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  1. Insurance litigation: for policyholders
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

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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.

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Legal Developments in London for Insurance litigation: for policyholders

  • New revised guidelines for administrators in pre-pack sales

    Pre-pack sales by administrators are now used frequently enough for most people in business to be aware of them and many have come across them in their business lives. A small amount of controversy still attaches to pre-packs, but it is probably right to say that they are now an accepted part of the UK business scene as a useful means of rescuing a business in difficulty and preserving some or all of the jobs connected with the business.
    - Druces

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