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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



Index of tables

  1. Insurance litigation: for policyholders
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Hall of Fame

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Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

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Allen & Overy LLP is ‘absolutely excellent’ in disputes against international insurers from the Bermuda and Lloyd's markets. As well as D&O claims and high-value coverage disputes, the practice’s recent caseload included property and business interruption claims under the leadership of Joanna Page, who ‘has great judgment and is totally unflappable’. Richard Smith excels in arbitration and is renowned for his work in Bermuda Form insurance policies and senior associate Lauren Lindsay is highly regarded. The ‘extremely ingenious’ Richard Farnhill - who ‘thinks outside the box’ in financial services work - acted for a major bank in a claim relating to its comprehensive crime policies, which arose out of investments in funds in the liquidated company Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC. Johnson & Johnson features on the impressive client list with well-known banks, insurers and manufacturers.

Fenchurch Lawis at the top of its game’ and specialises in acting for policyholders and insurance brokers in multimillion-pound coverage disputes. ‘The ethos of the firm is very client centred’, with high-net-worth individuals and companies from a range of sectors instructing the practice in everything from D&O claims to cross-border work as well as professional indemnity, property damage and Lloyd's market disputes. Legal, energy and construction companies feature on the practice’s first-rate client roster. With ‘an extremely fine legal mind’, managing partner David Pryceis excellent and rightly respected in the market’ for construction and technology risk matters; John Curran is the main contact for energy, industrial and institutional risks; and consultant Rob Finkhas a sound grasp of insurance law’ in regards to filing indemnity claims against insurers and defending the uninsured in disputes. Jonathan Cormanreally knows his stuff’ and is well respected with construction practice head Daniel Brooks and Amy Lacey, who both ‘strive to achieve the best result for clients, based on a real understanding of the underlying insurance issues and the needs of the client’. Joanna Grant arrived from Allen & Overy LLP and professional indemnity expert Pauline Rozario joined as a consultant from Zurich. Senior associate James Morris was a significant hire from JLT Specialty, who has ‘a high quality and sharp legal mind’ in disputes concerning claims under financial lines policies.

Standing head and shoulders above his peers’, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s, Alexander Oddy ‘has a great knowledge of the London Market and how insurers see things’ - particularly in the energy, natural resources and financial sectors – and is representing Single Buoy Moorings in a claim filed under the company’s construction insurance programme against its insurers, which concerns the alleged constructive total loss of a platform that was damaged in the Yme oil field. The ‘experienced and astute veteran’ Paul Lewis heads the practice and prevented AXA from obtaining an anti-suit injunction in the Commercial Court for The Weir Group plc, which stayed English proceedings based on the outcome of pending Australian litigation. Financial, cosmetic and IT sector clients also instructed the firm in matters pertaining to D&O claims, property damage losses and employment practices liability insurance. BP is a significant client of the practice, which includes property damage and business interruption claims expert Anthony Dempster, Sarah McNally – who has ‘in-depth knowledge and attention to detail’ - and the ‘committed and diligent’ recently promoted partner Greig Anderson.

Led by Sarah Turpin, K&L Gates LLP is instructed by an array of leading companies, including Capita plc, Brightstar and Man Group plc; the firm has also been appointed to the Amnesty International panel to provide pro bono work. The practice is acting for Trade Finance Solutions in a dispute regarding English law insurance coverage and procedural matters in relation to a claim that has been brought under a trade credit risk insurance policy, which is the subject of Canadian court proceedings. Other recent mandates included a multimillion-dollar claim for industrial loss, an excess layer professional indemnity policy dispute and Bermuda Form arbitration. Jane Harte-Lovelace is recommended with senior associate Sarah Emerson.

Clients ‘receive a fantastic service’ at Reed Smith LLP across a broad range of matters. Recently promoted partner Tom Webley is adept in financial services and cyber work, and represented UK Asset Resolution in a dispute with its insurers to recover losses that the company had incurred for failing to comply with requirements set out in the Consumer Credit Act. An expert in the marine and commodities sectors, Margaret Campbell is acting for a trade financing bank in bringing a claim against its cargo insurers, which questions whether the wording of a policy can override insurable interest and considers what responsibilities insurers have before making a decision on a claim. Other clients include Trafigura, Kosmos Energy and ArcelorMittal. Practice head Peter Hardy leads the practice, which hired the ‘very knowledgeable, approachable and hands on’ Mark Pring from Addleshaw Goddard. Mark Connoley became a consultant and is highly experienced in marine war and political risk claims and Bermuda Form arbitration. He also has notable strength in the mutual insurance sector and the open market.

Clifford Chance is lauded as ‘one of the best’ for its ‘slick outfit’ and strength across the board in everything from D&O claims to professional indemnity and credit insurance matters. Its first-rate client roster includes BNP Paribas, ASR Group and Fujitsu. The ‘absolutely superb’ Philip Hill is ‘as canny an insurance litigator as it is possible to be’ in representing insured entities in major coverage disputes. Highlights included acting for a bank in D&O claims concerning regulatory investigations into the operation of alternative trading systems; handling a large claim relating to losses that occurred on the cancellation of a tour; and representing a European energy company in insurance arbitration arising out of political events in Egypt. Senior associate Christopher Ingham – who is ‘a good technical insurance lawyer with a high level of attention to detail’ – acted for a European bank in two London Court of International Arbitration actions pertaining to disputed claims under two credit insurance policies. Senior associate Maximilian Buttinger is an additional contact in the practice.

Covington & Burling LLP is also ranked.

Edwin Coe LLP is singled out for quantum matters and business interruption claims. Recent mandates for the practice also included property damage, and warranty and indemnity disputes. Members of the team are highly praised: the ‘inflappable, experienced and charmingNicola Maherhas a great rapport with clients and is prepared to fight their corner’; senior associate Kate Dwyer is ‘particularly good’; practice head Michael Whittonis able to focus on the major issues in any particular matter and hones in like a guided missile’, and principally focuses on representing claimants with Roger Franklin, who ‘is able to get to grips with very complicated issues very quickly, achieving excellent results’. Franklin won an appeal brought by Great Lakes Reinsurance (UK) against Western Trading, which was successful in the first instance in litigation concerning a fire that took place at the company’s site. The firm’s clients include energy, education and manufacturing sector companies.

Garbhan Shanks leads Michelmores LLP’s ‘impressive’ practice head and handles an array of coverage disputes, including credit risk and cyber cases. Associate Harriet Chopra is particularly strong in pharmaceutical sector disputes, which concern Bermuda Form and product liability coverage claims. Individuals and various corporate policyholders have instructed the practice in disputes brought under export insurance policies, D&O cover, group income protection insurance and professional indemnity claims, among other matters. Clients of the practice include healthcare, engineering and financial sector companies.

At Addleshaw Goddard, recently promoted partner Richard Wise became practice head and ‘has a very strong awareness of client needs and priorities’, with particular strength in Bermuda Form disputes. In addition to this, the firm is highly regarded for warranty and professional indemnity claims as well as coverage disputes arising out of regulatory investigations. The firm, together with the Singapore office, represented 273 individuals in a dispute in relation to substantial losses that the claimants had incurred by investing in social housing projects run by EcoHouse Group Developments. Britvic is a key client with Chilli Marketing and D2 Legal Technology, which were recent additions to the ‘top-class firm’s’ extensive client list. In another personnel changes, Manchester-based Victoria Pool joined from DLA Piper and was recently promoted to managing associate.

The ‘very proficientHFW has been handling a high number of disputes in the energy sector, which included loss of production income, property damage and constructive total loss claims. Healthcare, legal and financial sector companies also feature on the varied client roster with insurers. Practice head Christopher Cardona is the key contact with Jonathan Bruce, whose expertise includes marine work in coverage and recovery claims pertaining to collisions, hull damage and other losses. Nigel Wick’s ‘work and response times are excellent’ in a variety of mandates, ranging from business interruption to corporate liability matters. Christopher Foster joined from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP and is well regarded for professional indemnity, Bermuda Form and run-off market work. Paul Wordley and Graham Denny joined EC3 Legal.

Richard Leedham heads Mishcon de Reya LLP’s practice and is retained by corporate policyholders in a broad range of claims, including employers’ liability, political risk and trade credit matters. Managing associate Ralph Fearnhead stands out with Sonia Campbell, who joined from Addleshaw Goddard, where she garnered expertise in representing corporate clients and high-net-worth individuals in litigation and arbitration. The practice recently acted for Standard Life Assurance, Standard Life Investments, Standard Life Master Trust, Leicestershire County Council, Somerset County Council, The London Borough of Havering, Staffordshire County Council, Gloucestershire County Council, Civil Aviation Authority, The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, Citi, UNISON, Saint-Gobain and Hogg Robinson plc in proceedings brought against the D&O insurers of Cattles’ former directors in relation to misleading statements that were made by the defendants in a Rights Issue prospectus, which resulted in the claimants losing money. Other clients include William Hill, Transfercom and Chase Lodge Health.

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Legal Developments in London for Insurance litigation: for policyholders

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