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Work 020 3060 6000
Fax 020 3060 7000
Bristol, Hong Kong, London, Singapore

Gavin Reese

Work 020 3060 6895

Work Department

Liability, Products and Health Safety & Environmental.


Gavin has been advising insurers and corporates for over 30 years. He heads up RPC's experienced liability team and leads the firm's regulatory practice.

He deals with a broad range of liability and product claims, including stress and catastrophic injury claims. The product side of his practice includes advice on the Consumer Protection Act 1987, European regulation, and product liability cases, including those involving food, machinery, consumer and safety products.

He regularly advises companies and individuals facing Health & Safety and Environmental investigations and prosecutions, often following a major event. He is frequently instructed in connection with sensitive cases involving fatalities. 

Highlight cases include:  R v Sebeika (successful defence of a contractor after a fall from height); R v Counsell (successful defence of fireworks operator prosecuted for a health and safety offence following the 2011 M5 crash); R v Enviro-Waste Ltd (prosecution over death of three employees); R v Matthews (successful defence of gross negligence manslaughter charge); Hawley v Luminar Leisure (leading case on temporary deemed employment); representing a well-known high street retailer in connection with investigation concerning asbestos-containing materials; successful defence of electrical supplier facing product-related fatal accident claims.


Articled Edward Fail Neale & Co/Sharpe Pritchard; qualified 1985; assistant Sharpe Pritchard 1985-88; assistant Reynolds Porter Chamberlain 1988-95; partner: 1995. Publications of note: Contributing author to ‘Insurance for the Construction Industry’ Hogarth OUP 2012.


Health and Safety Lawyers’ Association; UK Environmental Law Association.


Ashford North School, University College, Cardiff (1982 LLB Hons); College of Law, Guildford (1983 LSF).


Rugby; football; private pilot’s licence.

London: Human resources

Health and safety

Within: Health and safety

RPC has expertise in cases relating to corporate and gross negligence manslaughter, as well as matters involving serious incidents and casualties. Nick McMahon, 'a calm and reassuring presence for all his clients', is one of two practice heads and advises on pre-emptive and reactive health and safety issues in the healthcare, retail and construction sectors. He works alongside 'brilliant tactician and leader' Gavin Reese, who often advises on high-profile investigations and prosecutions.

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London: Insurance

Personal injury: defendant

Within: Personal injury: defendant

RPC has a proven track record of handling complex personal injury cases, that usually involve life-altering injuries, namely amputation and brain injury. Practice co-head Gavin Reese's expertise includes cases involving stress and chronic pain claims. Nick McMahon's specialisms cover health and safety regulation, but he is also experienced across high-value severe injuries and group actions. Catastrophic as well as fatal injury claims are key areas of activity for Steven Aitken.

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Product liability: defendant

Within: Leading individuals

Gavin Reese - RPC

Within: Product liability: defendant

RPC has an experienced team acting for insurers in claims arising particularly in the life sciences area, where Dorothy Flower is a key name, but is also active in the automotive, chemicals, household goods and technology fields. The group regularly acts in disputes which span multiple jurisdictions and works closely together with the firm's Singapore and Hong Kong offices. Gavin Reese took over the practice lead from Flower, and he and consultant Nick McMahon have longstanding experience in the field. Legal director Peter Rudd-Clarke advises on regulatory matters.

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Legal Developments by:

  • Cancelling insurance: insolvency and downgrade clauses

    One of the most common concerns for both parties to an insurance contract (including reinsurance) is that the other party might become insolvent and unable to perform its obligations under the contract. Both insurer and insured will therefore wish to have the right to cancel the insurance mid-term in the event of the other party’s insolvency, or a change in its financial circumstances that makes its insolvency a more likely prospect in the near future.
    - Reynolds Porter Chamberlain LLP

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