyd’s and Bermuda market. Joanna Page heads the team, which includes the ‘calm, approachable’ Richard Smith, who ‘instils a great amount of confidence in his clients’; and former barrister Lauren Lindsay, who ‘has a strong scientific background, which is invaluable in cases related to pharmaceutical products’.

Clifford Chance is ‘the go-to firm for insurance claims by large financial institutions, including banks and pension funds’. Notable practitioners include the ‘absolutely superb’ Philip Hill, who ‘is incredibly clever, knows every document and thinks through every angle’; and ‘standout individual’ Stephen Surgeoner, who ‘is redoubtable and resilient, with the ability to get to the heart of a dispute and secure a successful result’. Recent work includes acting for a major global hotel chain in relation to its insurance coverage.

Covington & Burling LLP is ‘a top law firm specialising in insurance litigation for corporate policyholders’, and is currently representing the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and its captive insurer FMTAC in proceedings arising from a reinsurance contract with Infrassure. Richard Mattickstands out for his expertise, pragmatism and very thorough work’. Practice head Roger Enock has represented policyholders in claims against insurers, competition law cases, and internal investigations in the UK and abroad. Other key clients include Coty, National Grid and Howden Group.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s ‘outstanding practice’ is noted for its ‘excellent level of service’ and for being ‘very savvy about what insurers expect and how to manage those expectations’. Key figures include Alexander Oddy (who is ‘an excellent negotiator’), the ‘rigorous and diligent’ Greig Anderson, and property damage and business interruption expert Anthony Dempster. Paul Lewis heads the team, which is handling a growing number of Bermuda Form arbitrations. Standard Chartered Bank, Marsh and BP Corporation North America are notable clients.

K&L Gates LLP fields a ‘pure claimant insurance team’ headed by Sarah Turpin, who advises on all policyholder aspects of insurance and handles a broad range of claims including D&O liability, professional indemnity, cyber risk and trade credit. Recent highlights include advising the receivers on a £100m-plus negligence claim against an insurance broker. Capita, Man Group and TH Real Estate are clients.

Reed Smith LLP is ‘particularly recommended for US and overseas work’, and recently acted for Anadarko Petroleum Corporation in a claim in the Texas courts for the recovery of over $100m of defence costs incurred defending claims arising from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill of April 2010. Peter Hardy led on that matter and heads the practice, which includes Mark Connoley, who has strong experience of Bermuda Form arbitration, and Margaret Campbell, who is ‘outstanding; she is technically excellent, and always gets results’.

Addleshaw Goddard LLP provides ‘an outstanding service to policyholders, particularly in the financial and pharmaceutical sectors’, and is particularly praised for its ‘commercially astute and results-oriented approach to disputes’. The firm frequently handles claims related to employer’s liability, crime, property and professional indemnity. Key figures include Mark Pring, who ‘has excellent analytical skills and delves right into the heart of disputes’.

Edwin Coe LLP is ‘a very high-quality and commercial law firm with considerable dedication and experience in handling policyholder insurance claims’. Department head Michael Whittonhas a unique ability to immediately focus on the key issues’; he is recommended alongside Roger Franklin, who has ‘excellent, wide-ranging technical knowledge’; and Nicola Maher, who is ‘particularly strong in the area of property insurance claims’.

Fenchurch Law is a niche with notable expertise across a wide range of risk classes, from property and general liability insurance to professional indemnity and cyber risk. Co-founders David Pryce (‘an intelligent and capable lawyer who really gets to grips with a case and relishes developing new arguments’) and Rob Fink head the team, which includes recently promoted partner Daniel Brooks.

At Michelmores LLP, Garbhan Shanks and Harriet Chopra stand out for their ‘excellent advice, which is of a consistently high standard and tailored to create practical solutions in an international setting’. The firm handles coverage disputes against London market insurers, and also advises on drafting and implementation of policy wordings.

Gowling WLG’s diverse client roster includes public and private companies, national corporations and other market participants. Practice head David Breslin handles both litigation and international arbitration in the insurance and reinsurance markets. Key clients include Chubb, Travellers Group and Validus.

Ian Lupson’s team at Jones Day represents corporate policyholders worldwide, and has handled disputes in jurisdictions including the US, UK and Bermuda. Key sectors include aviation, construction, and hotels and leisure.


Insurance and reinsurance litigation

Index of tables

  1. Insurance and reinsurance litigation
  2. Leading individuals

Clyde & Co LLP’s sizeable team is ‘the go-to firm for contentious insurance matters’, acting for most major global insurers and reinsurers in cross-border, market-impacting disputes. The group’s extensive industry coverage includes the construction, engineering, professional lines and personal injury sectors, and its global footprint means the group has expertise across various jurisdictions including Ireland, Africa and Latin America. Senior partner James Burns acts for insurance and reinsurance companies, Lloyd’s syndicates, brokers, and intermediaries, and Jane Andrewartha specialises in marine, non-marine and aviation-related claims. Nigel Chapman recently acted for QBE and AIG in a $400m claim brought by Noreca. Recent arrivals include Jason Bleasdale and Sarah Grant, who joined from DAC Beachcroft LLP; and Gordon Keyden and Anne Kentish, who joined as a result of the firm’s merger with Simpson & Marwick. Simon Konsta heads the practice.

CMS’ ‘commercial’ team is ‘very good at corralling the market of insurers, and at co-ordinating complex, multi-jurisdictional advice’. The group is particularly noted for its life and non-life reinsurance work, and continues to attract strong mandates within the broker, aviation, political risk and trade finance sectors. Ed Foss heads the department, which is currently advising Beazley on a claim concerning the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit robbery, a matter with exposures of up to £20m. Other key figures include Stephen Netherway, who handles broker and intermediary disputes; Stephen Tester, who ‘is always focused on finding a long-term solution’; and Simon Kilgour, who is recommended for international matters.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP provides ‘prompt, insightful and sound commercial advice’, and is noted for its ‘good all-round strength and strong partner involvement’. Practice head Paul Lewis has ‘extensive industry knowledge, and an in-depth understanding of the client’s business’. Anthony Dempster has notable expertise in large property damage and business interruption cases, and David Reston is recommended for complex, high-value and commercially sensitive insurance disputes. Alexander Oddy is ‘an excellent lawyer with sound judgement’. Aviva, Gen Re and Royal & Sun Alliance are key clients.

Hogan Lovells International LLP provides ‘a high level of knowledge, considered advice and good availability’, and the group’s expertise includes coverage and contractual disputes, economic and trade sanctions, and D&O claims. Department head Nick Atkins recently acted for Kitty Hawk Insurance Company in a $5.5m claim concerning the operation of interlocking provisions. Atkins is supported by Jamie Rogers, who has ‘a reassuring level of knowledge and industry experience’, and senior associate Dan Screene, who has handled numerous arbitrations and appellate cases.

Holman Fenwick Willan is ‘able to offer good, strategic advice in negotiations towards dispute resolution’. Paul Wordley focuses on natural resource and energy-related disputes, and is ably supported by Andrew Bandurka, who is ‘a strategic thinker who balances the legal risk with the financial issues in play’; and Costas Frangeskides, whose expertise covers property damage, D&O claims, professional indemnity and public law, among other matters. Christopher Cardona joined from Chadbourne & Parke (London) LLP in September 2015 and has ‘a good knowledge of arbitration issues’.

Ince & Co’s group is headed by Allan Hepworth, who specialises in the resolution of reinsurance disputes, and includes Simon Todd and Joe O’Keefe, who jointly head the marine and energy group. Other key individuals include Chris Jefferis, who focuses on business insurance, and Kiran Soar, who focuses on international disputes across Europe, the US and Bermuda. The team acted for Travelers in a €13m yacht fire damage claim. LAMP, XL Catlin and British Marine Mutual are also clients.

Kennedys’ ‘thorough advice demonstrates good loss-specific knowledge’, and clients also praise the group’s ‘clear and concise explanations’. Key areas include the energy, construction, professional indemnity and financial lines spheres, and the team has also developed strong expertise in large product-related defence and coverage litigation. Notable practitioners include David Wilkinson and Catherine Shuttleworth (who ‘combine their expertise in the insurance field with excellent judgement’), and practice head Nick Williams, who handles disputes ranging from financial institution litigation to Bermuda Form arbitrations.

Mayer Brown International LLP’s group is led by political risk expert David Chadwick. Other key individuals include Lindsay McQuillian, who has notable experience with professional indemnity, financial institutions and reinsurance; Andrew Westlake, whose areas of expertise include political risk and trade credit; and Mandip Sagoo. Munich Re, Starstone and QBE are key clients.

Norton Rose Fulbright recently represented a group of Lloyd’s syndicates in a $150m claim brought by Starlight regarding the sinking of Alexandros T, and is currently defending Talbot and Hiscox in claims following an alleged piracy attack on a crude oil tanker. Practice co-head Liam O’Connell specialises in policy coverage analysis, and fellow practice head Susan Dingwallis vastly experienced and has sound, reliable judgement’. Chris Zavos specialises in marine and energy-related claims, and Patrick Foss has strong expertise in matters arising from political risk and violence.

RPC’s 17-partner group recently strengthened its international property and energy expertise with the recruitment of Rebecca Hopkirk and Leigh Williams from Clyde & Co LLP. James Miller heads the practice, which recently acted for W.R Berkley Insurance and Lancashire Insurance in a $1.3bn claim against SBM Offshore, and represented QBE, Gerling, Munich Re and other reinsurers in a mining-related illness claim. Simon Goldring, Victoria Sherratt and Alex Hamer are all key figures.

Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP’s recent work includes acting for The Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania (ICSOP) on a $6m claim for various losses, and representing Imagine Insurance Company in a dispute regarding the commutation of a reinsurance treaty. Anthony Lennox heads the group, and dispute resolution head Jonathan Sacher is the other key contact.

At Chadbourne & Parke (London) LLP, Michelle George is noted for her ‘vast depth of knowledge’, as is Jonathan Ogle for his ‘thorough knowledge of the market’. The group has handled numerous arbitration proceedings for clients including Aspen, Novae, Ascot and Resolute Management. Adrian Mecz heads the group.

Cooley (UK) LLP’s team is ‘thorough and professional, with a keen sense of the issues and the relevant industry’. David Kendall’s expertise includes coverage runoff and insolvency, and Mark Everissbrings unrivalled expertise and sound judgement’ as well as ‘a wide knowledge of the reinsurance markets in the UK and internationally’. Also recommended are James Crabtree, whose sector coverage includes the marine, energy and D&O spheres, and Richard Hopley.

DAC Beachcroft LLP stands out for its ‘high levels of service, good attention to customer requirements, and turnaround times’. The 30-partner group (which has ‘a strong depth of knowledge when it comes to cross-border matters’) is led by Helen Faulkner in London, and includes Anthony Menzies, who focuses on the marine, transport and energy sectors in the London and Swiss markets; Chris Wilkes, who specialises in high-value claims and coverage disputes; and Nick Young, who is noted for his ‘straightforward advice, and is a great person to have on your side’. The group is currently advising on policy formation and coverage issues for the insurers of the Panama Canal extension project.

DLA Piper is ‘top-notch when it comes to response times and knowledge of the client’s business’. The group acted for Ocean in connection with a multimillion-pound professional negligence claim. Oher key clients include Zurich Insurance, Endurance Re and Beazley. Andrew Symons jointly heads the practice with the ‘professional, pugnacious and tenacious’ Leon Taylor. John Curran joined Fenchurch Law.

DWF’s industry coverage include the shipping, engineering and construction sectors, and the group has handled disputes in various jurisdictions across the Middle East, Europe, Africa and the Americas. Key figures include Jonathan Moss, who heads the marine, trade and energy and transport practices; Kieran Walshe, who advises on complex reinsurance disputes; and John Groome, who heads the global casualty team and advises insurers on property and product liability claims. Jeremy Irving joined from Eversheds LLP.

Eversheds LLP’s ‘excellent’ practice provides ‘exactly the kind of service one expects from a firm of such high calibre’. ‘Top advocateSimon Brooks heads the team and ‘excels in his knowledge, experience and understanding of the key issues’. Paula Gaddum’s experience includes advising on insurance market agreements and drafting policy wordings, and Matthew Allen specialises in international arbitration. Notable clients include CAN Hardy, IRB Brazil and AIG.

At Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, Raj Parker handles a broad range of insurance and reinsurance claims, and has also handled a significant amount of contentious regulatory work. Ali Sallaway and Chris Chapman are the other key figures in the group, which recently advised on an investigation into the sale of life insurance, annuities and other savings investment products.

Sedgwick, Detert, Moran & Arnold LLP’s five-partner team has strong experience in financial lines, property and casualty insurance and reinsurance. Managing partner Edward Smerdon has notable expertise in liability insurance and reinsurance, and is recommended alongside Mark Kendall, who handles matters related to physical risk and general liability, and professional indemnity specialist Karen Morrish. Highlights included representing London market insurers in a dispute over the terms of a government recall policy.

Slaughter and May fields a ‘strong team of solicitors’ that is noted for its ‘solid understanding of the market’. Deborah Finkler heads the team, which recently acted for Marsh & McLennan Companies in a claim brought by T&N regarding a $500m insurance policy covering asbestos liabilities. The ‘very sharpEfstathios Michaelis really prepared to push the client’s case forward’.

Addleshaw Goddard LLP’s Mark Pring has ‘excellent analytical skills’, and is ‘always on the lookout for a strategic opportunity to outwit the opposition at an early stage’. The team acted for Confiance in a £5m coverage dispute with its professional indemnity insurer. William Hill Organisation, Shire Pharmaceuticals and Vita Sheet Group are also key clients.

Clausen Miller LLP provides ‘specialist advice, which allows clients to form a realistic view of the strengths and weaknesses of a case, with a view to achieving a timely resolution’. Department head Jane Beacham ‘always achieves excellent results’, and is ably supported by senior partner John Startin, who is ‘an astute strategic thinker’; and property and energy-focused Jonathan Hall, who ‘has an exceptional gift for finding a needle in a haystack’. Highlights included acting for the insurer in Single Buoy Mooring v Zurich Insurance.

Pinsent Masons LLP has strong expertise in various lines of business including reinsurance, energy, construction and property claims. Practice head Nicholas Bradley ‘knows the insurance market inside out’ and ‘brings a pragmatic, common-sense approach to litigation’. Product liability specialist Manoj Vaghela and the TMT-focused David Barker are also recommended.

Sidley Austin LLP acted for C&S Associates in a £3m claim concerning the breach of a motor insurance claims handling agreement, and also represented Aon Schweiz in a matter related to insurance and reinsurance arrangements for the TIR Carnet System. The group is headed by Dorothy Cory-Wright and the ‘efficient and competentMartin Membery. Simon Fawell and Steven Pitt are also recommended.

BLM is ‘excellent in all areas’, although it attracts particularly strong praise in relation to product liability, personal injury and construction-related litigation. Key figures include Mark Aitken, who is singled out for his ‘strong attention to detail and substantial knowledge in all areas’; John O’Shea, who is ‘approachable, supportive and thorough’; and Alistair Kinley, who also attracts high praise. Catherine Hawkins heads the property damage group.

Carter Perry Bailey LLP is noted for its ‘very prompt and professional service, with a very thorough attendance to matters’. Bernadette Bailey is ‘a leading light in her field’, with ‘impressive knowledge and excellent customer service’. Bill Perry and Stephen Carter are the other key figures, and have strong litigation and arbitration experience.

Cozen O’Connor provides ‘responsive and purposeful advice’, with notable strength in international property and casualty, aviation, mining and power. Simon Jones heads the practice, which includes Andrew Tobin, who shows ‘tremendous depth of knowledge and a real sense of purpose’; and reinsurance specialist Paul Dowsey, who is ‘exceptionally committed to his clients, and has a profound understanding of the London market’.

Gowling WLG’s group is ‘very agile in its dealings, and provides excellent value for money’. David Breslin is particularly noted for industry loss warranty claims and his work for Bermudan insurers. Antony Woodhouse’s expertise includes general and professional liability, energy risks and D&O claims.

Hill Dickinson LLP’s group ‘shows a very good understanding of the increasingly complex legal background in insurance cases’, and has strong D&O and professional indemnity expertise. Andrew Schütte and Rhys Clift are the key figures in the team, which acts for a number of major insurers including Aspen, Aviva and QBE. Fleur Rochester left to join Kennedys.

Mills & Reeve LLP fields a team of ‘fast, efficient experts’ headed by Neil Davis, who handles claims brought against brokers, technology and life sciences companies, and which includes Michael Mitchell, who has ‘good business acumen and real experience in the field’; Paul Spibey, who regularly acts opposite financial institutions; and Stephen King, whose expertise covers policy wording, coverage and catastrophic injury claims. Mitchell acted for Canopius in a $1.7m claim concerning a stolen violin.

At Triton Legal (formerly Robin Simon LLP), Michael Robin has acted in litigation and arbitration for various individuals, professional practices and major corporations. Managing partner David Simon focuses on claims involving trusts, settled land and tax, John Coleman advises numerous brokers and underwriters including AIG, Aon and Heritage, and Jason Ford has notable defamation, D&O and professional indemnity expertise.

Simmons & Simmons’ ‘excellent’ team is noted for its ‘relevant, pragmatic and trustworthy advice’. The group frequently handles multi-jurisdictional claims across Africa, Asia, Europe and the US, covering cyber liability, IP liability and professional negligence matters, among others. James Pollock heads the department, which includes the ‘informative experienced and solution-orientedJason Bright.

Stephenson Harwoodreally understands the client’s needs’ and is ‘excellent at implementing the best strategy to protect the client’. ‘Great communicatorAlex Davis heads the marine insurance team, and is ‘an excellent litigator with great instincts who explains complex legal issues in a straightforward way’. Simon Moore is the other key figure.

Angus Rodger heads the group at Steptoe & Johnson, and recently represented the insurance market in an LCIA arbitration over a $350m Bermuda Form claim. The firm has strong arbitration expertise, and has handled disputes across the US, Europe and China.

Taylor Wessing LLP’s ‘well-respected and knowledgeable’ team is headed by ‘outstanding leader’ Susannah Wakefield, who has significant experience of litigation across England, New York and Bermuda. Other areas of focus within the group include insurance-linked securities, disputes concerning brokers and underwriting agents, and cyber liability.

Adam Kendall heads the ‘well-organised’ team at Bevan Brittan LLP, which has strong experience in coverage, breach of contract and negligence issues. Roger Carver handles a wide range of claims on behalf of insurers and public sector clients.

Burges Salmon LLP’s recent work includes advising CIS General Insurance on a CMA investigation related to the private motor insurance market. Department head Kari McCormick has notable experience in the financial and construction sectors, and Ann Metherall handles major rail and property damage claims. Matthew Walker is ‘clear, considered and very approachable’. Other clients include Costain and RAC.

Enyo Law LLP has a strong track record in the High Court and Appellate Court, handling various coverage disputes for a broad range of London and overseas clients. Simon Twigden, Tobey Butcher and Michael Green are the key figures.

Adrian Bingham heads the ‘excellent’ team at Gordon Dadds, which advises on policy coverage and claims-handling issues, as well as misrepresentation matters. Key clients include AmTrust, Elite, Great Lakes and Premier Guarantee.

Keystone Law has ‘a high degree of legal expertise’ and is ‘able to work across borders in complex legal matters’. Steven Conway specialises in employers’ and public liability claims, and recent arrival Nilam Sharma, who joined from Ince & Co, ‘works productively and collaboratively with the client, offering excellent support’.

Michelmores LLP’s ‘pragmatic, supportive and responsive’ team has strong cross-border expertise and regularly acts in complex coverage disputes against London market insurers. Garbhan Shanks and Harriet Chopra provide ‘balanced opinions, which are tailored to practical solutions in an international and multicultural setting’.

Peter Sharp and Nick Greenwood are the key contacts at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP. The group has strong experience in multi-jurisdictional litigation, and has handled numerous claims across London, Bermuda and the US. Beazley Underwriting is a key client.

Insurance litigation specialist Plexus Law has ‘a very strong team and good nationwide coverage’, and is ‘a well-regarded presence in the market’. Practice head Richard Houseago is ‘excellent and pragmatic’, and is ably supported by Sarah Cochrane, who specialises in the recovery and defence of property damage claims; and Victoria Jordan, who is ‘incredibly hardworking and client-dedicated’.

Signature Litigation LLP’s areas of focus include large-scale infrastructure projects, losses related to natural disaster, D&O claims and product liability. Hermes Marangos has handled claims in the financial services, construction and energy sectors, and Natalia Chumak has notable arbitration experience.

Ben Browne’s group at Thomas Cooper LLP is currently advising the International Union of Marine Insurers Salvage Forum on various matters, and is also handling several international arbitrations in London and Brazil. Celso de Azevedo focuses on international insurance litigation, and Richard Morris handles collision, salvage and oil pollution claims.

At Weightmans LLP, Colin Peck has notable experience handling large-scale industrial property damage and business interruption claims, and is recommended alongside Mike Grant, who heads the professional risk team; and Kieran Jones, who is recommended for sensitive, high-profile cases and emerging disease claims.


Personal injury: claimant

Index of tables

  1. Personal injury: claimant
  2. Leading individuals

Regarded as ‘one of the leading firms in this practice area’, Fieldfisher’s group includes ‘some of the most talented and experienced practitioners in the field’. Jill Greenfield is ‘an effective, formidable and highly experienced litigator’; Peter Williams is ‘rigorous, thoughtful and communicative’; and practice head Paul McNeil has recovered substantial damages in road traffic accident, product liability and employment claims.

Irwin Mitchell is ‘undoubtedly one of the leading firms in the country’ and ‘has the resources and temperament to give each case the attention it deserves’. Managing partner Colin Ettinger has particular expertise in high-value spinal injury and traumatic brain injury cases, and Tracey Storey has ‘a thorough manner, but combines this with empathy for her clients’. Alison Eddy is also a key figure.

Leigh Day is considered by clients and counsel to be ‘one of the best firms in the field of personal injury’. Sally Moore (‘a powerhouse in the PI world’) and Martyn Day jointly head the department, which has strong expertise in industrial disease, amputation and multi-party abuse and torture claims. Other key figures include Daniel Easton, who is ‘a fantastic practitioner’, and Harminder Bains, who is ‘quite prepared to take on very difficult cases and issues’.

Stewarts Law LLP provides ‘a fantastic service on all levels’ and has ‘a flawless understanding of each case, particularly the client’s diagnosis and personal needs’. Practice head Paul Paxton has been involved in numerous catastrophic and fatal injury cases, and spinal injury specialist Julian Chamberlayne is recommended for claims with an international element. Andrew Dinsmore is ‘an excellent negotiator who always remains calm under pressure’.

Anthony Gold is ‘an excellent firm for serious and complicated injury claims’, and the group ‘works tirelessly for the good of its clients’. Jenny Kennedy is ‘one of the most experienced PI litigators in the field; she brings extensive medical knowledge to bear in her cases’. Also recommended are practice head and ‘standout practitionerJon Nicholson, who handles catastrophic brain and amputation injuries; David Marshall, who handles brain injury, stress-at-work and psychiatric cases; Sana Bibi, who specialises in complex orthopaedic injuries; and catastrophic injury expert Jackie Spinks, who ‘always gets the job done’.

Bindmans LLP’s group is headed by Jon Crocker (‘an excellent solicitor who is totally committed to his clients’) and Lynn Knowles, both of whom have ‘excellent attention to detail and great communication skills’. They are ably supported by Siobhan Kelly, who is ‘sympathetic with clients and tough with opponents’; and Alla Murphy, who is ‘a tenacious, determined negotiator who doesn’t shy away from giving difficult advice’.

Led by Cheryl Abrahams, Bolt Burdon Kemp is ‘an excellent firm with a number of great litigators’. The team includes Jonathan Wheeler, who heads the specialist child abuse group, ‘stellar performerMarilene Antoni, and Caroline Klage, who ‘is highly committed, detailed and compassionate’.

Hodge Jones & Allen LLP’s recent work includes acting for 88 claimants, the majority of them children, in a case related to the Pandemrix swine flu vaccine. The ‘highly experiencedPatrick Allen heads the group.

Pattinson & Brewer is ‘a client-committed firm that goes the extra mile whilst remaining pragmatic’. Frances McCarthy ‘has extensive experience and great client-handling skills’. She heads the practice, which includes Caroline Phelan, who is a key figure in the accident and industrial department; and Marcus Weatherby, who handles maximum severity claims and recently achieved settlements in excess of £1m.

Slater and Gordon is ‘very capable of handling the most complex and high-value claims’. Practice head Liz Dux specialises in physical and sexual abuse claims for both adults and children, and Paul Kitson is recommended for road traffic accident related injuries.

Thompsons Solicitors LLP continues to handle the full range of accident and injury claims for major trade unions. The group is led by Henrietta Phillips, who specialises in serious and catastrophic injury claims, and includes accident and disease specialist Andrew Hutson and Samantha Hemsley, who is recommended for brain and spinal injury claims.

Ian Mulkis and Elizabeth Smith are the key figures at Howard Kennedy LLP, which is ‘an excellent claimant firm, particularly in respect of accidents at work, occupational stress and work-related upper limb disorder’.

Osbornes handles high-value accident and fatality claims, and is noted for its expertise in cycle injury cases. Ben Posford specialises in catastrophic brain and spinal injury claims, and Stuart Kightley is ‘very good in complex cross-border cases. Stephanie Prior has a significant child abuse claims practice.

Prince Evans Solicitors LLP’s ‘excellent’ practice recently obtained a number of favourable judgments in fatal traffic accident claims, and has also handled numerous high-value brain injury cases. Bryan Neill heads the department, and Gary Smith is the other key figure.

Russell-Cooke LLP has ‘an excellent track record in child sex abuse cases, as well as employers’ and public liability claims’. Janice Gardner is ‘an incredible lawyer and tactician; there is nothing she doesn’t know about running tricky and challenging cases’. Practice head Deborah Blythe ‘has exceptional client-handling skills’.

Simpson Millar LLP is noted for its work on behalf of trade union members, along with individuals from other membership organisations. Practice head Adrian Fawden ‘has a vast amount of experience in mesothelioma and asbestos illness claims’. The team also has a strong eastern European practice, acting for injured migrants.

The ‘well-prepared’ Helen Clifford heads the practice at McMillan Williams, having joined from Leigh Day in 2015. Joanna Bailey handles brain injury and fatal accident claims, and Philip Scarles has a particular focus on road traffic collisions. Shurouk Al-Sabbagh is also a key figure.

Penningtons Manches LLP’s Warren Collins has particular experience in US claims, and has handled cases related to traumatic brain injury, amputations and fatal accidents.


Personal injury: defendant

Index of tables

  1. Personal injury: defendant
  2. Leading individuals

BLM has ‘a great team of lawyers that provides consistently high levels of professionalism and expertise’. The ‘tenaciousVictoria Kennedy specialises in large loss claims for insurers and corporate clients, and is ‘the absolute epitome of the modern lawyer – always highly professional, approachable and knowledgeable’. Practice head Michael Pether’s expertise includes catastrophic injuries related to stress, abuse and education. Jennette Newman specialises in health and safety claims across various industry sectors.

Clyde & Co LLP’s team provides ‘a generally high level of service’ with ‘genuine strength in depth’. Kevin Bitmead heads the practice, which includes ‘strong and consistent performers’ Danielle Singer, Charles Brown and David Knapp. Key clients include Aviva, AXA Insurance and the NHSLA.

DWF’s ‘well-prepared’ group is led by Graham Dickinson who has notable experience acting on international claims, particularly involving French and Spanish insurers. Claire Bowler heads the international claims group, advising UK and European insurers on catastrophic injury claims and large loss cases.

The team at Kennedys is noted for its ‘reliable, detailed attention, good professional expertise and realistic strategy’. Key figures include Mark Burton, who ‘pushes the boundaries of the law with innovative ideas about how best to resolve claims; Joe McManus, who handles major catastrophic injury claims; and Tracy Head, who leads the casualty team, which acts for composite insurers and large corporates.

DAC Beachcroft LLP is singled out for its ‘practical and responsible advice to clients’. Practice head Tania Sless is highly recommended for her product liability claims expertise, and Andrew Parker has notable experience in employers’ liability, construction and disease claims. Associate Alastair Homan is also a name to note.

Philip Tracey heads the team at Plexus Law, which includes Kathryn Oldfield, who handles large loss claims; Anthony Baker, who heads the casualty team; and Steve Phillips, who is ‘a standout practitioner in asbestos litigation’.

Weightmans LLP is ‘a heavyweight defendant PI firm’, which is a regular fixture on significant catastrophic injury claims. Practice head Elaine Chapmanhas an excellent understanding of what the client wants’. Other key figures include David Johnson, who is ‘a great tactical thinker’; and Sarah Hamilton, who is ‘great with employers’ liability claims’ and ‘leaves no stone unturned when preparing a case’.

Browne Jacobson LLP is singled out for its ‘very good advice, especially in the area of social services and alleged sexual and physical abuse cases’. David Maggs heads the team, which includes the ‘knowledgeable and approachableAndrew Pieri, and Sarah Erwin-Jones, who is ‘sensitive to reputational risk issues, and provides sound legal guidance’. Steven Conway left to join Keystone Law.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s ‘approach to each client is informed by the broader strategic concerns of the indemnitor’ and the team is ‘always interested in facilitating resolution and minimising disputes’. Tony Dempster jointly heads the practice with the ‘responsive, perceptive and detail-oriented’ Howard Watson, who specialises in high-value group actions.

RPC’s group is noted for its ‘great level of industry knowledge’ and for its ‘consideration of both old and new case laws in its advice’. Gavin Reese and Nick McMahon co-head the group, which acts for clients including OIM, Arch and Hiscox, and which successfully represented the defendant in a £1m traumatic amputation claim.

Hill Dickinson LLP is ‘very knowledgeable on all aspects of maritime law’, with practice head Maria Pittordis attracting praise for providing industry knowledge that is ‘second to none’. Recent work includes acting for TUI UK and Louis Cruises in a class action brought by 43 passengers related to a bacterial gastro-intestinal illness. John Caddies is the other key figure.

Charlotte Davies leads the practice at Ince & Co, which has notable cross-industry expertise and handles claims related to workplace and construction accidents, and health and safety issues. Deafness and asbestos liability are also key areas of focus.

Keystone Law’s practice was strengthened by the arrival of Steven Conway from Browne Jacobson LLP in 2016. Conway has notable experience defending local authorities, public authorities and insurers against a range of civil claims. Cordelia Rushby is also a key figure.

John Strange heads the marine personal injury team at Thomas Cooper LLP, which ‘has an outstanding degree of knowledge within its niche area of practice. Rachel Mills acts for ship owners and their insurers, P&I clubs and cruise operators. Key clients include Britannia Steamship Insurance Association, Norwegian Hull Club and Thomas Miller P&I.


Product liability: claimant

Index of tables

  1. Product liability: claimant
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Pre-eminent in its field’, Leigh Day’s practice has particular strength in disputes relating to medical devices and white goods. On the medical devices front, Bozena Michalowska Howells (who is noted for her ‘impressive levels of calm, practicality and determination’) led the team representing approximately 350 claimants across the UK in the group litigation order alleging that patients implanted with prosthetic hips manufactured and marketed by DePuy suffered early revision and injury as a result. In an illustration of its work against white good manufacturers, Jill Paterson is representing the claimants in an inquest into a fire allegedly caused by a Hotpoint tumble dryer. Other key figures include Martyn Day, who ‘remains the leading light in product liability’, and Michelle Victor.

Peter Todd leads the practice at Hodge Jones & Allen LLP, and is leading the team that is continuing to represent 88 claimants in the Pandemrix vaccine multi-party action, in which it is alleged the drug caused acute neurological disorders. The team is also acting for 65 claimants who allege that their children suffered severe brain injury as a consequence of a whooping cough vaccine. Industrial diseases specialist Isobel Lovett is ‘knowledgeable, experienced and great with clients’.

Hugh James is considered a market leader nationally for product liability work relating to medical devices and pharmaceutical products. In an illustration of its national strength, it has been appointed the lead firm in the PIP breast implant group litigation order, which involves over 1000 claimants. The practice is also representing more than 200 individuals from South Wales in claims for compensation arising from the failure of defective hip implants manufactured by DePuy. Group head Mark Harvey is highly recommended.

The ‘impressive team’ at Irwin Mitchell has been acting in the DePuy Pinnacle, Zimmer Durom/Metasul, and Corin Cormet group litigation orders, which have involved cross-border claims where EU nationals had their surgery performed in another EU jurisdiction. In another key illustration of the firm’s medical law expertise, Kevin Timms (who is noted for ‘his very impressive knowledge of the relevant law and ability to understand what the client needs’) was part of the team representing several current and past military personnel in a group action against the Ministry of Defence concerning its supply of the anti-malaria drug, Lariam. Birmingham-based Clive Garner heads the practice, which includes Sallie Booth and Tim Annett, who ‘demonstrate consistently excellent judgement’.

At Slater and Gordon, Fraser Whitehead is leading the team representing 20 claimants in claims arising from their exposure to the drug thalidomide. In another key matter, the department has been investigating potential claims which may be brought by car owners arising from the widely reported investigation into Volkswagen Group’s use of so-called “defeat devices”, which had been fitted to 1.2m cars in the UK. Practice head Jacqueline Young is leading on that matter.


Product liability: defendant

Index of tables

  1. Product liability: defendant
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Arnold & Porter (UK) LLP’s practice has a strong emphasis on the life sciences and pharmaceuticals sectors. In addition to regularly defending its corporate clients in litigation, the firm also provides non-contentious risk mitigation advice covering issues such as changes to product warnings and switches to the classification of medicines from prescription-only to pharmacy-sales. In a showcase of its pharmaceuticals expertise, the practice is defending Grünenthal in a group action claim arising from allegations that individuals suffered personal injury due to exposure to thalidomide during pregnancy. Ian Dodds-Smith heads the practice and is recommended alongside Adela Williams.

John Leadley (who is ‘the doyen of product liability litigation’) heads the practice at Baker McKenzie LLP, which is singled out for its product liability expertise relating to the biotechnology, electronics and consumables sectors. Leadley is leading the team defending Stryker Corporation in a product liability claim under the Consumer Protection Act 1987 concerning an allegedly defective hip replacement product. Other clients include Sony, Carlsberg and Logitech.

DAC Beachcroft LLP has a strong track record in the pharmaceuticals and life sciences sectors – its product liability practice is acting in the majority of cases in the UK – although the firm’s expertise extends beyond those sectors to handle matters for telecoms, food, consumer goods and technology companies. The practice is continuing to act for AstraZeneca Insurance Company in claims arising from the use of Seroquel, an anti-psychotic medication. In another key matter, Chris Wilkes and Wendy Hopkins acted for Zurich and Rolls-Royce Marine in claims arising from allegedly defective thrusters on one of the world’s largest container ships, which nearly sank in the Suez canal in 2013. Other key figures include practice head Simon Pearl and Alison McAdams.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP’s product liability practice acts for a blue-chip client base that includes Tesco, AB InBev, and Volkswagen, for which it regularly handles cross-border litigation and regulatory matters. It is also active in defending claims against manufacturing, chemical and biomedical companies, including Smith & Nephew. John Blain heads the practice, which includes Jonathan Isted, who is ‘the perfect all-rounder’.

Hogan Lovells International LLP’s ‘very thorough and responsive’ practice is jointly led by Rod Freeman (who is ‘a font of knowledge on product safety globally’), John Meltzer (who is ‘a very accomplished litigator’) and Ruth Grant. Clients include manufacturers of electrical goods and medical devices, and pharmaceuticals and tobacco companies. Senior associate Valerie Kenyon is also recommended.

Clyde & Co LLP’s client base includes leading insurers AIG, Zurich and Premium Medical Protection, as well as multinational corporates and manufacturers. The practice’s workload encompasses a variety of sectors, including the automotive, agriculture, manufacturing and pharmaceuticals and healthcare industries. Key work included defending Johnson & Johnson Medical in product liability claims arising from the use of trans- vaginal mesh in uro-gynaecological surgery. Practice head Neil Beresford has an extensive track record in automotive, healthcare and food and drink related matters, often with an international element. Also recommended are Claire Petts, who advises on healthcare-related matters, and Erika Rainger, who joined as legal director from RPC.

Tony Dempster, Howard Watson and Philip Pfeffer head the practice at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, which regularly focuses on major product liability cases and class actions, typically with international elements. In an illustration of its cross-border strength, the practice is acting for BAT Italia in a class action concerning allegations relating to addiction to cigarette smoking and nicotine manipulation. Other high-profile matters included its ongoing representation of Diageo in claims arising from its distribution of thalidomide. Damian Grave is also recommended.

Kennedys’ ‘reliable and highly sophisticated’ practice handles a range of matters, from engineering and automotive matters to complex healthcare and consumer products, for major corporates and their insurers. Key figures include practice head Shane Sayers, ‘superb all-rounder’ Trevor Davies, and Daniel Turner, who is representing Mitsui Insurance and Daiichi Sankyo in a class action concerning an alleged defect in a hypertension drug. Anne Ware has retired.

Addleshaw Goddard LLP’s team combines product safety specialists with expertise in civil, criminal and regulatory matters. Working closely with its policyholder insurance team, the firm handles criminal prosecutions, regulatory investigations, and claims by corporate clients against insurers in addition to acting in group actions. The practice is continuing to defend GlaxoSmithKline in claims relating to the anti-depressant, Seroxat. Practice head Louisa Caswell, who ‘impresses with her ability to implement clients’ objectives’, is leading the team on that matter. ‘Bright, hardworking and committed’ legal Director Mark Chesher is also recommended.

Jim Sherwood heads the practice at BLM, which acts for insurers as well as corporates on issues ranging from medical device claims to toxic tort issues and construction-related disputes. It also has a strong focus on coverage issues, where it acts for leading insurers such as Zurich, XL and Allianz. The practice recently defended Transform Medical Group, and their insurers in a group litigation case involving 1,200 claimants. David Kidman joined DWF.

Key figures at Covington & Burling LLP include senior associate Brian Kelly, who has a strong focus on the food and beverage sector, and Grant Castle, who has an extensive track record in issues relating to pharmaceuticals and medical devices. Clients include Holland & Barrett, Monster Energy and Johnson & Johnson Limited. Brussels-based Robin Blaney was promoted to partner.

Leeds-based Richard Matthews heads Eversheds LLP’s practice, which attracts praise for its ‘very strategic advice and responsive service’ and leverages its international office network to manage cross-border incidents and regulatory investigations. The practice has strength in the automotive, pharmaceutical and consumer products spaces, and counts Tyco, Allied Glass and Rolls Royce among its clients.

Mayer Brown International LLP’s practice is headed by Miles Robinson, who specialises in large-scale, cross-border group actions, and Ingrid Hobbs, who focuses on arbitrations and product recall. The practice acts for a range of food and beverage, biomedical and industrial sector clients.

Pinsent Masons LLP’s practice provides full UK coverage through its network of offices, and handles a range of matters, including product liability litigation and crisis management for clients in healthcare, manufacturing and pharmaceuticals sectors. Andrew Masterson leads the department, which includes the ‘thorough yet commercially focused’ Louise Nahon.

In an illustration of RPC’s track record acting for insurers and their insured, Dorothy Flower is leading the team representing Corin Limited and its insurers in group litigation concerning its metal-on-metal hip-implant technology. Flower is noted for her ‘energy and penetrating analysis when co-ordinating a defence’. Practice head Gavin Reese is also recommended. Alex Hamer has retired.

Simmons & Simmons acts for a leading insurer client base that includes Munich Reinsurance, AIG and Sompo Nikkonkoa Insurance. Jason Bright heads the practice and focuses on large-scale losses, and ‘intelligent, timely and accurate’ managing associate Sherry Goodman-Smith specialises in product recall and construction-related issues.

Ashurst’s practice has a strong focus on tobacco products, and acts as sole provider of product liability and safety advice to Imperial Tobacco. Mark Clarke heads the department.

DWF has a strong track record in the food and beverages sector, where it acts for clients including PepsiCo, WM Morrison Supermarkets and the Whitbread Group. Its product liability practice was further strengthened by the arrival of David Kidman from BLM; he specialises in claims concerning the medical devices, automotive and electrical sectors. Other key figures include Hilary Ross, who is noted for her ‘depth of knowledge and pragmatic approach’.

Osborne Clarke’s practice predominantly acts for technology clients including Facebook, VTech and EE, as well as for clients in the food and beverages industry. Catherine Wolfenden and Claire Temple co-head the practice. Jude King joined from the Advertising Standards Authority.

Penningtons Manches LLP’s practice is headed by John Doherty and has particular strength acting for tobacco manufacturers including British American Tobacco. Other clients include automotive and consumer goods companies.

Shook, Hardy & Bacon International LLP’s department is headed by Simon Castley and acts for major tobacco and automotive manufacturers. Sarah Croft focuses on life sciences and biotechnology litigation.

Shoosmiths LLP’s ‘very client-focused’ practice is best known for its work within the food and beverages industry, but also represents white goods manufacturers as well as automotive and retail clients. Phil Ryan in Reading and Richard Marshall, who is based in Manchester, jointly head the department.

Key figures at Weightmans LLP include practice head Fiona East, who is ‘a real class act and tenacious litigator’, and Ivor Long. The practice acts for a range of insurers and recently acted for a large automotive company.

Laurence Harris and David Kendall head the team at Cooley (UK) LLP, which has a reputation for handling insurance and reinsurance disputes for insurers including Munich Re, Swiss Re and XL Catlin, as well as handling pharmaceutical and medical device product liability claims arising from mass tort litigation.

Squire Patton Boggs has a longstanding track record of work in the food and beverage sector, and also acts for clients in the industrial and consumer goods sectors. Practice head Rob Elvin handles environmental and health and safety matters, and Birmingham-based Nicola Smith specialises in the hospitality and retail sectors.


Professional negligence

Index of tables

  1. Professional negligence
  2. Leading individuals

A market leader for professional negligence’, Clyde & Co LLP acts for a heavyweight insurer client base that includes Zurich, Travelers, Markel, QBE, Aviva and Allianz. ‘Very thorough’ team head Sarah Clovertruly appreciates the sensitivities involved’. She is ably supported by the ‘simply outstandingSimon Konsta, Andrew Blair (who is ‘a very impressive operator’), and Richard Harrison, who heads the lawyers’ liability group and ‘always provides clear advice’. Also recommended are Gaby Kaiser (who is singled out for her ‘talent for getting into the detail’), Neil Jamieson, James Roberts, who heads the accountants liability group, construction liability group head Richard Moody, and the ‘excellent’ Fergal Cathie. Recent hires include Mark Sutton, who joined from DAC Beachcroft LLP; Gordon Walker, who joined as a result of its merger with Simpson & Marwick; and Simon Lampier, who joined from his own consultancy business. Tom White was promoted to partner.

Mayer Brown International LLP is ‘an outstanding player in professional negligence’. The firm fields a ‘very responsive’ team with ‘a good level of partner involvement’ and which is noted for its experience in complex, high-value matters acting for clients including QBE, Kier, BDO LLP, Markel, and Costain. Michael Regan and William Glassey lead the practice, which includes Sean Connolly, who has ‘a fantastic reputation’; Jim Oulton, who ‘always has time for his clients’; and the ‘excellent’ Lindsay McQuillian, ‘focusedIngrid Hobbs and ‘very knowledgeable’ Mandip Sagoo. Clients also recommend Angus Duncan, for his ‘in-depth expertise’, and Sally Davies and Tom Duncan, who are ‘fantastic on construction-related matters’.

CMS’ ‘commercial’ team is ‘always willing to go the extra mile in terms of service’. Based across its London and Bristol offices, the team acts for a range of insurers including Beazley Syndicate, QBE, ACE, Chubb and Brit. Ed Foss heads the team, which includes the ‘exceptionalMartin Fox; Monica Lesny, who is ‘always on top of the detail’; Stephen Tester, who ‘will spot the points that others will miss’; the ‘brilliant’ Belinda Schofield; and Zoe Burge. Also recommended are Stephen Netherway, who heads the financial institutions practice, Anna Crew, who heads the solicitors professional indemnity team, and Alex Denslow, who heads the insurance sector group. Cheryl Gibson and Simon Garrett are also key names.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s ‘thorough and hardworking’ team is active across a number of sectors including financial services, insurance, legal, construction, accountancy and pensions, where it acts for insurers as well as blue-chip corporates. The ‘very commercial’ Paul Lewis leads the global contentious insurance and reinsurance practice, which includes David Reston, who is ‘astute, industrious, and very down to earth’, Tom Leech QC, and the ‘exceptional’ Ian Gatt QC. Sarah McNally and Harry Edwards were recently promoted to the partnership.

Hogan Lovells International LLP fields a ‘very impressive’ and ‘well-respected’ professional negligence team that is particularly noted for its experience in the legal, accountancy, pensions, property and insurance sectors. ‘Top-notch’ team head Nicholas Heatoncan hone in on the most important issues in a case’, and is ably supported by Angela Dimsdale Gill, who is ‘experienced, unflustered, extremely able and an outstanding negotiator’, and Ruth Grant. Senior associate Nathan Sherlock is ‘always completely on top of the case’.

Kennedys’ ‘responsive’ team has ‘excellent industry knowledge’. The firm is on RSA’s construction panel and recently acted for the client and its insured chartered accountants on a claim brought by Harlequin Property and Harlequin Hotels & Resorts regarding an investment scheme. John Eastlake and Manchester-based Jeremy Riley head the team, which includes the ‘pragmatic’ Martin Chesher, ‘highly regarded’ Simon Gibson, Catherine Shuttleworth, who has ‘a great reputation’, Tom Stapleton, and David Wilkinson. Fleur Rochester joined from Hill Dickinson LLP in February 2016 and Matt Andrews is now based in the Sydney office.

RPC has ‘a fantastic reputation’ for professional negligence work and its expertise spans legal, technology, construction, surveyors and financial negligence. AIG, Aviva, AXIS, QBE and Markel are clients. Tim Bull heads the team, which includes Nick Bird, who is noted for his ‘in-depth knowledge’; Paul Castellani, who is ‘excellent on claims involving lawyers’; the ‘very experiencedAlan Stone, who is particularly noted for construction-related cases; and the ‘outstandingAlexandra Anderson. Also recommended are the ‘brilliantSimon Greenley and Simon Laird. James Wickes was promoted to partner in 2015, while Alex Hamer recently retired.

Simmons & Simmons’ ‘technically strong’ team has extensive experience in claims against accountants, actuaries, lawyers, brokers, construction professionals, IT consultants, surveyors and valuers. Key figures include the ‘outstandingJames Pollock, who heads the team; the ‘excellentColin Passmore, who is particularly noted for accountants claims; Emma Kendrick-Jones, who attracts praise for her ‘broad skill-set’; Simon Hilditch, who is singled out for his ‘exceptional mind’; and Carol Hewson, who is recommended for her expertise on real estate cases. Clients also recommend of counsel Jeremy Roberts and managing associate Felix Zimmermann. Of counsel Iftikhar Ali recently joined from Signature Litigation LLP.

DAC Beachcroft LLP attracts praise for its ‘very high-quality service’ and ‘strength in depth’. The team advised two former partners of accountants Kingston Smith & Partners LLP and their professional indemnity insurers in High Court proceedings. Trevor Chamberlain heads the department, which includes William Allison, who is ‘first rate for finance-related instructions’; Michael Blackburne, who heads the construction practice; Julian Miller, who is noted for pension and financial litigation; and the ‘very knowledgeable and commercialPatrick Hill. Also recommended are Richard Highley, who leads on accountancy-related matters; Hans Allnutt, for his ‘excellent data privacy skills’ ; Philip Murrin, for his ‘exceptional talent and commitment’; and Evi Hava, who is noted for solicitors’ negligence matters. Mark Sutton joined Clyde & Co LLP.

Antony Marsh’s ‘effective’ team at DWF acts for clients including Novae Insurance Company, Amlin, Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund and Chubb. The ‘excellentJohn Bennett, ‘very able’ Andrew Davis and ‘quick, commercialHarriet Quiney (who ‘gives sound advice’) are also recommended, as are Alexandra Goddard, for financial services and pensions advice, and the ‘highly regardedJoseph Arazi. Other key individuals include Peter Campion, Mark Klimt, Matthew Olorenshaw, Peter Sewell and Jacquetta Castle. Simon Durkin was promoted to partner in 2015.

Stephenson Harwood delivers ‘thorough’ and ‘well-thought-through’ advice, and is praised for its ability to ‘focus on the key issues’. It defended Deloitte LLP on a case brought against it by singer Sade’s former manager for breach of duties. The team is jointly headed by Roland Foord (who has ‘vast experience’) and Stephen Roberts (who stands out for his ‘academic approach, but also for his ability to see the wood from the trees from a business perspective’). Andrew Myers, Tony Woodcock and Richard Garcia are also recommended.

Pinsent Masons LLP’s ‘professional and responsive’ team is led by Nick Bradley, who ‘always provides sound, practical legal advice’. The team advises on a range of high-value pensions, tax, technology and infrastructure professional negligence matters. Key work included acting for Dunbar Assets on a portfolio of ten professional negligence claims against chartered surveyors. Isabel Nurse-Marsh is ‘incredibly well organised’, ‘very litigation savvy, and has a great feel for her cases’. Also recommended are Colin Read, who is experienced in engineering and construction; the ‘excellentStuart McNeill; and Manoj Vaghela.

Taylor Wessing LLP’s ‘exceptional’ team focuses on complex and high-profile disputes and regulatory investigations. The practice is particularly noted for its expertise in accountancy matters; notable work included defending PwC in a £1.6bn claim arising out of the collapse of sub-prime lender Cattles and its trading subsidiary. Key figures include the ‘very talented’ Julian Randall, Andrew Howell, who is noted for his ‘in-depth expertise’, and Stephen Flaherty.

BLM defends a broad range of professionals including lawyers, estate agents, surveyors, construction professionals, accountants, auditors, banks, local authorities, and trade unions. Elliot Pound heads the team and has ‘an encyclopaedic knowledge of the advisory landscape and the regulatory environment’. Pound is ably supported by consultant Charlotte Capstick, who is ‘an extremely experienced and capable lawyer’; Martin Jensen, who has ‘the ability to cut through complex problems and find lateral solutions’; Peter Stockill, who is ‘an energetic and effective litigator’; and the ‘knowledgeable, skillful and innovativeMichael Harvey. Richard Wilkins, Michael Salau, Keith Lonsdale and Alex Traill are also recommended.

Beale & Company Solicitors LLP has a strong construction professional indemnity team that is noted for its ‘excellent industry knowledge’ and for its ability to ‘grasp the wider picture’. The firm also advises on financial and legal matters for a client base that includes HCC International, Aviva Insurance UK and IFA Solutions. Antony Smith leads the team, which includes Damian McPhun, who ‘considers the issues at hand carefully’; the ‘clever and hardworkingEd Anderson; and Sheena Sood, who is ‘very client focused’. Heidi Kapadia and senior associates Ian Masser and Nathan Modell are also noted. Stephen Reilly joined the team from CNA Hardy.

Bond Dickinson LLP successfully advised Starstone and Beltec on a construction case. Standout individuals include the ‘fantasticEmily Monastiriotis, the ‘technically very goodSimon Gildener, Hannah Cane, who provides ‘practical and clear advice’, Ross Baker and the ‘very professionalSushma MacGeoch. Jane Williams and legal director (and ‘robust litigator’) Dan Hall are also recommended.

Eversheds LLP’s ‘commercially astute’ and ‘efficient’ department is led by Simon Brooks and advises on matters involving insurance brokers, accountants, lawyers and construction professionals. Key individuals include Matthew Allen, Paula Gaddum and Claire Carroll, who is ‘thorough and very diligent’. Jeremy Irving joined DWF.

Holman Fenwick Willan’s ‘diverse’ practice provides a ‘seamless service’ on negligence cases concerning brokers, lawyers, accountants and surveyors, and also handles E&O defence work. James Clibbon (who is ‘great with clients’) leads the team, which includes David Robinson, who ‘obtains excellent results’; Nigel Wick, who ‘handles cases with real verve’; and the ‘fantasticAndrew Bandurka. Also recommended are Paul Wordley, John Barlow and Graham Denny. In 2015 Christopher Cardona joined as insurance group head from Chadbourne & Parke (London) LLP.

The ‘impressive’ team at Norton Rose Fulbright has ‘a wealth of experience in commercial litigation’ and acted for Guidance Hotel Investment Company on a matter concerning a MENA property portfolio. The ‘calm and authoritativeSusan Dingwall heads the team, which includes the ‘first-rateLiam O’Connell; Chris Warren-Smith, who ‘focuses relentlessly on the objectives of the client’; the ‘excellentFfion Flockhart; and the ‘practicalMelanie Ryan. Paul Morris and Kirsty Hick are also recommended.

Reed Smith LLP houses a ‘fantastic’ team with ‘strong’ experience in professional negligence cases. Clients include Mott MacDonald, QBE and The Griffin Insurance Association. Department head Nick Speed has a ‘fantastic reputation’ and is supported by the ‘outstanding’ Patrick Beale, Margaret Campbell, who is noted for cases concerning brokers and solicitors, and the ‘extremely knowledgeable’ Charles Hewetson.

The ‘commercial’ team at Ashurst is noted for its financial sector focus; key mandates included advising Cattles and Welcome Financial Services as sub-prime lenders on a high-profile claim against PwC for audit negligence. Department head James Levy is ‘a tenacious, intelligent and measured leader

Fieldfisher advised on a case against former property solicitors for failing to properly review and advise on a break clause in a head lease. Colin Gibson, Jonathan Ray-Smith and Simon Moore are recommended. In 2016 James Lappin joined the Manchester office from DWF and Vivien Davies joined from Edwin Coe LLP.

Gowling WLG’s ‘knowledgeable’ team is advising the trustees of the £2bn Philips Pension Fund and Philips Electronics on a claim against Aon Hewitt and AllianceBernstein. Team head Jane Howard has ‘great client skills’ and advises on claims involving accountants and auditors. James Gordon and Ian Gordon are also recommended. Andrew Nugent Smith was recently promoted to partner.

Ben Ogden leads the ‘focused’ team at Ince & Co, which defended Travelers, RSA, Novae, Canopius, Omega, Atrium and Markel as the insurers on proceedings by the assured owner of a superyacht following extensive fire damage. Chris Jefferis heads the insurance group, which includes the ‘first-rate’ David Rutherford and Simon Cooper. Nilam Sharma left the firm in 2015 to join Keystone Law.

Neil Davis leads the team at Mills & Reeve LLP, which provides ‘top-quality advice from experienced individuals’ and handles legal, financial and construction claims, as well as technology and insurance broker cases. XL Catlin, Pembroke Managing Agency and Amlin UK are clients. The ‘talentedNicolas Oldham heads the construction and engineering risks team, and head of financial claims Virginia Hickley is noted for her ‘thorough and sound judgement’. Paul Spibey and consultant Harriet Strevens are also recommended.

Plexus Law is ‘very strong in the field of professional negligence’. It successfully acted for Capita Group on a pensions dispute. ACE, AXIS, Collegiate, Liberty are Partner Re are clients. Key individuals include Peter Court, who has ‘good commercial judgement’; the ‘very committed’ Simon Beckwith; the ‘thorough and careful’ Mark Ratcliff; Gary Thwaites, who is ‘an experienced litigator’; and Gary Wicks, who is ‘absolutely excellent’ and ‘gets a real grip on a case’.

Neil Trayhurn leads Triton Legal (formerly Robin Simon LLP)’s ‘hugely knowledgeable’ team, which ‘gives pragmatic and commercially focused advice’. It successfully defended Baker McKenzie LLP and its indemnity insurers on a claim by its former client, Symrise. Also recommended are Michael Robin, who is ‘a leader in his field’, Tim Barr, who is ‘a rising star’, and the ‘first-rate’ Joanne Staphnill.

Weightmans LLP’s ‘thorough and tenacious’ team advises on construction claims, claims against IFAs and on cases involving property professionals, valuers and surveyors. Quentin Fox is ‘calm, measured, and technically and strategically strong’. Ed Lewis provides ‘sound legal advice, delivered with commercial acumen’. Other key figures include Robert Crossingham, who is ‘sensible, hardworking and has excellent judgement’, and Liverpool-based Mike Grant, who heads the team and is a ‘pragmatic, commercially sensitive and highly effective tactician’.

Withers LLP regularly defends barristers on the instruction of the BMIF, and also acts for claimants on cases against accountants, valuers, insurance brokers, architects and solicitors. Christopher Coffin has ‘an extraordinary skill in guiding cases from beginning to very end’ and is ‘realistic, but not afraid of the fight’. Associate Caroline Thompson has ‘a quick grasp of the detail’ and special counsel Eleni Polycarpou is also recommended.

Bird & Bird LLP’s ‘experienced’ department advises on a range of professional negligence cases, including finance, construction and real estate. Jonathan Speed and Sophie Eyre are the key contacts.

Browne Jacobson LLP provides ‘very timely, accurate and succinct advice’ to clients such as Hiscox, Bar Mutual, Chaucer and Aon Claims Solutions. Michael Howard, Jim Hobsley and Jonathan Newbold are recommended alongside team head Derek Bambury. Jonathan Corman joined Fenchurch Law in 2015.

Clifford Chance LLP’s ‘well-drilled department has the flexibility to cover the most complex, high-value professional negligence disputes’. The ‘incredibly clever’ Philip Hill and ‘heavy-hitting, street-smart litigator’ Stephen Surgeoner lead the team, which includes Roger Leese.

Edwin Coe LLP is praised for its ‘unrivalled expertise in pursuing claims against insurance brokers’, and acts for claimants and defendants in a wide range of commercial insurance matters. Michael Whitton heads the team, which includes Roger Franklin and Nicola Maher, who has ‘nerves of steel and is good at dealing with challenging claims and clients’.

Hill Dickinson LLP advises on cases in the technology, construction and legal sectors and is increasingly active in cyber-related instructions. RSA, Aviva, Aspen Insurance, First Title and ProSight Specialty Insurance are clients. Jamie Monck-Mason, Dileep Pisharody and Andrew Schutte are recommended. Fleur Rochester recently joined Kennedys.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Europe) LLP’s clients include EY and KPMG. Matthew Lawson and Simon Willis are the key contacts.

Slaughter and May’s ‘highly-rated’ department advises on complex matters across a range of sectors including finance, legal and pensions. Efstathios Michael has a ‘fantastic reputation’ and is recommended alongside Elizabeth Barrett and team head Deborah Finkler.

The ‘knowledgeable and responsive’ team at TLT has developed a strong professional negligence practice and is particularly noted for its expertise in the financial sector. It is advising Barclays Bank on a claim against a firm of valuers. Andrew Lyon and Peter Richards-Gaskin are ‘excellent’.


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