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Insurance litigation: for policyholders in London

Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy LLP acts for policyholders across a wide range of insurance disputes, including D&O claims, property damage matters, professional indemnity cases and construction cover work. The team's client roster includes a high volume of international businesses, and the practice works alongside the firm's global network of offices to handle cross-border matters. In addition to acting for clients in court cases, the group also has experience in arbitration proceedings. The practice is jointly led by Joanna Page and Richard Farnhill; Page is experienced in acting for clients in the Commercial Court and arbitration proceedings, while Farnhill is dual qualified in English and Wales and New York.

Practice head(s):

Richard Farnhill; Joanna Page

Other key lawyers:

Russell Butland

Testimonials

‘They combine very inventive legal analysis with good commercial judgement.’

‘Joanna Page is hugely experienced; has great judgement; and is calm under pressure.’

‘Richard Farnhill has a compendious knowledge of the law, and is very inventive in applying to difficult situations.’

‘Russell Butland is intellectually extremely rigorous.’

‘The team can be trusted to produce an excellent piece of work. The advice is clear even when the matters are complex. They are also great people and treat you as a person, not a client.’

Key clients

The Prudential Assurance Company Limited

Work highlights

  • Representing The Prudential Assurance Company Limited in its appeal of the High Court’s decision to refuse to sanction a transfer annuities to Rothesay Life Plc under Part VII of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.

Fenchurch Law

Fenchurch Law is a specialist firm, which solely acts for policyholders in insurance disputes. The team is led by founder David Pryce, who is experienced in construction insurance claims and also handles cyber risk issues. The wider practice also has a broad range of specialisms; Joanna Grant leads on property risk cases, while John Curran focuses on financial and commercial claims, and Jonathan Corman leads the professional risk practice. In addition to its work for policyholding companies, the team also acts for insurance brokers. Product liability and recall specialist Aaron Le Marquer joined the team in early 2020, and Amy Lacey is recommended for construction risk matters.

Practice head(s):

David Pryce

Testimonials

‘Fenchurch Law are easy to do business with. They do exactly what they say they will do when they agree to do it and if there is any deviation from the agreed plan the communication with their client is seamless. Their fee forecasting is accurate and advice is communicated in a non legalistic manner so that options on the way forward can be considered practically, with commercial realism. They are sensitive to internal politics and the needs of various stakeholders.’

‘They are consummate professionals always recognising that their client is not a law firm and has very different client/commercial pressures other than their own. The accuracy and speed of communication as matters have progressed, has exceeded all expectations and indeed previous experience with other law firms. David Pryce and Robert Goodship have been exceptional in this regard.’

Key clients

Lancasters Management Ltd

Ground Rent Estates 5 Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acting for Lancasters Management Ltd, the management company of The Lancasters, a residential development facing Hyde Park, and the owners of most of the 77 apartments. The development comprises 15 Grade II listed stucco-fronted properties that were constructed circa 1860 and converted into apartments in 2012. Since completion it has become apparent that there are significant defects in the façade, and the majority of the 300+ bathrooms in the development.
  • Acting for Ground Rent Estates 5 Limited as the freeholder of Nova House in Slough: a privately owned block of 68 residential apartments, converted from an office block in 2015. Following the Grenfell disaster, it was discovered that the cladding on Nova House was similarly combustible and needed to be replaced.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's group is 'readily willing to operate in a collegiate manner without compromising the strength of advice' and handles some of the largest and most complex insurance claims in the market across the banking, energy and manufacturing sectors. Practice head Paul Lewis also leads the firm’s global insurance and reinsurance practice, and has deep and broad experience in insurance matters. Alexander Oddy is singled out for his expertise in the energy sector and work with financial institutions, while Sarah McNally handles a range of insurance matters including warranty and indemnity insurance claims. Greig Anderson is also active in professional negligence matters.

Practice head(s):

Paul Lewis

Testimonials

‘Quality and experience of partners. Superb for a large case.’

‘Paul Lewis – a terrific fighter with great knowledge of the market. Alex Oddy – very highly regarded policyholder only litigator.’

‘A tireless team who tune in to the major issues very quickly and work well in tandem with other advisers striving to achieve the best possible outcome.’

‘Readily willing to operate in a collegiate manner without compromising the strength of advice – looking toward resolution rather than a ‘textbook’ lawyer which is what 99% of clients desire.’

Key clients

National Australia Bank

SBM

Work highlights

  • Acting for National Australia Bank in its insurance coverage claims and handling UK banking and regulatory issues.

Reed Smith LLP

Reed Smith LLP acts for multinational policyholders in complex insurance-related matters and the group leverages the firm's global office network to handle a range of cross-border mandates. The practice is led by Peter Hardy, who is experienced in coverage disputes in the financial services industry. Other key names include Margaret Campbell, who has a broad practice encompassing disputes involving marine, warranty and indemnity, and energy risk insurance; Mark Pring and associate Laura-May Scott.

Practice head(s):

Peter Hardy

Testimonials

‘Margaret Campbell and Peter Hardy are exceptionally experienced and good insurance partners. Particular experience with commodity claims, matching the firm’s client base.’

‘Margaret Campbell: a star. Down to earth and ever-practical but also a very solid lawyer.’

‘Peter Hardy: has real authority. Good experience of financial insurance claims.’

‘Laura-May Scott – first-rate Senior Associate, and one to watch for the future. Excellent at managing large teams and maintaining morale across the board.’

‘Peter Hardy – huge experience, sensible and pragmatic, always has the client’s desired outcome firmly in mind.’

‘Margaret Campbell is a stand-out member of this team. She is an assiduous and effective advocate for her clients, an experienced and knowledgeable litigator and an opponent to be respected.’

‘This team are absolute market leaders in this area. They are super smart, inventive, responsive and absolutely a pleasure to deal with.’

‘Mark Pring is an exceptional talent. He stands among the absolute the leaders in the London contentious insurance market. Aside from his superior technical skills, he just an absolute pleasure to work with.’

Clifford Chance LLP

Led by Philip Hill, Clifford Chance LLP's department represents policyholders in claims under warranty and indemnity, title, credit, and directors and officers insurance policies. Hill has 25 years’ experience in representing policyholders, often acting in cross-jurisdictional disputes, and is praised by clients as 'very experienced and a steady hand at the tiller'. Senior associate Christopher Ingham is another key contact and handles disputes involving clients across Europe, North Africa and the Middle East; he 'will leave no stone unturned in finding the best case strategy'.

Practice head(s):

Philip Hill

Other key lawyers:

Christopher Ingham

Testimonials

‘Excellent legal knowledge and application on behalf of clients. This is one of the best firms for policyholders.’

‘Philip Hill is very experienced and a steady hand at the tiller. Christopher Ingham is hugely engaged. The quality of associates within the team is consistently very high.’

‘Philip Hill has a big brain but is practical with it. Chris Ingham will leave no stone unturned in finding the best case strategy.’

‘Philip Hill (partner): probably the cleverest insurance solicitor in the London market, and a top choice for any really complex case.’

‘Chris Ingham and Philip Hill are always available for quick and qualified assistance when needed. You can be sure to get qualified discussions on how to best solve an issue and they are also responsive to our point of view and our needs.’

‘Solid industry knowledge of a highly regulated sector.’

Key clients

HSBC

ITV

AXA

Credit Suisse

Royal Bank of Canada

SMBC

Barclays

The Carlyle Group

General Electric

Deutsche Bank

Work highlights

  • Acting for the insureds in a disputed title insurance claim. The insureds are the owner and financer of a project to construct a large windfarm, which has been blocked by a successful planning challenge brought by a local landowner.
  • Acting for a client in a credit insurance claim resulting from the non-payment of sums due by a Chinese counterparty for the licensing of a Chinese version of a global television format.
  • Acting for a large private equity corporation seeking coverage under its warranty and indemnity policy for loss flowing from breach of warranties given in an acquisition agreement.

K&L Gates LLP

Under the leadership of Sarah Turpin, K&L Gates LLP acts exclusively for policyholders in insurance litigation and frequently handles cross-border matters. Turpin is experienced in professional indemnity, D&O, property/business interruption and credit risk insurance claims, while Ian Meredith  is noted for his arbitration expertise. Senior associate Theo Hall has prior experience working for insurance brokers, and is particularly focused on offshore construction and shipping disputes.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Turpin

Other key lawyers:

Ian Meredith; Theo Hall

Testimonials

‘Sarah Turpin represented our company for the better part of a decade in insurance coverage matters on a global basis. She was consistently on top of matters without ever performing any unnecessary work. She consistently achieved excellent outcomes for us. Every strategic decision she recommended proved to be the right one. Her judgement is impeccable, as is her knowledge of the substantive law and insurance policies. Moreover, she has been a pleasure to work with and she is a consummate professional. I would highly recommend Sarah without equivocation.’

Key clients

Halliburton

Work highlights

  • Instructed by the Halliburton Company in relation to a significant case for arbitrator challenges, which deals with the issue of multiple appointments of arbitrators. The case was heard by the Supreme Court in November 2019.

Michelmores LLP

Michelmores LLP is noted for its work representing policyholders in claims under cyber, political risk, professional indemnity, and product liability insurance policies.

Key clients

United Bank Limited

Plurimi Wealth LLP

Plurimi Investment Managers

Mayor’s Office For Policing and Crime (Metropolitan Police Service)

Kot Addu Power Company Limited

Walters Power International

Houlder Limited

G L Hearn

Aviva Canada Inc.

Addleshaw Goddard

Addleshaw Goddard acts for policyholders across a range of insurance disputes, and is particularly involved in claims related to Bermuda forms, professional indemnity issues, and credit insurance. The practice is led by Richard Wise, who has experience in cross-border insurance disputes.

Practice head(s):

Richard Wise

Testimonials

‘Very hard working, very commercial. Very concerned with the client’s outcome, and passionate about protecting policy holders against the market.’

‘Richard Wise – senior beyond his years, even though he is a partner. Very caring but very astute, and tactically minded.’

‘Richard Wise is hard-working committed and runs the team with excellence. He knows his stuff and can cope with the biggest cases.’

‘The team with which I have been working are an absolute joy to work with. Extremely efficient, switched on and very bright.’

‘Richard Wise (partner) – Very impressive team leader. Fantastic grasp of all details and able to cut through to the central issues. A real pleasure to work with.’

‘Natasha Winter (legal director) – Super bright, very switched on and extremely efficient. Very much a partner in waiting.’

‘Laura Payne (associate) – So diligent and intelligent. Excellent with clients and paperwork. A joy to work with.’

‘Richard Wise: calm and very assured, gives confidence and good advice. Victoria Pool: Associate – top star for the future, covers all the bases and provides proactive commercial solution driven advice.’

Key clients

Weyerhaeuser Company

FBN Bank (UK) Limited

Network Rail Infrastructure Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for Weyerhaeuser in relation to conflicting anti-suit injunctions obtained in London by Hiscox / CV Starr, and in Seattle by Weyerhaeuser, concerning the proper forum for the insurance coverage dispute between the parties.
  • Acting for Weyerhaeuser in responding to an anti-suit injunction obtained by XL and Catlin concerning the proper forum for the insurance coverage dispute between the parties.

Burges Salmon LLP

Based in Bristol, Burges Salmon LLP’s insurance team acts for policyholders in the energy, infrastructure and financial services sectors. With Kari McCormick departing to Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP, newly promoted partner Matthew Walker took over as practice head in early 2020. The team is praised for providing 'extremely thorough advice'.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Walker

Key clients

Costain Group plc

Jaguar Energy LLC

Financial Services Compensation Scheme Limited

FirstGroup plc

RHP Group Limited

Vero Liability Insurance Limited

Power Electrics (Bristol) Limited

Edwin Coe LLP

Edwin Coe LLP acts exclusively for policyholders, and has a proven track record in handling cases under property damage and business interruption insurance policies, particularly claims related to fires. The team also acts for clients in indemnity and liability insurance disputes. The practice is led by Roger Franklin; Michael Whitton and Nicola Maher are also key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Roger Franklin

Testimonials

‘They have more experience in bringing claims by SMEs or individuals against insurance companies than any other firm – no question about it.’

‘Roger Franklin – head of department, huge experience, tactical master.’

‘Michael Whitton – very shrewd, hugely experienced, tough negotiator.’

‘Nicola Maher – not afraid to take matters to court.’

‘Edwin Coe has an excellent specialist insurance litigation team which combines sound legal analysis with a practical and commercial approach.’

‘The team is made up of steely and robust lawyers who are never afraid to express a view and who give very clear advice. They are particularly adept at handling disputes with a property, professional negligence or potential fraud angle.’

‘Roger Franklin is fast thinking and gets straight to the nub of things, with a marvellous dry wit. Nicola Maher is bright, tenacious and a delight to work with. Senior Associate Oliver Pannell is a rising star, with gravitas beyond his years, a fast work-rate and excellent instincts.’

‘They are a well respected practice and provides a first-class service to their clients. They provide services over a wide range of legal work that is helpful to more complex cases.’

Key clients

Sartex Quilts and Textiles Limited

Euro Pools Plc

Niramax Group Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advising textiles company, Sartex on matters arising from a fire at its premises in May 2011.
  • Acting for Euro Pools Plc in a claim for indemnity under a product liability policy of insurance with RSA.
  • Acting for a waste recycling plant in the North East in a claim for £5.5m following the destruction by fire of a new piece of processing plant.

HFW

HFW has a proven track record in acting for companies in the energy, mining, shipping and commodities sectors in insurance litigation. A significant proportion of the team's work is international in nature and handled in conjunction with the firm's global network of offices. The insurance team is led by Christopher Cardona, who is praised for his work acting in disputes involving Latin American companies. Jonathan Bruce also handles Latin American work, particularly claims in the marine, energy and property sectors. Nigel Wick and Christopher Foster are also key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Cardona

Testimonials

‘HFW are an extremely client-centric firm who are able to combine both industry and insurance expertise to really understand how the energy business works, enabling them to deliver best in class results for their clients. They are very conscious to try and provide solutions through commercial means, being cognisant of the strengths and weakness of both parties, in order to reach resolution through compromise settlement rather than to see claims go to trial.’

‘Highly experienced, professional and motivated team with complementary skill sets including practising lawyers with other commercial experience. An almost global reach with overseas offices in key locations, with significant involvement in Latin America and the Far East, also a useful network of contacts elsewhere. In depth knowledge of the jurisdictions and cultural sensitivities of the countries where they operate.’

‘I’ve been particularly impressed by HFW partner Jonathan Bruce. Highly effective negotiator, a very incisive legal mind, grasps the big picture straight away and able to provide prompt and practical advice.’

‘Deep pool of talent. Can draw on strong experience to drive success. Global activity essential. Operate effectively as a team. Established working relationships with industry partners.’

‘Jonathan Bruce – hard-working. Very responsive. Good at setting strategy for success. Great experience.’

‘Nigel Wick. Good presenter. Good knowledge. Good relationships and communication.’

‘Christopher Cardona. Great experience. Good availability. Good leader. Pragmatic.’

‘The team has great insurance knowledge and knows the sector well. There’s no need to have to explain he idiosyncrasies of the market, since they’ve been in it for decades.’

‘Jonathan Bruce is a calm and effective lawyer, a constructive problem solver with a blend of intellect and personality. Together with Chris Cardona, their multi-lingual skills make them a formidable team that truly help clients looking for insurance resolution options.’

Mishcon de Reya LLP

Led by Sonia Campbell and Richard Leedham, Mishcon de Reya LLP acts for policyholders in insurance disputes involving property damage, broker negligence, business interruption and directors and offices insurance. The team acts exclusively for policyholders in insurance disputes; Leedham has broad experience in insurance litigation, while Campbell is singled out for her work in the life sciences sector.

Practice head(s):

Richard Leedham; Sonia Campbell

Key clients

Cheval Roc Limited and Bonne Nuit Cheval Limited

Norman Hay Plc

Patisserie Holdings plc (in liquidation)

Takeda Pharmaceuticals International Ag

Chelsfield Partners

Institute of Contemporary Arts

Jennewein Biotechnologie GmbH

Work highlights

  • Acting for Cheval Roc Limited and Bonne Nuit Cheval Limited in a property damage and business interruption claim relating to coastal erosion issues.
  • Acting for a global listed company in relation to a broker negligence claim.
  • Advising Takeda Pharmaceuticals International AG on insurance issues, including in connection with Takeda’s cyber insurance and products liability policies.

Wynterhill LLP

Founded in 2016, Wynterhill LLP is a specialist insurance policyholder litigation firm, and is recognised its strong relationships with insurance brokers. Led by Stuart Hill, the team has expanded substantially in recent years with Michael Howard, Chris Dunlop and Roger Jones all joining at partner level. Dan Brooks is also a key member of the team, and is active in handling professional indemnity, construction risk and business insurance claims.

Practice head(s):

Stuart Hill

Testimonials

‘The team at Wynterhill have the excellent advantage that in addition to their years of experience as solicitors acting in all manner of insurance related appointments, a number of the team have also held senior positions working at Insurers or Broking Houses and this gives them an excellent understanding of how the insurance industry works, especially the importance of the Broker/Client relationship. This knowledge and experience combined with their legal knowledge makes Wynterhill an excellent choice for any policyholder in dispute with their Insurers.’

‘Wynterhill are always willing to help, they work hard to make sure they understand all aspects of any issue to enable them to provide the best possible advice and guidance. I would not hesitate to recommend Michael Howard, Chris Dunlop and Dan Brooks to any policyholder in relation to Professional Indemnity Insurance and Construction related Professional Indemnity Insurance issues or policy dispute. Wynterhill can be relied upon to provide a realistic view of a situation so that policyholders are clear about each step and what those will entail.’

Work highlights

  • Advised a leading manufacturer of fire rated doors on its insurance covers following the Grenfell investigation.
  • Advising the main contractor on a residential development on Crown Estate land in central London. Client assumed liabilities under a novated construction agreement arising from ground works and drainage design.
  • Advising an architect involved in the cladding design used at Grenfell on its liability to recover under its professional indemnity insurance policy.