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Burges Salmon LLP

Living Wage
Work 0117 939 2000
Fax 0117 902 4400
Bristol, London

Kari McCormick

Work 0117 902 6620
Burges Salmon LLP

Work Department

Dispute Resolution.


Head of the Financial Services  at Burges Salmon. Particular expertise in insurance-related disputes, financial services litigation, professional negligence claims against financial services providers and accountants and regulatory investigations/enforcement action.


Trained New Zealand; admitted as a barrister and solicitor, New Zealand 1993; partner Clifford Chance LLP 2005-09; partner Burges Salmon 2011 to date.


Higher Rights of Audience 2001.


Attended University of Otago, New Zealand (1991 Bachelor of Commerce (marketing), 1992 Bachelor of Laws (LLB (Hons)).

London: Dispute resolution

Banking litigation: investment and retail

Within: Banking litigation: investment and retail

'With the resources to handle large-scale litigation', Burges Salmon LLP's key practice areas include representing banks in disputes involving facilities, derivatives and hedging, securitisation, acquisition finance, investment management, and professional negligence. Other notable areas are insolvency advice and security recovery; the mis-selling of financial products and services; advising financial services providers that are the subject of enquiries, investigations or enforcement proceedings; and investigations and proceedings relating to fraud, money laundering, sanctions, bribery and corruption, including acting for regulators. Bristol-based unit head David Hall is 'very commercial and pragmatic in his approach', Andrew Burnette is 'very energetic and commercially minded', and Kari McCormick is also a key contact.

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Commercial litigation

Within: Commercial litigation

Burges Salmon LLP is 'a very well regarded national firm attracting high- quality instructions'. The Bristol-based practice covers sector disputes involving transport, energy and natural resources, banking and financial services, agricultural and rural affairs, insurance and pensions, and IP. David Hall heads the dispute resolution unit and Kari McCormick is 'a very bright and highly energetic lawyer'.

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London: Insurance

Insurance litigation: for policyholders

Within: Insurance litigation: for policyholders

Burges Salmon LLP's team provides ‘concise and pragmatic advice, with a very quick turnaround’. A client-focused approach means ‘the firm as a whole provides top-quality service’. The practice is now centred almost exclusively on work for policyholders. As well as a growing workflow of international cases originating in Latin America, the firm’s broader reputation in the areas of construction, transport, energy, rail and infrastructure attracts clients in these key sectors thanks to a combination of industry knowledge and insurance expertise. Thus the practice particularly focuses on public liability, professional indemnity and property damage matters. Kari McCormick heads the insurance team and specialises in the financial services, energy and construction sectors; ‘she excels at handling heavy multi-party litigation’, using her ‘sound litigation instincts and deep understanding of cases to identify and exploit an opponent’s weaknesses’. McCormick is currently assisting the Financial Services Compensation Scheme with a project to recover sums from the professional indemnity insurers of various insurance intermediaries and independent financial adviser firms that are in default. Other noted members of the team are the ‘practical, commercial and technically competent’ Matt Walker and ‘impressive senior associate and partner in the making’ Hannah Miller, who has ‘experience far beyond her years and is highly astute legally and tactically’.

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Insurance: corporate and regulatory

Within: Insurance: corporate and regulatory

Burges Salmon LLP has a strong offering for regulatory work in the insurance sector and is noted for advising clients on transactional insurance. The practice is also at the forefront of a number of innovative projects, particularly in relation to driverless cars, which will almost certainly have far-reaching consequences for insurers going forward. Chris Jackson advised South Gloucestershire Council in connection with Venturer, a UK-funded research project set up to investigate public acceptance of driverless cars, and the team also acted for AXA in relation to Flourish, a similar research project. Kari McCormick heads the team, and brings experience and expertise in insurance coverage matters, including insurance issues arising out of corporate and banking transactions such as warranty and indemnity insurance, credit insurance, and directors’ and officers’ liability insurance. She recently acted for major client Ecclesiastical Insurance Office on a number of agreements relating to its insurance services.

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Professional negligence

Within: Professional negligence

Burges Salmon LLP’s predominantly claimant-focused practice operates across its London and Bristol offices and is noted for its experience in making claims on behalf of lenders. It also acts for private clients, companies and large financial institutions in claims against professional advisers across the banking, legal, pensions, construction, environmental consultancy, energy, accountancy and auditing, cyber, tax, brokerage, actuarial, IT and fund management sectors. The team is continuing to advise Nationwide Building Society on a £35m portfolio of claims arising from debts in its commercial lending book, concerning negligent advice provided by surveyors and solicitors in connection with commercial property transactions; it is also continuing to advise Nomura London Retirement Benefits Plan Trustee and Nomura International on a £10m claim against Mercer, examining the negligent drafting of pension scheme rules. HR Trustees, as trustee of the Robert Horne Group Pension Scheme, is continuing to instruct the team on a £30m claim against Aon Consulting. Department head Andrew Burnette is ‘commercial, effective and on the ball’; Justin Briggs is experienced in claims involving pension providers and consultants; Kari McCormick heads the financial services team; and senior associate Matthew Walker handles disputes in the construction, accountancy and financial services sectors.

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London: Risk advisory

Regulatory investigations and corporate crime

Within: Regulatory investigations and corporate crime

Burges Salmon LLP advises on many aspects of corporate crime including money laundering, proceeds of crime, bribery and regulations. It is adept at handling cases involving the SFO, NCA and the police and also handles cases of asset freezing and recovery. Recent highlights include acting for the NCA in relation to a £220m compensation claim. David Hall heads the team, he has ‘excellent judgment and is a thorough, proactive thinker’. Kari McCormick and legal director Thomas Webb are also recommended.

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London: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)


Within: Fintech

The team at Burges Salmon LLP provides commercial and regulatory advice in a range of fintech fields, and is active in cutting-edge areas. Legal director and group head Sarah Kenshall, who counts payments, AI, data analytics and smart technologies as particular areas of focus, arrived from Axiom in December 2017; she advised the Financial Conduct Authority, the Bank of England and Grant Thornton on adopting more efficient approaches to regulatory reporting. The team also advised R3CEV, a global consortium of financial institutions, on developing blockchain-based smart contract templates. Financial services regulatory expert Tom Dunn is often active in the space. Outside of more conventional fintech, Chris Jackson and Kari McCormick advised AXA on the insurance liability aspects of driverless cars. Senior associate Adrian Shedden departed in December 2017 to become a consultant at Keystone Law and Simmons & Simmons.

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South West: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation: Bristol

Within: Commercial litigation: Bristol

With a growing team and increasingly international focus, Burges Salmon LLP is ‘among the best, if not the best, in the South West when it comes to high-value commercial litigation’. Department head David Hall successfully defended The National Crime Agency in the face of £220m worth of compensation applications made on behalf of an Israeli businessman, who had been convicted in Israel of economic crimes. Specialising in fraud, professional negligence and banking claims, Andrew Burnette advised a state-owned Irish company operating in the energy sector on a multimillion-pound claim for misrepresentation and breach of warranty following the client’s acquisition of a UK waste treatment business. The team is also involved in high-profile domestic instructions. Indeed, Ann Metherall is instructed by a subsidiary of a listed transport company in relation to a highly publicised fatal incident. Kari McCormick, who is ‘adept at handling heavy multi-party litigation’, is advising Financial Services Compensation Scheme on its ongoing PPI recovery project. Additional contacts include Chris Jackson and Laura Claydon, the latter of whom has experience in antitrust litigation. Ian Tucker and Michael Ward were promoted to partner and senior associate Lucy Redman joined from Linklaters LLP.

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South West: Insurance

Professional negligence

Within: Professional negligence

Burges Salmon LLP acts mainly for claimants in professional negligence cases. It is particularly adept making claims for lenders and has experience advising in various sectors such as financial services, legal, pensions, construction, environmental, energy, accountancy, tax, actuarial, IT and fund management. It also advises on cases of cyber-security breaches and regulatory interventions. The ‘highly recommended’ Andrew Burnette heads the team; he is ‘in complete control of his cases’ with ‘a strategic overview and an eye on the client’s commercial imperatives’. Partner Kari McCormick focuses on financial services disputes and in particular negligence claims against FS regulated firms. Justin Briggs focuses on disputes and litigation in relation to pensions, trusts and tax. He recently advised HR Trustees in a claim against Aon Consulting which related to errors in the closure of a defined benefit pension scheme. This led to an increase in liabilities for the client, the value of the case is estimated to be £30m. Other clients include Co-operative Bank, Nationwide Building Society, Nomura International, Volvo Group UK and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

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Legal Developments by:
Burges Salmon LLP

  • Restoring environmental damage: putting a price on ecosystem services

    On 7 August 2009 a 40-inch pipeline ruptured, spilling 5,400 cubic metres of crude oil into the soil and groundwater of La Crau nature reserve in southern France, a habitat protected under French and European law. The operator had to excavate and replace 60,000 tons of soil, install 70 wells to pump and treat groundwater and 25 pumps to skim oil from surface water, at a cost in the region of €50m. However, this was just the primary remediation (that is, restoring the site to the state it would have been if the damage had not occurred). The operator was also required to compensate for the damage to the habitats and the loss of the ecosystem services that would otherwise have been provided by La Crau nature reserve. Measures included purchasing land outside of the nature reserve and contributing to its management for a period of 30 years (over €1m), monitoring the water table for 20 years (over €500,000), monitoring fauna over three years (€150,000) and rehabilitation in accordance with best available ecological techniques (nearly €2m). Overall, the compensatory restoration (to compensate for the amount of time that the ecosystem was impacted) and complimentary restoration (to compensate for elements of the ecosystem that had been permanently lost) came to more than €6.5m. 

    - Burges Salmon LLP

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