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Howard Palmer QC

Work +44 (0)20 7822 1200
2TG – 2 Temple Gardens (2TG – 2 Temple Gardens)


Howard practises principally in insurance and reinsurance and personal injury, with particular experience in foreign claims and jurisdictional issues. Major disputes on policy wordings include, particularly in the field of asbestos liability risks (see Cape Insurance PLC v Iron Trades Employers’ Insurance Assn; Bolton MBC v Municipal Mutual; and Durham v BAI (the EL Trigger Litigation). He recently concluded the appeal to the Supreme Court in the Employers’ Liability Trigger Litigation (2012). He has also acted in enforcement of insurance rights by third parties (see Charlton v Fisher), in the context of Road Traffic Act liability, employers’ compulsory insurance, public liability insurance. Insurance recovery actions in cases with complex technical element (eg flooding; electrical malfunctions; fires; Arscott v The Coal Authority; Bybrook Barns v Kent CC). Howard has been instructed to give expert evidence on the English insurance law of non-disclosure and misrepresentation to the US courts. He conducts many high-profile cases in the constantly evolving area of law concerning the jurisdiction of the English courts over foreign claims and the law applicable to the resolution of claims with a foreign element. Under the Private International Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1995, he acted for the respondent in the landmark House of Lords appeal in Harding v Wealands [2007] 2 A.C. 1. He has also been involved in many disputes on whether English or foreign law is applicable to claims arising in foreign jurisdictions – Hamill v Hamill – Spain or England; Beauregard v Sturrock – England or Florida; Wortham v Deerhurst Resorts – England or Ontario. The temporal application of Rome II was successfully argued in Bacon v Nacional Suiza before Tomlinson LJ in 2010 – the only English decision on the question before the CJEU came to its decisive ruling in Homawoo. On issues of jurisdiction, Howard is expert in the application of the Brussels Regulation (44/2001) as well as CPR Pt 6 (service out of the jurisdiction). He appeared for the successful appellant accountants in the House of Lords in Haward v Fawcetts. Howard’s expertise in insurance, foreign claims and personal injury is put together in dealing with complex issues relating to motor insurance, against the background of the measures imposed by the Road Traffic Act 1988 and the content of the Motor Insurance Directives emanating from Europe. He has acted both for and against uninsured motorists and the MIB. He was instructed in the Supreme Court appeal in the case of Jacobs v MIB [2011] 1 WLR 2609, concerning a victim pursuing the MIB in the UK for compensation for an accident with an uninsured driver in Spain. Other reported cases of note include: John Mowlem v Neil F Jones (CA); George Fischer v Multi Design and DLE (TCC – HHJ Hicks QC); Gray & Ors. v T P Bennett & Son and Ors (TCC).


Called 1977; Inner Temple; tutor at King’s College, London 1977-78; QC 1999; Recorder 2006.


Basic German.




Eton; University College, Oxford (1980 MA Jurisprudence).


Cricket, field sports; member MCC.

London Bar

Insurance and reinsurance

Within: Insurance and reinsurance - Leading silks

Howard Palmer QC - 2TG – 2 Temple GardensA brilliant advocate. Calm, collected and delivers his arguments well.

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Professional negligence

Within: Professional negligence – Leading silks

Howard Palmer QC - 2TG – 2 Temple GardensHe is experienced in cases involving insurance professionals, engineers, construction professionals, lawyers and accountants.

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Travel law (including jurisdictional issues)

Within: Travel law (including jurisdictional issues) – Leading silks

Howard Palmer QC - 2TG – 2 Temple GardensHis main strength is his attention to detail when dealing with detailed and complex areas of the law.

Within: Travel law (including jurisdictional issues)

2TG – 2 Temple Gardens is a ‘very strong set dealing with all issues of travel litigation (jurisdiction and applicable law)’. Members have ‘real expertise in private international law’ and the core of their practice is dealing with the application of foreign law to high-value personal injury claims arising from accidents abroad. Highlights of the year include the Supreme Court decision in Brownlie v Four Seasons, in which Howard Palmer QC, Marie Louise Kinsler QC and Alistair Mackenzie appeared, concerning the ability to bring an action in tort in England arising out of an accident overseas.

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