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  1. Insurance and reinsurance litigation
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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.

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