Tall industrial buildings

Insurance and Reinsurance

Michelmores represents corporate policyholders and their captives in the resolution of insurance and reinsurance coverage disputes, and prides itself on knowing and understanding the insurance market so as to provide pragmatic advice and effective outcomes for clients.  Michelmores also has a niche reinsurance practice relating to foreign, mainly US underlying losses.

We are ranked in Legal 500 for “Insurance Litigation for Policyholders” and Garbhan Shanks is named as a ‘Leader in their field’ in Chamber & Partners UK. We have extensive experience of insurance mediation, arbitration and litigation, including complex, international, and multi-party coverage disputes.

Michelmores also advises on the drafting and interpretation of policy wordings, the scope of disclosure including giving a "fair presentation" under the Insurance Act 2015, insurers’ rights of inspection, claim notifications and proof of loss submissions.

A stand-out firm in this area... the team is strong for the technically difficult issues and can provide a straight answer to a tricky question, with analysis that can be trusted.
Legal 500, 2018
Michelmores is first class in everything it does in the insurance sector.
Legal 500, 2018
Very client-orientated, cutting straight to the relevant issues.
Legal 500, 2015

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Recent experience

Contentious Insurance

  • Advising a manufacturer under a Business Combined Insurance Policy for material damage caused to machinery and business interruption losses due to a sudden and extended failure in the electricity supply from the National Grid.
  • Acting for an energy company under an Erection All Risks and Consequential Loss Policy in a physical damage and business interruption coverage dispute in relation to damage to a power station in Asia.
  • Successfully acted for a pharmaceutical company in high value Bermuda Form arbitrations against a number of its insurers in relation to the scope and extent of its Product Liability coverage of third party US class action claims.
  • Successfully acted for a web based company under its Privacy Risks Policy for data protection breaches as a result of a fraudulent boiler-room scam, which included investigations by the SFO and FCA.
  • Advised a UK bank in an indemnity claim under their Corporate Crime Policy in respect of a substantial third party fraud.
  • Advised one of the UK's leading outsourcing companies on Professional Indemnity cover in respect of failed film finance investment schemes.
  • Represented a water company in an insurance property claim arising out of damage to a reservoir dam wall due to a sink hole.
  • Acting for a commercial property agent in a Professional Indemnity coverage dispute against insurers under two policy years over the scope of notification of a circumstance, deeming provisions, aggregation language and alleged misrepresentation / non-disclosure, involving consideration of “fair presentation” under the Insurance Act 2015.
  • Acting for a UK company in the oil and gas sector in a credit risk coverage dispute arising out of political upheaval in a African country.
  • Acting for a captive in a political risk coverage dispute with retrocessionaires in a substantial loss relating to the expropriation of a subsidiary company in South America.
  • Acting for one of the UK’s leading outsourcing companies on its Professional Indemnity cover in respect of failed film finance investment scheme litigation.
  • Representing a housing association in connection with a claim under its Fidelity Insurance Policy following a series of fraudulent payments made by an employee over a number of years.
  • Representing an NHS Trust in connection with a claim under The Third Parties (Rights Against Insurers) Act 1930 following the insolvency of an IT service provider.
  • Advising an online auction house in respect of its coverage for property damage caused by flood at its premises, including compliance with its notification obligations, valuation of the damage and defence of third party claims.
  • Advising a global retailer on the scope of its disclosure obligations under the Insurance Act 2015, including the requirement of a “reasonable search” for material information.
  • Advising design and engineering consultants to the marine and oil & gas industry on the scope of coverage under its Export Insurance Policy, including insurers’ rights of subrogation.
  • Advising the Board of a UK PLC on the scope and operation of its Directors & Officers insurance cover in the context of on-going discussions over a take-over of the company and potential replacement of the Board.

Contentious Reinsurance

  • Acted for reinsurers Wasa International Insurance Company Limited in their successful appeal to the House of Lords in July 2009 against Lexington in respect of back to back reinsurance cover for underlying US environmental pollution losses and a US$100m clean up bill to US aluminum producer, Alcoa.
  • Acted for Japanese reinsurers in Aioi Dowa Insurance Co Ltd v Heraldglen Ltd and Another [2013] EWHC 154 (Comm), which was an appeal on a point of law from an arbitral award, as to whether the 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center were caused by one unified act of terrorism or two separate acts of hijacking to determine the number of occurrences.
  • Successfully defended Aviva Canada Inc. in having a reinsurance High Court claim by Minster Insurance Company dismissed against them in April 2014, and currently acts for Aviva Canada in other aviation reinsurance claims involving issues on the scope of follow settlement clauses and the recoverability of IBNR and Schemes of Arrangement under English law.