Firms To Watch: Insurance and reinsurance litigation

Birketts LLP has moved into the London contentious insurance market through its merger with EC3 Legal in May 2020. Led by reinsurance expert Gavin Coull, the team which includes associate Emily Osborne, advises on disputes across a broad range of non-marine classes for major Lloyd’s syndicates, companies and captives.
The insurance offering at gunnercooke LLP is led by David Breslin, who joined the firm from Fladgate LLP in September 2020. He acts for insurers in disputes involving professional indemnity, marine and energy, trade credit and business interruption claims.

Insurance and reinsurance litigation in London

Clyde & Co LLP

Clyde & Co LLP fields one of the largest insurance teams in the market and offers ‘fast, effective and pragmatic advice’ to multinational organisations on insurance litigation matters, including cases involving Directors' and Officers' liability insurance (D&O), marine, product liability, financial lines and business interruption policies. The London team frequently collaborates with the firm’s offices worldwide to advise its roster of UK and international clients on international litigation. Practice lead James Cooper has considerable experience acting for directors and officers and financial institutions on contentious multijurisdictional matters. Andrew Grant heads up the specialty practice, ‘solution-orientatedSimon Jackson handles marine and energy insurance work, while Nigel Brook leads the firm’s reinsurance team, as well as the climate change risk practice. Neil Beresford handles product and environmental liability matters, and is another key contact in the team alongside Emma Ager, Mark Sutton, Mandip Sagoo, Michelle Crorie and experienced arbitrator and litigator Jane Andrewartha.

Practice head(s):

James Cooper

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Grant; Simon Jackson; Nigel Brook; Neil Beresford; Emma Ager; Mark Sutton; Mandip Sagoo; Michelle Crorie; Jane Andrewartha; Paul Lowrie; Franco D’Andrea

Testimonials

‘Fast, effective and pragmatic advice.’

‘Simon Jackson is user-friendly and solution-orientated.’

‘Paul Lowrie: Highly skilled and empathic. Makes the difficult understandable. Gives the right recommendation’

Key clients

Axis

Kennedys

Kennedys handles some of the most notable, multijurisdictional insurance and reinsurance disputes in the market, across marine, construction and property damage claims, and is also noted for advising on complex cases involving fraud. Nick Williams, who heads up the practice, acts on a range of reinsurance and insurance matters, from financial institution litigation to Bermuda Form arbitrations. David Chadwick has particular expertise in the field of political risk, and Nick Thomas handles construction, commercial property and energy and power generation claims. Patrick Foss and Chris Zavos bolster the team’s marine offering, and John Bruce and Ingrid Hobbs are key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Nick Williams

Other key lawyers:

David Chadwick; Nick Thomas; Patrick Foss; Chris Zavos; John Bruce; Ingrid Hobbs 

Key clients

Chubb

AIG

Allianz

Aviva

RSA

Aspen

Starstone

CNA Hardy

Beazley

Protector Forsikring ASA

Swiss Re

Brit

Liberty

Work highlights

  • Advising Protector Insurance, the property and liability insurer of Grenfell Tower’s owner and manager, on all legal issues arising out of the events of 14 June 2017.
  • Acting on behalf of a market of insurers and insured in a claim for losses sustained as a result of a fire at the Ferrybridge C Power Station on 31 July 2014.
  • Acting on behalf of a market of insurers and a main contractor in a claim regarding the structural defects of a care home.

CMS

Praised for its ‘depth, expertise and international presence’, the insurance litigation practice at CMS acts for insurers and reinsurers in claims across the property, construction, energy, professional negligence and aviation insurance sectors. Practice leader Ed Foss has particular expertise in insurance broker liability, while Simon Garrett focuses on claims against financial institutions, D&O claims and professional indemnity disputes. Simon Kilgour and Alex Denslow are noted as ‘excellent practitioners with strong market acumen and knowledge’. Tristan Hall and Alaina Wadsworth, who focuses on healthcare, aviation and professional negligence insurance disputes, are key contacts in the team. The firm strengthened its London marine offering with the addition of David McKie from Kennedys .

Practice head(s):

Ed Foss

Other key lawyers:

Simon Garrett; Simon Kilgour; Alex Denslow; Tristan Hall; Alaina Wadsworth; Cheryl Gibson

Testimonials

‘Good, practical and commercially thoughtful advice. A strong focus on effective resolutions. The team has a strong technical depth allied to a very good understanding of their clients’ needs. Time is always spent establishing the client’s view of resolution strategy and anticipated outcome which helps in setting an effective strategy for resolution.’

‘Depth, expertise and international presence.’

‘Simon Kilgour and Alex Denslow – excellent practitioners with strong market acumen and knowledge. Very attuned to the clients’ needs and always deliver clear advice which is both practical and commercially considered.’

‘Collaborative in their approach. Nothing is too much trouble. CMS endeavour to truly understand our business in order to provide the best possible client service.’

‘Alex Denslow floats like a butterfly but stings like a bee.’

‘Cheryl Gibson [Bristol] is personable and a delight to work with. She gets excellent results.’

‘Tristan Hall is very bright, user friendly and increasingly a ‘go to’ specialist for complex D&O matters.

Key clients

QBE

Axis

Brit

AXA XL

WR Berkley

Beazley

Markel

Liberty

Tokio Marine Kilne

CNA Hardy

Work highlights

  • Acting for Lonsdale in proceedings in the Commercial Court against its brokers for allegedly failing to procure appropriate insurance to cover a high profile claim brought against Harwood in the US.
  • Acting for Marine War Risks insurers in a disputed multi-million dollar insurance claim for the alleged constructive total loss of a tanker following detonation of an explosive device when the vessel was at anchor off Fujairah, UAE, in May 2019.
  • Acted for Spire in its successful coverage dispute against its primary layer insurers, RSA, relating to the alleged medical negligence and fraud of consultant surgeon, Mr Ian Paterson.

DAC Beachcroft LLP

DAC Beachcroft LLP handles insurance and reinsurance disputes involving energy, data protection, construction, property and professional indemnity policies. Wendy Hopkins has experience in multijurisdictional insurance matters and coverage issues, while Nick Young, Christopher Wilkes, Patrick Hill and James Deacon remain key contacts in the team. The practice benefits from the expertise of global head Liam O’Connell, as well as senior associate Sarah Hennessy. Lucy Dyson  left to join RPC .

Practice head(s):

Liam O’Connell

Other key lawyers:

Nick Young; Christopher Wilkes; Patrick Hill; James Deacon; Sarah Hennessy; Wendy Hopkins

DLA Piper

The London-based team at DLA Piper benefits from the firm’s ‘international presence’ and the ‘availability of the full DLA Piper network’ to handle cross-border insurance disputes. The practice has expertise in disputes involving  financial lines, aviation, property, construction, energy and casualty insurance. Head of the team Leon Taylor is experienced in acting in the UK courts and has a particular focus in international reinsurance contract and aviation coverage disputes. Andrew Symons has expertise in financial line disputes, while Rebecca Hopkirk is noted for handling cross-border insurance matters and Jane Childs leads the international financial lines insurance disputes practice.

Practice head(s):

Leon Taylor

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Symons; Rebecca Hopkirk; Jane Childs

Testimonials

‘Very broad expertise, and the availability of the full DLA Piper network in the background is useful.’

‘Leon Taylor in particular has provided excellent support.’

‘Excellent advice, strong reinsurance experience. Pragmatic approach. Approachable and responsive.’

‘Rebecca Hopkirk – an absolute gem. Very commercial and extremely responsive.’

‘The flexibility for the team to grow and contract as demands of the cases have shifted has been key. As a result of discovery demands and Covid-19 restrictions the team has searched for a delivered digital solutions.’

‘Depth, expertise, international presence, joined-up approach.’

Key clients

Swiss Re

AIG

Zurich

Chubb

Berkshire Hathaway/Faraday syndicate/Resolute Management

AXA XL

Munich Re

Tokio Marine Kiln

Allianz/AGCS

Liberty Specialty Markets

Talbot Underwriting Limited

Placing Platform Limited

R&Q

RSA

Atrium Underwriters Limited

Crawford & Co

Hiscox syndicate at Lloyds

Beazley syndicate at Lloyds

Gen Re

Partner Re

Brit

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s ‘industry knowledge, coupled with their great legal expertise, allows the team to provide excellent advice and a pragmatic approach to issues’ in insurance litigation. The team acts for insurers, reinsurers, captive insurers and brokers in matters involving professional negligence, property damage, business interruption issues and Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance. Paul Lewis heads up the London team and the global contentious insurance practice, while David Reston specialises in professional negligence disputes. Greig Anderson advises financial institutions on a range of insurance matters while newly promoted partner Fiona Treanor is a key contact in the team. Anthony Dempster retired in March 2021 however the firm made a statement of intent in the summer of 2021 with the significant addition of  Mayer Brown International LLP London insurance head William Glassey.

Practice head(s):

Paul Lewis

Other key lawyers:

David Reston; Greig Anderson; Fiona Treanor; William Glassey

Testimonials

‘Very good industry knowledge, coupled with great legal expertise, allows the team to provide excellent advice and a pragmatic approach to issues.’

‘Greig Anderson is extremely thorough and analytical in his approach but also able to give strategic advice where required.’

‘I think the team work well together. They are very knowledgeable in their area of law but also able to support us where we don’t have the capacity to carry out work, such as information gathering and analysis. They flex their approach to fit in with what we are able to deliver.’

Key clients

Aviva

Axis

Korean Re

Marsh

Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

National Australia Bank (NAB)

Willis

Work highlights

  • Acted for the FCA, which advanced the claim for policyholders in the Covid-19 Business Interruption insurance test case (FCA v Arch and Others) both in the High Court and Supreme Court.
  • Advising AXIS Managing Agency on their position under an innocent owners marine insurance policy in respect of vessels alleged by owners to have been lost pursuant to orders of a foreign government authority.
  • Advising Korean Re on a dispute with retrocessionaire reinsurers in relation to the grounding and subsequent constructive total loss of a vessel off the coast of Brazil.

HFW

With a strong base in London’ and offices in overseas jurisdictions, the team at HFW is well-placed to act for both insurers and reinsurers in insurance litigation and is particularly strong in disputes in Latin America. Led by Christopher Cardona, who is praised for his ‘exceptional knowledge’, the practice has sector knowledge in matters relating to energy, mining, shipping and construction. Other key contacts in the London-based team include experienced insurance and reinsurance partner Andrew Bandurka, Christopher Foster, Jonathan Bruce and Costas Frangeskides, who ‘brings a vast amount of insurance industry experience to his work’.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Cardona

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Bandurka; Christopher Foster; Jonathan Bruce; Costas Frangeskides

Testimonials

‘Christopher Cardona – exceptional knowledge, skills, abilities, acumen and discusses issues with the client based on the client.’

‘Costas Frangeskides is a great person and an even better attorney. He brings a vast amount of insurance industry experience to his work, and he is great at cross-border work. His historic knowledge often comes into play when providing advice, and he is always willing to drop everything for a time sensitive project. It is a pleasure working with him.’

‘Jonathan Bruce – excellent.’

‘HFW has a tremendous team supporting (re)insurance, with a strong base in London and offices in other important jurisdictions (including UAE and Brazil). They have the most well regarded solicitors in the London market and are extremely knowledgeable. I love working with them.’

RPC

RPC acts for major insurers and reinsurers in international litigation and arbitration proceedings. The broad practice is noted for its expertise in matters involving financial lines, energy and power generation and cyber risk insurance. Practice lead Simon Laird splits his time between the London and Bristol offices. Key contacts in the team include partners Simon Goldring, James Wickes, who is noted for handling warranty and indemnity insurance claims, and Gary Walkling, who focuses on energy insurance matters. Political risk and trade credit insurance expert Naomi Vary, property team lead Victoria Sherratt and energy specialist Leigh Williams, are also names to note. The firm hired Lucy Dyson  from DAC Beachcroft LLP.

Practice head(s):

Simon Laird

Other key lawyers:

Simon Goldring; James Wickes; Gary Walkling; Naomi Vary; Leigh Williams; Lucy Dyson

Testimonials

‘A personal service. I’m updated on matters by phone and timescales for reporting provided which are always met. Friendly and helpful staff and clearly very knowledgeable.’

‘A large team with a great mix of knowledgeable partners and smart associates.’

‘A client friendly, responsive team who are a pleasure to work with.  They know the insurance market well and deploy that knowledge to inform their advice which is commercial and pragmatic. It has been very important for us to respond to our policyholders in a clear, consistent and timely way and the team at RPC has worked with us closely to ensure that has been possible.’

‘Friendly staff who clearly know their stuff.’

‘Victoria Sherratt is very responsive, pragmatic and commercial and her advice is well structured and clear.  She does not sit on the fence and she seeks to understand the challenges that we are faced with as a business. She is passionate about the work that she does.’

Key clients

Navigators

AIG

Arch

Hiscox

Liberty

Probitas

QBE

Axis

AXA XL

Hamilton

Work highlights

  • Acting for various reinsurers in a coverage dispute against ABSA Group Limited, obtaining an anti-suit injunction from the English High Court.

Clyde & Co

Clyde & Co LLP fields a strong insurance litigation practice which has a ‘wealth of knowledge’, particularly in property damage claims and covers matters involving professional indemnity, construction and public liability claims. Jointly led by John O’Shea, who provides ‘superb strategic advice’ on property damage claims, and Mark Aitken, who ‘stands out as market leading when it comes to fraud investigation’ related claims, the team acts for insurers, reinsurers and brokers. Other key contacts include ‘master strategistRoss Baker, Elizabeth Whittingham, Edwin Millburn and newly promoted partner Hanna Platt.

Practice head(s):

John O’Shea; Mark Aitken

Other key lawyers:

Ross Baker; Elizabeth Whittingham; Edwin Millburn; Hanna Platt; Philip Adamis

Testimonials

‘Ross Baker – a master strategist, Ross is always five steps ahead of the opposition. Ross never loses sight of his brief and ensures the clients are always aware of exactly what steps are being taken and why. I would single out Ross as a fantastic team player.’ 

‘Mark Aitken is an extremely capable insurance litigator, specialising in complex commercial insurance disputes (especially property and general liability). He has a real flair for investigating a claim and marshalling evidence for insurers. John O’Shea  handles large and important insurance disputes as well as subrogated claims. He is cerebral and has an excellent technical acumen, as well as providing superb strategic advice. Hanna Platt is a rising star in the area, with strong tactical instincts and a rigorous commitment to the detail of a case.’

‘BLM’s great strength is listening to their clients’ needs and always remembering their clients’ commercial objectives. So, whilst their legal analysis is second to none, they never let the law dominate the agenda – instead it is seeking to secure what their clients need. They are also highly collaborative and great team players. Clients are brought into the decision-making process and remain there.’ 

‘Mark Aitken stands out as market leading when it comes to fraud investigation. Some fantastic recent results in cases. He has a wealth of experience in this area. A safe pair of hands. Philip Adamis has for many years provided valuable guidance on matters, his previous experience as a loss adjuster means that he truly understands claims pressures. He is quick to respond to urgent matters and discuss practical steps. He is particular good at navigating contentious issues which result in economic savings.’  

‘Elizabeth Whittingham – calm under pressure, universally admired and liked by her team who clearly respond to her and enjoy working with her. Great clarity of thought and insight into client needs. John O’Shea – consummate professional. Clear-headed, able to pinpoint issues and provide crisp and incisive advice within tight timeframes.’

Key clients

AGEAS

Allianz

Amtrust

Aspen

Aviva

AXA

Direct Line Group

Ecclesiastical

Generali

IGI

HDI Global Specialty

LV=

Munich RE

WRB

Zurich

Accelerant

Arch

Covea

Fairmead Insurance (L&G)

Liberty Mutual

Pen U/W

Probitas Syndicate 1472

Carter Perry Bailey LLP

Specialist boutique Carter Perry Bailey LLP acts for insurers, reinsurers and brokers in cross-border disputes involving property, construction, public liability and industrial injury claims. Stephen Carter, who is praised for his ‘great capability to provide deep expertise’ in a wide range of insurance and reinsurance disputes, jointly heads up the practice alongside Bernadette Bailey who handles direct insurance claims and ensures ‘no stone is left unturned’. Helen Tilley has particular expertise in life, accident and health insurance matters.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Carter

Other key lawyers:

Bernadette Bailey; Helen Tilley

Testimonials

‘Stephen Carter – easy and pleasant to work with, very analytical, great capability to provide deep expertise and opinion even in spontaneous discussion. When it comes to international reinsurance, often lawyers have either good grasp of the academic side or grasp of the practical business aspects, but rarely both. To find a lawyer who has command of both is a rare treat. Stephen was immediately on point without needing any further introduction to either practices or the theory and I see him as a thought-leader in his field.’

‘ Helen Tilley is a very capable and experienced specialist in life and health insurance.’

‘Bernadette Bailey is always heavily personally invested in delivering a positive outcome for her clients. Whether seeking to resolve a dispute, or building and presenting a case for trial, no stone is left unturned. Whatever the circumstances Bernadette never loses sight of the bigger picture and seeks to achieve a commercial result that best meets the objectives of the client.’

‘Stephen Carter – excellent professional, but at the same time kind.  Bernadette Bailey, aggressive and determined but always very conscious when to start negotiating an out of court solution. A very rare but useful mix.’

Key clients

Allianz IARD

Community Reinsurance Corporation

HDI Gerling Insurance

Partner Re

Lime Street Insurance Brokers

Maas Lloyd Schadeverzekerings/ Hampden Insurance NV

NASCO

NDI Insurance & Reinsurance Brokers

Nexus Underwriting

Ulysse Re

Work highlights

  • Represented Sande Investments and eight other defendants in a case brought by Equitas in the Commercial Court.
  • Defended HDI Gerling in a claim on the grounds of fundamental dishonesty in the making of the claim.

Clausen Miller LLP

Clausen Miller LLP is a boutique firm specialising in insurance and reinsurance litigation, with particular expertise in property insurance disputes. It also frequently handles claims in the construction and engineering sectors. Practice co-leader John Startin has considerable litigation and arbitration experience, while fellow co-leader Jonathan Hall focuses on Latin American claims.

Practice head(s):

John Startin; Jonathan Hall 

Testimonials

‘John Startin is a strong defender of his client’s interests. Jonathan Hall has immense strength in analysis of detail and ensuring his clients are looked after.’

‘Clausen Miller offer sound advice on complex legal insurance matters. They can see solutions to what might otherwise be expensive and arduous problems and they can explain these solutions in terms that a non-legal person can understand.’

‘John Startin leads a professional, attentive and highly skilled team. Always impressive.’

‘Jonathan Hall is very accessible and always prepared to explain things.’

Cooley (UK) LLP

The contentious insurance team at Cooley (UK) LLP acts for insurers and reinsurers on a range of domestic disputes, as well as international insurance matters, including professional indemnity, D&O, product liability and business interruption claims. Practice head and ‘great negotiatorMark Everiss has a broad practice that also includes cyber claims and warranty and indemnity disputes. David Kendall continues to provide ‘pragmatic advice’ to clients as a senior counsel, while Richard Hopley and Sam Tacey are key contacts in the team.

Practice head(s):

Mark Everiss

Other key lawyers:

David Kendall; Richard Hopley; Sam Tacey 

Testimonials

‘Mark Everiss is technically very skilled, fast in responses and a great negotiator.’

‘Cooley’s insurance and reinsurance litigation team has swooped in to provide advice and guidance on a number of international matters for us. We bring them the weird and wonderful Lloyds of London disputes and they put together the right team even if it means pulling from different international offices. They are a real tool in the arsenal.’

‘David Kendall – responsive and provides pragmatic advice.’

‘The team is highly skilled and knowledgeable about the workings of the Lloyds market.’

Key clients

Lloyd’s Market Association (the LMA)

MMI

Ambridge Partners

The Mediterranean Insurance & Reinsurance Company Limited

Equitas

Hiscox

FM Global

OTM Insurance Specialists LLC

Work highlights

  • Advised Municipal Mutual Insurance Limited (MMI) on its ability to recover UK EL claims on its reinsurance programme covering the period 1950-1990 and the way in which it should seek to recover these claims.
  • Acting for Texas broker OTM, applied to the High Court for an emergency injunction to restrain UK broker Basil Fry for acting in breach of a restrictive covenant.

DWF

The London market and global risk team at DWF is noted for its expertise in reinsurance matters and handles cases across the Middle East, Asia and Africa, as well as the US and Europe. The group handles matters involving property, energy, product liability and business interruption claims. Practice head David Abbott has experience in reinsurance matters, while John Groome handles casualty and property claims and Jonathan Moss acts for clients in commodities and shipping litigation. Antony Woodhouse is noted for his work in the Bermuda market and Iftikhar Ali handles construction and energy claims. Former global head of insurance at InceKiran Soar, is a key contact in the team.

Practice head(s):

David Abbott

Other key lawyers:

John Groome; Jonathan Moss; Antony Woodhouse; Iftikhar Ali; Kiran Soar

Testimonials

‘Jonathan Moss is a world class shipping insurance lawyer. He has expertise in both wet and dry shipping matters – as well as commodities. His team has detailed knowledge of issues faced in a wide range of jurisdictions. One unique feature is that Jonathan, and certain members of his team, have physically been on-the-ground in both the Asian and African continent. He/they really know what’s going on where we operate. As well as having a dedicated team, Jonathan’s firm has huge resources and are able to upscale at a moment’s notice to deliver results.’

‘The European links within the DWF organisation are a strong asset to the team, as is the association with DWF Claims who offer solutions that dovetail with the legal services. In comparison with other similar organisations, work product is received in a prompt and timely manner, budgets are closely managed, and reports are clear and well structured.’

‘Excellent knowledge of the insurance industry.’

‘Jonathan Moss is a standout lawyer, with extensive experience and an impressive practice. He has a commercial approach, mixed with in-depth knowledge of the law. Jonathan’s language skills are of huge value with cases arising from the African continent. I would describe Jonathan as a go-to shipping lawyer.’

‘John Groome has been a long term contact within the organisation, his pragmatic and practical approach to resolving disputes is excellent. His ability to refer appropriate matters to a team of lawyers with multijurisdictional abilities is of particular benefit.’

‘Antony Woodhouse is a leading individual.’

Key clients

Hamilton Group

Canopius

AXA XL

QIC

Talbot Underwriting

RSA

Chubb

Markel

Liberty Specialty

Zurich Insurance

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP handles a range of insurance litigation matters, from broker negligence claims to property damage disputes. The multidisciplinary practice is led by Simon Brooks, who has more than 25 years' experience in insurance and reinsurance disputes. Principal associate Naz Gauri has a particular focus in financial and professional, property and specialty risks.

Practice head(s):

Simon Brooks

Other key lawyers:

Naz Gauri

Testimonials

‘Excellent technical knowledge specific to UK and EU insurance regulatory issues’

‘Partners and associates very approachable and give pragmatic advice.’

Key clients

Qatar Insurance Company

Aon Limited

AXA XL

CNA Hardy

Sedgwick Loss Adjusters

Glenmont Partners (owners of Port Clarence Energy Ltd)

Lockton Companies LLP

United Insurance Brokers

IF P&C

Gefion

Hogan Lovells International LLP

The practice at Hogan Lovells International LLP handles insurance disputes ranging from property damage claims to business interruption cases, often involving an international element. The team acts for clients in court, as well as in arbitration proceedings. Nick Atkins jointly leads the team alongside Jamie Rogers, who is praised for bringing ‘a combination of considerable intellectual rigour and commercial awareness’ to insurance matters.

Practice head(s):

Nick Atkins; Jamie Rogers

Testimonials

‘Jamie Rogers brings a combination of considerable intellectual rigour and commercial awareness, which, together with responsiveness and timely delivery, makes him our go-to lawyer.’

‘Breadth of expertise, bench strength, responsiveness. A diverse, expert, and business-minded team. Online seminars also very welcome and insightful.’

Key clients

Willis Towers Watson

Society of Lloyd’s

Securis

Work highlights

  • Advising Citi in relation to payment protection insurance (PPI) claims for almost 10 years, and now advising on legal developments arising from the end-stage of the allowed period for PPI claims.

Ince

Traditionally recognised for its focus on marine insurance matters, Ince also handles claims involving property damage and business interruption, as well as aviation insurance. Ben Ogden, who acts for insurers and brokers in a range of insurance disputes, jointly heads up the practice alongside marine insurance expert Fionna Gavin. The firm’s former global insurance head Kiran Soar  joined DWF in August 2020

Practice head(s):

Ben Ogden; Fionna Gavin

Key clients

Libya Insurance Company

Travelers/BBC

Skuld Marine Agency

IGI

Anglo American

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright handles insurance litigation matters involving financial lines, D&O and professional indemnity claims, as well as growing areas such as property liability and business interruption claims. Practice leader Adrian Mecz acts for international insurers and reinsurers on a range of disputes. Michelle George, who has experience handling product and professional indemnity claims, and Jonathan Ogle are praised as ‘stellar’ lawyers, alongside Ffion Flockhart who is also a key contact in the team. The team welcomed consultant Declan McDaid from the firm’s Hong Kong office, while Charlie Weston-Simons was promoted to partner at the start of 2020.

Practice head(s):

Adrian Mecz

Other key lawyers:

Michelle George; Jonathan Ogle; Ffion Flockhart; Declan McDaid; Susannah Russell

Testimonials

‘Jon Ogle and Michelle George – stellar.’

‘Michelle George and Adrian Mecz are highly experienced insurance coverage lawyers who have always seen and dealt with it before’

‘Michelle George is an excellent insurance coverage lawyer who doesn’t waste time with bad points or advice’

‘Excellent team – very diverse experience – excellent individuals. An excellent service’

‘Charlie Weston-Simons has provided excellent strategic thinking around a complex matter’

‘Susannah Russell managed the large volumes of material involved with great skill and accuracy and kept pace with the many twists and turns of the arbitration’

Key clients

AIG

AmTrust

AXA XL

Barbican

Brit

Canopius

Chubb

Enstar

ERGO

Liberty Specialty Markets

Marsh

MS Amlin

Munich Re

Pembroke/Hamilton

QBE

Resolute

Talbot/AIG

Vitality

WR Berkley

Zurich

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP’s insurance practice acts for major insurers in claims related to business interruption, construction and engineering, as well as D&O disputes. The team also collaborates with the firm’s cyber specialists and frequently handles matters involving data breaches. Colin Read leads the practice, with a focus on contentious regulatory disputes, and has significant expertise supporting insurers on disputes in the High Court.  Jonathan Cavill  was promoted to partner from  May 2021.

Practice head(s):

Colin Read

Other key lawyers:

Rebecca Carrera

Testimonials

‘Colin Read is an exceptionally experienced partner who combines excellent technical knowledge in the field of insurance/reinsurance with an all-too rare ability to think outside the box.’

‘Good presence in the market allied with an ability to conceive innovative solutions to seemingly intractable problems.’

‘Colin Read – absolutely first rate. He’s tremendously clever, knows the industry backwards, he’s an excellent lawyer and a superb team leader.’

‘Colin Read and Rebecca Carrera played a key role – they are well liked by clients for the quality of their service.’

Key clients

Aviva

Argo

Policyholders of PAC/Rothesay

Balfour Beatty

OIC (in Administration) – PWC

Axa

RSA

Partner Re

Work highlights

  • Acted for a former director of the Bermuda registered Sturgeon fund, who was successful in their application to terminate an order by liquidators.
  • Instructed on a Court of Appeal case involving the Prudential and Rothesay.

Simmons & Simmons

Simmons & Simmons is praised for its ‘excellent collaboration across practice areas’. In particular, the insurance team benefits from the firm’s wider expertise in the financial, asset, life sciences and media sectors to act for insurance clients in these areas. The team has ‘strength in depth’ in construction disputes, and handles product and employers’ liability claims. ‘Shrewd tacticianJames Pollock heads up the practice and focuses on construction and professional liability claims, while Jason Bright is noted for his experience in product liability matters. Felix Zimmermann is also a key contact.

Practice head(s):

James Pollock

Other key lawyers:

Jason Bright; Felix Zimmermann; Emily Monastiriotis

Testimonials

‘Simmons & Simmons have an outstanding team dealing with insurance and insurance-backed litigation. They are astute, commercial, well organised and will not shy away from a fight. Both partners and associates are very high quality.’

‘James Pollock – a big figure in the insurance litigation market. A shrewd tactician with excellent legal judgement.’

‘Felix Zimmerman – very thoughtful and intelligent and great with both insurer clients and insured.’

‘Strength in depth, strong knowledge and skillset across diverse unit.’

‘Excellent collaboration across practice areas, seamless at all times and always present as a team.’

‘Jason Bright is an absolutely outstanding lawyer – extremely bright, very hardworking, brilliant with clients in whom he inspires confidence, a superb manager of a team, and very commercial. An absolute pleasure to work with.’

Key clients

Argenta Syndicate Management Limited

London Excess Market

Markel

Munich Re

Work highlights

  • Acting for Argenta Syndicate Management Limited (ASML) in both the High Court and on appeal before the Supreme Court during the business interruption insurance test case proceedings brought by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
  • Advising a number of excess market insurers (across several layers) in connection with a first-party claim for mitigation costs, arising out of the construction of the Hague Cultural Centre.

Browne Jacobson LLP

In addition to its strong  professional indemnity and financial services sector expertise, Browne Jacobson LLP is also well-placed to handle insurance matters involving product liability, D&O, coverholder issues and reinsurance work. Colin Peck, who has considerable expertise in property damage and business interruption claims, jointly heads up the practice alongside Francis Mackie, who has over 30 years’ experience in this sector.

Practice head(s):

Colin Peck; Francis Mackie

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Newbold; Ed Anderson; Derek Bambury; Jeremy Irving ; Lisa Henty, Jude Cummings; Zoe Bowden

Testimonials

‘Colin Peck – he has terrific attention to detail. He picks up points which most would miss and deploys them to great effect. He’s extremely committed to his clients and gets great results.’

‘An extremely client focused and committed team with deep knowledge of its clients.’

‘We use Francis Mackie who is always available, client focused and gives thorough, appropriate advice.’

‘Specialised knowledge in niche field of work.’

‘Jonathan Newbold – technically excellent, sound judgement and a pleasure to work with’

‘Jude Cummings – very able, and making excellent progress’

Key clients

Hiscox Dedicated Corporate Syndicate 33

Starr Managing Agents Ltd (trading as Syndicate CVS 1919)

Chaucer Plc

Work highlights

  • Advised London market insurers on an anti-suit injunction to enforce UK arbitration provisions

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP

The team at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP has experience acting for insurers in disputes involving property, marine and D&O claims, and also frequently handles cross-border matters. Joint practice heads Anthony Lennox and Jonathan Sacher have decades of experience in insurance litigation, while Kelly Jones handles a range of contentious insurance matters.

Practice head(s):

Anthony Lennox; Jonathan Sacher 

Other key lawyers:

Kelly Jones

Mayer Brown International LLP

Mayer Brown International LLP’s insurance group benefits from the firm’s global footprint when it comes to handling international insurance disputes for insurers and reinsurers. James Whitaker handles D&O disputes, as well as professional liability claims. Other key contacts in the team include D&O specialist Jim Oulton, Tim Shepherd and counsel Mike Newham. Former London insurance head William Glassey  left for Herbert Smith Freehills LLP in mid-2021.

Practice head(s):

Jim Oulton

Other key lawyers:

James Whittaker; Tim Shepherd; Mike Newham 

Testimonials

‘What makes Mayer Brown unique is that I know I could work with anyone in the Insurance team with the full knowledge that I’d be in good hands. The quality of work from the team is always exceptional.’

‘Working with Mike Newham is incredibly easy. He is thorough and detailed with his work but also explains complicated issues in ways that are easy to understand. Mike is also great with thinking strategically, which is essential on the insurer side when handling difficult matters. I particularly value that Mike is genuinely happy to discuss claims whenever necessary and it is always a pleasure to work with him.’

Key clients

Zurich

Resolute Management Services

Liberty Mutual Insurance Europe

Novae

QBE

Chaucer

Chubb Insurance Company of Europe

Axa XL

Great Lakes Reinsurance (UK)

HCC

Shoosmiths LLP

Shoosmiths LLP’s national insurance practice acts for insurers in a range of disputes including D&O, property damage, cyber insurance and business interruption claims. Based in London, Susie Wakefield heads up the practice and has experience in multijurisdictional insurance coverage disputes, while Philip Tansley has a particular focus on cyber and product liability litigation . Reading-based Paul Eccles and Manchester-based Richard Marshall are also key contacts in the team.

Practice head(s):

Susie Wakefield

Other key lawyers:

Philip Tansley; Paul Eccles; Richard Marshall

Testimonials

‘Very experienced firm that punches well above its weight. An innovative, smart and very capable team in this area. Quick to identify the key issues in a claim in litigation but also commercially very savvy. Highly responsive. Will always run the extra mile for a client.’

‘Great teamwork. Very personable and client focused, but sharp as flint and ferociously competitive when the need arises. Not a team you want opposing you.’

Key clients

Chubb Europe

Enstar/Starstone Underwriting

Zurich Plc

SCOR SE

AmTrust Europe Limited

Bombardier Transportation (UK) Limited and its captive insurer

Comp Re/Bothnia

Nexus Underwriting

MD Insurance Services Limited

Navigators & General

HDI Gerling

Slaughter and May

Slaughter and May is praised for its ‘excellent insight into the industry sectors of its client base’ including insurers, with the team handling complex and unique insurance matters. The team, which is led by Richard Swallow, includes ‘stellar insurance and reinsurance partnerEfstathios Michael, who acts for insurers, reinsurers and brokers.

Practice head(s):

Richard Swallow (disputes); Efstathios Michael

Other key lawyers:

Damian Taylor; Ewan Brown; Nupur Upadhyay

Testimonials

‘Efstathios Michael is a stellar insurance and reinsurance partner; he stands out for his combination of great commercial instinct, intellect and fantastic humour. An absolute gem of an insurance lawyer.’

‘The team shows an excellent insight into the industry sectors of its client base which enable them to deliver pragmatic advice and inspire confidence.’

‘Efstathios Michael is always quick to identify the key issues in a dispute and the range of options available to clients, which reflect a keen understanding of his clients’ strategic priorities. Efstathios is sharp and inspires a great sense of confidence. Efstathios is a powerful orator, who is persuasive, yet pragmatic.’

‘They take a practical, commercial approach to the resolution of insurance and reinsurance disputes, but do so while attempting to ensure that the client is in the best possible position to win should the matter fight in arbitration, court or any other forum. They go above and beyond to ensure that the optimum result is achieved. While being rigorous in their approach, they always act in a courteous, receptive and friendly manner which creates a very positive atmosphere. This is conducive to getting the best result for the client.’

Key clients

Zurich Insurance plc

Marsh Limited

Aviva

Work highlights

  • Advising Zurich on high profile business interruption insurance FCA test case.
  • Advising Marsh in relation to matters arising out of a specialist insurance policy following the explosion of a satellite.
  • Advising Aviva and Direct Line in connection with potential business interruption claims arising as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stephenson Harwood

'Professionally led by Alex Davis’, Stephenson Harwood's insurance practice focuses on marine insurance and acts for many major insurers in this space. The team is noted for handling matters ranging from shipment and total losses to cargo and commodity fraud cases. Joe O’Keeffe has particular expertise in war risks and detainment matters, as well as fraudulent claims, while Simon Moore focuses on both energy and marine insurance work. Senior associate Richard Hugg is also a key contact in the team.

Practice head(s):

Alex Davis

Other key lawyers:

Joe O’Keeffe; Simon Moore; Richard Hugg

Testimonials

‘The team is professionally led by Alex Davis. He is a big guy with a big reputation and has a thorough knowledge of marine insurance law. He leads by example and ensures his team maintain the high standards that he has implemented.’

‘They are approachable , will tell you straight whether you have a viable case. They do not take on a case if they believe you haven’t a chance of success.’

‘Excellent knowledge & advice combined with a fantastic commercial understanding. The whole team are brilliant’

Key clients

Royal & Sun Alliance plc

Brit Insurance

Talbot Underwriting

Hiscox Insurance

Beazley Group

Liberty Mutual Insurance

AXA Corporate Solutions Assurance

Torus

Navigators Insurance Company Limited

India International Insurance

Canopius

Lancashire Insurance Group (UK) Ltd

Antares Managing Agency Limited

The Channel Syndicate

Atrium Underwriters Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising war insurers in respect of $20m claim arising following the detention of a fully laden bulk carrier in Indonesia following a major casualty involving damage to subsea pipeline.
  • Acting for war risks underwriters in respect of a claim for $77m (the insured value of the Vessel, CV Stealth).

Keoghs LLP

The London insurance team at Keoghs LLP collaborates with the firm’s offices around the UK to act for its clients in matters involving property damage, D&O and professional indemnity claims. ‘Standout partnerRichard Houseago, who specialises in construction and engineering-related claims, jointly heads up the practice alongside Ruth Lawrence.

Practice head(s):

Richard Houseago; Ruth Lawrence

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Rogers; Andrew Schütte

Testimonials

‘A solid insurance and reinsurance practice, with good knowledge of the market.’

‘Richard Houseago is a standout partner, by any scale of consideration. His ability stands alongside any partner of similar ilk in a city law firm. He is well known in the market for giving sensible, sound, objective advice (the good news and the bad news). He is highly recommendable. Matt Rogers has a very fine following for understandable reasons – he is just very good. He thinks about his work in a methodical intelligent way, getting to the right answers very quickly.’ 

‘Andrew Schutte is excellent. He knows the market extremely well and has good litigation antennae. He works hard and strives for the best outcome for his clients. Highly recommended.’

‘Richard Houseago has one of the best legal minds in the business. Incisive with an eye for detail, he is renowned for his mastery of an argument and can be relied on whether it is on a complex coverage issue or a recovery action.’

Key clients

Aviva

AXA

Direct Line Group

Zurich

Argo Global

ECIC/Markel

Keystone Law

Keystone Law is noted for its strength in coverage disputes and acts for insurers and reinsurers across construction, property and personal injury insurance policies. Experienced insurance litigator Jason Kallis and ‘eminent practitionerJames Crabtree are key contacts in the team, along with product liability specialist Antony Colman and Elaine Chan, who joined from Ward Hadaway LLP in October 2020.

Other key lawyers:

Jason Kallis; James Crabtree; Antony Colman; Elaine Chan

Testimonials

‘Pragmatic, determined and knowledgeable.’

‘James Crabtree is an eminent practitioner in insurance and reinsurance law with extensive experience and deep knowledge of the market. He is extremely kind, collaborative and a pleasure to work with.’

‘The practice is absolutely “ahead of the curve” with flexible, technology-enabled ways of working and meeting client needs. As an outsider, I can see that Keystone Law give unusually high levels of support to their lawyers which enables then to concentrate on the client and the job in hand. They also have a very open and diligent way of dealing with issues and challenges.’

‘Jason Kallis – attention to detail and ability to convey complex issues to lay clients is exceptional.’

‘Antony Colman is a hugely experienced litigator. His attention to detail is second to none. His tactical nous is superb. He knows the law backwards. And it is unsurprising that he has built up a loyal client base. I work with him regularly and know and appreciate his considerable talents. And he gets incredible results for his clientele. He’s absolutely at the top of his game.’

Key clients

Electrium Sales Limited

HDI Global SE

Allianz Global CS

Barbican Managing Agency Limited

UNIQA Österreich Versicherungen AG

Samsung SDI

WR Berkley (Offshore)

Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co. Ltd

Yamaha Motor Europe NV, Branch UK

Argo Global Insurers

Bosch (t/a BSH Home Appliances)

Work highlights

  • Advising Samsung and their Captive in relation to fires and related damage caused by misuse or defective batteries manufactured by the insured entity, and pursuing distributors and retailers for breach of distribution agreements made between Samsung and its distributors.
  • Acting for a private ambulance service firm, Argo Global Limited, being pursued in the Royal Courts of Justice.

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP’s insurance sector group, led by Neil Davis, acts for insurers in political risk, construction and property claims, as well as cyber insurance matters. Other key contacts in the team include head of specialty Andrew Tobin, Michael Mitchell, who leads the property insurance team and Adrian Luto, who heads up the team advising surety clients.

Practice head(s):

Neil Davis; Andrew Tobin; Michael Mitchell; Adrian Luto

Testimonials

‘Mills & Reeve’s insurance practice has come into its own in the last few years. Having had a strong name in the PI market it has been rounded out with notable work in the fields of Cyber, Political Risk & Credit, and coverage matters. Its response to the home-working response to the pandemic was particularly effective. The launch of CoverTalk, bite-size virtual lectures on insurance fundamentals and coverage issues, was inspired. An imaginative initiative that speaks to the energy in the practice.’

‘Andrew Tobin is an outstanding member of the team, having made a noticeable impact on the department in a relatively short period of time. His warm, affable manner is matched by an astute, independent mind which combines legal insight with commercial good sense. One feels that the work is given his close personal attention, whilst sensible use is made of the wider team as needed. The practice has breadth, but Andrew’s work in the political risk & credit spheres has been of particular note; he also has a deep knowledge of the political violence market which he can bring to bear.’

Key clients

Beazley

SCOR / The Channel Syndicate

Munich Re

Canopius

Brit

Axis

HCC International Insurance Company Plc

American International Group Limited

Liberty Mutual Insurance Europe SE

American International Group UK Limited

CNA Hardy

QBE

Weightmans LLP

The London insurance practice at Weightmans LLP’s collaborates with the firm’s wider network of UK offices to act for clients in UK and cross-border insurance litigation matters, involving construction, energy, D&O and cyber insurance claims. Liverpool-based Rob Williams heads up the firm’s national insurance practice, while London-based Edward Lewis leads the specialty and financial lines practice. Ling Ong focuses on coverage issues and Simon Durkin handles property and casualty work. 

Practice head(s):

Rob Williams; Edward Lewis

Other key lawyers:

Ling Ong; Simon Durkin

Testimonials

‘Particularly effective with reinsurance policy coverage reviews’

‘Very strong reinsurance team’

‘Ling Ong is a standout partner. She understands that a timely response is essential, and always delivers without compromising on the quality of her work’

Key clients

Zurich

AIG

Tokio Marine HCC

CFC Underwriting

Starstone SE

HDI Global Specialty

Sirius International Insurance Corporation

Argo Global

Markel International

Markel UK

Hamilton

Contessa