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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > London > Insurance > Insurance litigation: for policyholders > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

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Index of tables

  1. Insurance litigation: for policyholders
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners
  4. Rising stars

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1

Allen & Overy LLP advises clients in the construction, energy and pharma sectors on professional indemnity, product liability, property damage and business interruption disputes with insurers. Practice head Joanna Page handles a range of matters including director and officer’s liability, professional indemnity and political risk insurance claims, while Richard Farnhill mainly acts for financial institutions. Richard Smith specialises in insurance coverage arbitration and 'calm, unflappable' senior associate Russell Butland covers property damage and business interruption claims.

Practice head(s):Joanna Page

Other key lawyers:Richard Farnhill; Richard Smith; Russell Butland

Testimonials

'The team is very creative in its thinking, and very easy to work with. Individuals demonstrate rigour and inventiveness in their legal thinking, combined with practical commercial judgement'

'Excellent all round service - superb technical knowledge, excellent client service and very easy to get on with on a human level'

'Excellent client care skills. Very responsive and proactive in their approach in difficult circumstances. Always very commercial and client focused'

'Senior associate Sophie Nettleton has excellent client care skills, is very responsive and provides good summaries and updates. Excellent organisation skills.'

'Senior associate Russell Butland is calm, unflappable and has very good technical knowledge and commercial understanding'

Key Clients

Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company

Work highlights

  • Acted for Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company in its claim against insurers relating to defects in the design of the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.

The 'extremely technically capable' team at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP advises prominent policyholders such as banks, energy, mining and construction companies on large, complex matters; it has recently handled cases in the areas of warranty and indemnity, credit insurance, political risk, energy insurance and public liability. Paul Lewis has broad expertise while 'superstar' Alexander Oddy - dubbed 'the Ferrari of the solicitors' world' - focuses on the energy and natural resources sector while also handling work for other bluechip corporates. Sarah McNally specialises in the construction, infrastructure, and energy sectors and the 'very capable' Greig Anderson acts for financial institutions.

Practice head(s):Paul Lewis

Other key lawyers:Alexander Oddy; Greig Anderson

Testimonials

'The team has carved out a niche as the standout insurance policyholder firm. As an insurance broker, they are top of the list when a client asks me who they should go to for advice on difficult claims'

'Approachability and the ability to communicate on complex issues effectively sets Herbert Smith Freehills apart from its competitors'

'Technically extremely capable, the team also importantly understands the commercial realities of the clients and the insurance market'

'Very strong on policyholder coverage issues, with clear advice for non-lawyers and lawyers alike. Detailed understanding of technical factual matrix and application'

'Anthony Dempster has encyclopaedic knowledge of this area of law but manages to both bring it to life and explain it in an easily digestible form. He is simply my go-to external counsel for all such matters'

'Sarah McNally can be relied on to give good, practical advice, rooted in thorough analysis of the legal position'

'Alexander Oddy gets to the heart of the issue quickly, and is able to provide quality legal advice that assists in making commercial decisions'

'Alexander Oddy is a brilliant technical lawyer but also approachable, commercially savvy and a pleasure to deal with'

'Alexander Oddy is a superstar, the Ferrari of the solicitors' world'

'Fiona Treanor is an exceptionally bright and committed associate'

'Fiona Treanor has a first-rate legal mind'

'Greig Anderson is very capable, approachable, solutions focused and very much understands the commercial aspects of the insurance market with which his clients interact'

Key Clients

Drax Plc

Single Buoy Moorings

Work highlights

  • Advised Single Buoy Moorings in connection with a claim under its construction insurance programme arising out of damage to an oil platform at the Yme field in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea.
  • Acting for owner of a large power station on a substantial property damage and business interruption claim.

Reed Smith LLP is very experienced in handling cross-border and domestic work for major international players in the financial services, energy and commodities sectors. 'Great tactician' Peter Hardy has a strong track record in financial services, professional risks and offshore energy insurance disputes, while the 'very effective' Mark Pring covers a broad range of insurance work. 'Formidable opponent' Margaret Campbell focuses on shipping and transport matters as well as credit and political risk insurance and brokers’ negligence, and is often assisted by 'impressive' associate Laura-May Scott.

Practice head(s):Peter Hardy

Other key lawyers:Margaret Campbell; Mark Pring; Laura-May Scott

Testimonials

'The team is efficient, hard-working, commercially minded and highly knowledgeable of the applicable law and procedure. The lawyers are also extremely friendly and a pleasure to work with'

'The firm is great at explaining what needs to be done. Work is of very high quality'

'Excellent client care with solicitors who work extremely effectively with both clients and counsel, and have a robust and pragmatic approach to solving disputes and settling out of court'

The insurance litigation team at Clifford Chance LLP acts for policyholders on a range of disputes spanning credit insurance, D&O, professional indemnity, and property insurance. The group's client roster includes financial institutions, major companies and private equity firms. The 'strong and very effective'group is headed by the 'truly outstanding' Philip Hill, who has significant experience of handling a variety of often multi-jurisdictional insurance disputes. 'Proactive' senior associate Christopher Ingham is another key member of the practice.

Practice head(s):Philip Hill

Other key lawyers:Christopher Ingham

Testimonials

'The firm has significant expertise in this area that is evident from industry feedback and their input on the project. The strong skill set on both the insurance and banking elements of the transactions enabled the firm to provide a service that was reflective of our requirements whilst also being sympathetic to market expectation'

'This is a super team, featuring strong and very effective lawyers who give a lot of attention to detail'

'Clifford Chance matches a longstanding, deep experience with an ability to apply that experience to challenging litigation'

'This team are by far the best team I have worked in recent years. Lawyers really know their subject, they are practical in their approach to litigation and arbitration and they are a pleasure to work with'

'Philip Hill is a star. He is very thoughtful and really knows his stuff in this field'

'Philip Hill is a safe pair of hands in insurance related disputes. He has significant experience and is all over the litigation and the inevitable parallel settlement process'

'Philip Hill is approachable, hands-on, knowledgeable, and a team player'

'Philip Hill is a brilliant thinker, and manages to find a way around the thorniest of insurance problems – almost with ease, and always with subtle sophistication. Truly outstanding'

'Philip Hill and Baljit Rai are both knowledgeable and approachable, and can be depended upon to give good advice'

'Baljit Rai is knowledgeable, easy to work with, excellent at managing the team and spotting (and dealing with) obstacles on the horizon'

'Christopher Ingham is knowledgeable, proactive, and easy to work with'

Key Clients

HSBC

Société Générale

Royal Bank of Scotland

Macquarie

Work highlights

  • Advising the Financial Reporting Council in respect of an investigation and subsequent disciplinary proceedings relating to issues concerning redeeming practices at a motor insurer.
  • Acting for a client in a credit insurance claim resulting from the non-payment of sums due by a Chinese counterparty for licensing of Chinese version of global television format.
  • Acting for a co-defendant in an LCIA arbitration to determine whether the claimant is an insured for the purposes of the directors and officers policy.
  • Advising a client on the scope of cover under its professional indemnity policy and whether it responds to a particular claim.

Fenchurch Law has built a successful track record handling coverage disputes 'with skill and expertise' in a wide range of areas, including professional indemnity, public liability, financial risks and property policies. The firm also boasts particular expertise in acting for brokers. Led by the 'outstanding' David Pryce, the 'exceptional' team features professional risks expert Jonathan Corman, financial lines specialist John Curran, property risks lawyer Joanna Grant and construction insurance practice head Amy Lacey.

Practice head(s):David Pryce

Other key lawyers:Jonathan Corman; Joanna Grant; Amy Lacey; John Curran

Testimonials

'Good commercial advice and analysis of policy and claims'

'Fenchurch Law have established themselves as one of the leading insurance firms in the country. They are one of the very few firms with expertise and ability to go head to head with insurance firms and companies'

'The market leader for assured coverage disputes'

'Niche insurance litigation firm that gets results with right, good, hard-working, and agile lawyers'

'Partner led firm that is responsive and effective'

'Fenchurch Law has a market-leading practice in representing policyholders in their disputes with insurers. It acts with equal skill and expertise across a wide range of risk classes, and for both individual and corporate insureds. I have been particularly impressed by the client-focused approach, which involves a clear and consistent strategy being formulated and subject to regular review in each case'

'A unique offering for policyholders - excellent, straightforward and no nonsense advice from lawyers who know how to tackle tricky coverage issues'

'David Pryce is outstanding. Astute, commercial, passionate, a formidable litigator and real player in the market'

'David Pryce is excellent value, well-prepared, absolutely dedicated to his client's case and tactically astute'

'David Pryce has excellent commercial and strategic judgement that matches his technical knowledge'

'David Pryce is an outstanding insurance lawyer, who is always familiar with the latest developments in law and regulation. He has excellent commercial judgment and his tactical instincts in litigation are impressive'

'Joanna Grant is a very experienced and capable litigator, as is Amy Lacey. They both form part of an exceptional team'

'John Curran is a robust and strong litigator'

'John Curran is a very engaging and level-headed litigator. He is excellent technically with strong judgement'

'Senior associate James Morris is responsive and has a good understanding of commerciality and litigation tactics'

'James Morris is first class and holds the clients' trust'

Key Clients

Lancasters Management

Ground Rent Estates 5

Salim, Imtiaz, Imran and Zakir Patel

Coilcolor Limited (in administration)

Work highlights

  • Acting for Lancasters Management in disputes concerning the defects in the facade and bathrooms of an ultra-prime residential development facing Hyde Park.
  • Acting for Ground Rent Estates, who brought claims under a building defects insurance policy issued by BLP Insurance relating to fire cladding of Nova House in Slough.
  • Representing Coilcolor in a dispute with Allianz regarding a £3.6m claim in property damage and business interruption after the flooding of premises in Newport.
  • Defending a foreign research scientist diagnosed with cancer against two insurers claiming that he obtained critical illness policies as a result of fraudulent non-disclosures.
  • Representing claimants in a dispute with an insurer who declined a claim concerning property damage after a fire.

The team at K&L Gates LLP is best known for handling coverage disputes arising from professional indemnity, D&O and trade credit policies, often in the financial services arena. Other work includes advising clients in the energy, construction, retail and charity sectors on a wide range of insurance-related claims. The 'technically capable' and 'experienced' Sarah Turpin undertakes coverage disputes with insurers and senior associate Sarah Emerson has particular expertise in the construction and property sector.

Practice head(s):Sarah Turpin

Other key lawyers:Sarah Emerson

Testimonials

'K&L Gates has a deep understanding of what is achievable for its clients that translates into an ability to cut through unnecessary negotiation and get to the heart of the matter. It is the best firm working for policyholders in insurance for financial institutions'

'Sarah Turpin is technically capable, approachable and a pleasure to deal with'

'Sarah Turpin is excellent. She is experienced, client focused and a pleasure to deal with'

Key Clients

Michael Saville and Hugh Dickson as receivers

A major UK charity working in the legal sector

Halliburton Company

Work highlights

  • Providing coverage advice in relation to the professional indemnity insurance policy of a large charity operating in the legal sector.

Michelmores LLP's 'thorough and tenacious' team has significant experience in the insurance and reinsurance sector, handling work spanning professional indemnity, political risk, D&O, product liability and public liability matters. The group's client base includes policyholders in the real estate, public, utilities, financial services and manufacturing sectors, among others. Practice head Garbhan Shanks regularly acts for companies in the financial, energy, pharma and utilities sectors, while 'astute' senior associate Harriet Chopra focuses on product liability, professional indemnity and D&O insurance.

Practice head(s):Garbhan Shanks

Other key lawyers:Harriet Chopra

Testimonials

'The team at Michelmores is very thorough, tenacious, and very knowledgeable. Lawyers have your best interest at heart and you trust their judgement'

'Expert firm for insurance litigation matters. In depth understanding of insurers perspective. Attention to detail'

'Garbhan Shanks and associate Naomi Hall are very capable in this field'

'Senior associate Harriet Chopra is very astute'

Key Clients

Wyelands Capital

GFG Alliance

Aviva Canada Inc

Houlder Limited

Plurimi Wealth LLP / Plurimi Investment Managers

Walters Power International

Kot Addu Power Company Limited

G L Hearn

United Bank Limited

Work highlights

  • Representing a major national commercial property agency in a professional indemnity coverage dispute with insurers under the Insurance Act 2015.
  • Advising a public body on coverage of significant potential public liability legacy claims.
  • Acting for a former director of an insurance brokerage firm in a dispute with D&O insurers about cover of a professional negligence claim.
  • Providing advice in relation to a long-running insurance and reinsurance coverage dispute in Pakistan regarding proximate cause in a terrorist attack.
  • Representing an investment and wealth management firm in an insurance coverage dispute as to the responsiveness of a professional indemnity policy over legal costs incurred defending a US action.

Addleshaw Goddard counts infrastructure, construction, marine and finance as particular sector strengths, advising clients on matters including investigation insurance, property damage and business interruption losses, professional indemnity, business loan repayment insurance and M&A risk management disputes. 'Impressive lawyer' Richard Wise has particular expertise in Bermuda Form arbitration and mediation, and Richard Clayton focuses on acting for financial institutions.

Practice head(s):Richard Wise

Other key lawyers:Richard Clayton

Testimonials

'Addleshaw Goddard has a knowledgeable, professional team which understands the market and is able to provide a differentiating service'

'Deep sector knowledge, borne out of a long pedigree and history of insurance work'

'Richard Wise and associate Josianne El Antoury are both excellent in providing good technical information that can be understood. Their availability for discussions also adds value'

'Richard Wise is a very good insurance lawyer. He knows the area like the back of his hand and is always willing to think outside of the box'

'Richard Wise is an impressive lawyer and a tremendous individual'

Key Clients

Weyerhaeuser Company

Network Rail

2 Sisters Food Group

Capita Group

Rhiannon Properties

Tideland Limited

TSB Bank PLC

Ross Sloan Investments

Work highlights

  • Acting for Weyerhaeuser Company in responding to an anti-suit injunction obtained by XL and Catlin concerning the proper forum for the insurance coverage dispute between the parties.

The practice at Burges Salmon LLP, which is led out of Bristol by insurance litigation head Kari McCormick, is focused almost exclusively on work for policyholders, allowing the firm to avoid conflicts to a large extent. The practice, which has a sector focus on construction, transport, energy, rail and infrastructure clients, has recently seen an increasing of work originating in Latin America. Senior associate Matthew Walker is well-regarded for his 'sector expertise and calm, can-do manner'.

Practice head(s):Kari McCormick

Other key lawyers:Matthew Walker

Testimonials

'Strong and capable team. Extremely user-friendly and responsive. They feel like a natural extension of my in-house team - providing advice in the very specialist area of insurance litigation. They have a more constructive and solutions focused approach than some other private practice law firms I have dealt with.'

'Extremely thorough, engaged and user friendly.'

'We are extremely impressed by the way Burges Salmon are handling our insurance litigation. They were able to obtain a very quick understanding of the issues facing us and develop a cohesive strategy that was clearly communicated to us. To date, the work undertaken has been timely, clearly communicated and extremely compelling in respect of the legal arguments.'

'Senior associate Matthew Walker is capable and acts in the best interests of his clients whilst being sensible and pragmatic, allowing an acceptable resolution to be reached.'

'Matthew Walker is my go-to person for insurance litigation advice. His sector expertise and calm, can-do manner are valued attributes as is his ability to collaborate with lawyers from other firms to deliver pragmatic commercial solutions to very complicated and nuanced problems. This is a skill that few litigation lawyers possess and makes Matt stand out from the rest.'

'Kari McCormick and Reshma Adkin are knowledgeable, thorough and an absolute pleasure to deal with. We achieved an excellent result thanks to their endeavours. I highly recommend them both for any insurance related litigation.'

'Matthew Walker and Ian Tucker have impressed us immensely with their understanding of our business, the particular issues facing us with this litigation and the strategy and legal arguments being put forward to defend our position. They both have excellent communication skills and are able to talk to us in a language that we understand.'

Key Clients

Costain Group

Jaguar Energy LLC

Financial Services Compensation Scheme Limited

Marlborough Fund Managers

Andrew Brownsword Hotels Limited

FirstGroup plc

RHP Group Limited

Vero Liability Insurance

Power Electrics (Bristol) Limited

Work highlights

  • Concluded the long-running multi-party recoveries action for the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, the financial services compensation fund of last resort, relating to PPI mis-selling and unfair relationships under the Consumer Credit Act.
  • Acting for Vero, one of the largest insurance companies in Australia and New Zealand, and its insured in relation a subrogated claim and uninsured losses against the supplier of defective products used to produce heaters/boilers.

Edwin Coe LLP is particularly strong in covering property damage and business interruption matters arising from catastrophes such as fires. Other mainstays of the practice include public liability, product liability and broker's professional negligence disputes. 'Tough negotiator' Roger Franklin leads on business interruption and property loss claims, while Michael Whitton focuses on liability and coverage disputes arising from fires, floods, thefts and other perils. Nicola Maher is regularly involved in professional negligence and D&O work.

Practice head(s):Roger Franklin

Other key lawyers:Michael Whitton; Nicola Maher

Testimonials

'Undoubtedly the leading firm acting for SME and consumer policyholders - they are not afraid to take matters to trial and get excellent results'

'Roger Franklin has wonderfully sound judgement and is a tough negotiator'

'Michael Whitton is a crafty old fox who has seen it all before'

'Nicola Maher is excellent and handling challenging clients'

'Senior associate Oliver Pannell is a rising star'

Key Clients

Dalamd Limited

Euro Pools Plc

JBR Leisure Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising a textile company on matters arising from a fire at its premises
  • Represented waste recycler Dalamd in a claim against insurance broker Butterworth Spengler following a large fire at their premises.
  • Acting for Euro Pools in a claim for indemnity under a product liability policy of insurance with RSA, relating to design issues in swimming pools with moveable floors and booms.

While regularly advising insurers and captive insurers, HFW also acts for prominent policyholders such as energy corporates, oil and gas companies, manufacturers and construction companies. Christopher Cardona, who leads the team, is regularly involved in cross-border work for financial institutions, particularly in relation to Latin America. Jonathan Bruce specialises in marine and energy insurance and Nigel Wick has broad expertise.

Practice head(s):Christopher Cardona

Other key lawyers:Nigel Wick; Jonathan Bruce

Work highlights

  • Advising a client in a coverage dispute under a property damage and business interruption insurance policy.
  • Acting for the owner of an aluminium smelter following a 'tapping out' incident and consequent business interruption.
  • Acting for the owner of an hydro project and dam in relation to coverage claim following diversion tunnel collapse.
  • Acting for a Peruvian utility company in a dispute with insurers following the structural failure of a penstock shaft at a hydroelectric power plant.
  • Acting for the captive insurer of a major petroleum company in relation to two large losses on platforms off Mexico.

While Mishcon de Reya LLP's practice primarily advises clients on D&O and property damage claims, the team is also active in cross-border disputes involving political risk and professional indemnity policies, as well as insurance coverage claims. Richard Leedham has expertise in most lines of business, while Sonia Campbell is increasingly handling work for clients in the life sciences sector.

Practice head(s):Richard Leedham

Other key lawyers:Sonia Campbell

Key Clients

Saba Rock

Quest Consulting London, Lemma Insurance Europe

Cheval Roc Residential Limited and Bonne Nuit Cheval Limited

Total Site Projects

Now Casting

Work highlights

  • Acting for Quest Consulting London in the pursuit of reinsurance liabilities, primarily relating to solicitors professional indemnity policies written by a reinsurer now in run-off.
  • Advising an asset management company on an insurance claim relating to a cyber fraud.
  • Representing Cheval Roc Residential and Bonne Nuit Cheval, the owners of a residential care home in Jersey which was damaged during a storm, in a dispute with insurer Zurich.
  • Advising a company providing directorial services in a dispute regarding the alleged wrongful declinature of the client's claim under a D&O policy by Massy United Insurance.
  • Representing a global life sciences company in a claim relating to property damage and business interruption arising in consequence of interruption in the manufacturing process of one of the client's disease drugs.

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