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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's 'well-established and dedicated department is a first port of call for corporate and insurer clients' and has 'a growing presence in the health and safety arena' thanks to the 'brilliant leadership' of practice co-heads Gavin Reese and Nick McMahon; clients praise Reese as 'clever and tenacious' and single out McMahon as 'highly experienced and easy to work with'. Reese's recent work includes acting for a lift installation company in a HSE and police investigation following the death of an employee who sustained crush injuries and representing United Grab Hire and its director in a HSE prosecution following a fatal accident. McMahon acted for a construction company in an asbestos-related issue and represented a senior hospital manager who was investigated following a patient's suicide. XL Catlin and Faraday are also clients.

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London: Insurance

Personal injury: defendant

Within: Personal injury: defendant

RPC's 'tremendously knowledgeable' team acts for major insurers such as XLCatlin, Faraday, Arch and Hiscox. Gavin Reese heads the personal injury practice and specialises in cases involving catastrophic injury, stress and chronic pain. Fiona Hahlo  ('the personification of calm under pressure') has a strong track record handling high-value catastrophic injury claims and 'the extremely diligent and hardworking' Steven Aitken focuses on fatal injury claims where he is 'always on top of legal issues'. health and safety head Nick McMahon is also recommended.

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Product liability: defendant

Within: Leading individuals

Gavin Reese - RPC

Within: Product liability: defendant

The product liability practice at RPC¬†¬†is particularly well regarded for its work in the medical and life sciences industries. Practice head¬†Dorothy Flower¬†(‚Äėtruly exceptional; unflappable under pressure and a real intellectual heavyweight‚Äô) is acting alongside health and safety practice head Nick McMahon¬† for Cloverleaf Products, a former distributor of PIP breast implants, in relation to a number of Part 20 claims brought by clinics which face action for implanting PIP products. In another key matter, the practice is defending Corin in metal-on-metal hip group litigation that went to trial in October 2017. McMahon is also defending an electrical goods manufacture in a house fire claim.¬†Gavin Reese¬†acts for clients across the consumer goods, food, transport and medical devices sectors.

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    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.
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