A solicitor advocate, I specialise in resolving commercial disputes. I have litigated, arbitrated and mediated, but my particular area of expertise is insurance. Having acted on both sides of a policy dispute, I can advise clients on how to avoid disputes arising in the first place.
Tel: +44 (0)870 733 0590
Best brains in ...
Insurance. My direct links into the market and insider knowledge mean I can provide a "go-to" service for all clients who come across insurance issues in their business; whether they are placing cover, looking for an insurance solution or making a claim.
Highlight of your career so far?
Negotiating and placing a £1.5 million environmental insurance programme for a developer client which pushed traditional boundaries and genuinely exceeded expectations of what could be achieved in the marketplace at the time.
Most challenging job you've ever done?
Running a three week arbitration in the London Court of International Arbitration while heavily pregnant with twins. It was worth it though. We secured a fantastic result for the client and three weeks later I had two beautiful baby boys.
What about outside the UK?
I am part of the cross-firm international support team with particular expertise in jurisdiction, governing law and enforcement of foreign judgments. It all comes in handy when advising on global insurance programmes.
What's your definition of going the extra mile... And when have you done it?
I once offered to cut short my holiday and fly to Boston to give evidence on behalf of a UK client in some particularly nasty and emotionally charged US litigation. I felt it was important to stand "shoulder to shoulder" with the client.
Best example of a creative legal solution?
Transactional insurance can often provide a solution to particularly thorny M&A issues, giving clients a competitive edge. This might be achieved through a tax liability policy to provide certainty for the parties on a knotty tax problem, or using warranty and indemnity insurance to provide the buyer with recourse over and above that being provided by the seller on a distressed purchase. We are experts in the field and have direct links into the marketplace.
When have you ever given a client a real competitive edge?
Our in-depth sector knowledge can be hugely beneficial to clients when deployed in the context of wider commercial discussions. A good example would be a recent M&A transaction of a manufacturing business where our client, the buyer, was getting significant push back from the seller on the disclosure of historic insurance information relating to long tail liabilities. Our advice gave the client a much broader understanding of the risks, allowing it to deconstruct the arguments put forward by the seller, make progress and move the deal forward.
What's your single greatest contribution to Wragge & Co's corporate responsibility?
My husband and I are actively involved in the City Hospital Neonatal Unit Parent Support Group which provides support to parents of babies who are, or have been, in neonatal care. Our boys spent the first ten weeks of their lives in various neonatal units and I cannot praise the support and care we all received highly enough. We really want to be there for other parents in that same position.
What's been written or said about you that you're most proud of?
An email from a client headed "Victory!" in which he said "Your great advice, help and kindness during this ordeal have been an inspiration and I thank you from the bottom of my heart".
- Advising a design consultancy in an Aus $300 million dispute with its group PI Insurers arising out of the construction of a rail link in Australia (the largest piece of litigation in Australian history). This involved a number of complex policy coverage issues including aggregation of claims; scope of the insuring clause; policy attachment as between local jurisdiction and group policies; late notification, material non disclosure and potential breach of 'reasonable co-operation' provisions.
- Negotiation of W&I cover for the insured including a buyer side policy in connection with a £600 million acquisition, which equated to one of the largest W&I placements on the insurance market this year.
- Advising a care provider on insurance issues arising out of a claim brought against it as a result of the alleged medical negligence of an agency nurse supplied by our client. This advice focused on the availability of insurance cover and compliance with the insuring clauses within our client's service contract with the relevant primary care trust.
- Advising on various D&O policy coverage issues including the impact of the insured v insured exclusion on a client's circa £12m claim in the Court of Appeal against its former directors and senior employees.
- The negotiation of deal critical and bespoke tax liability cover to insure against the risk of a £4 million tax liability arising in the target company in the event that anticipated provisions in the Finance Bill did not become law.
- Advising on the operation of a non-standard exclusion under an Employers Liability policy following the intimation of a third party claim against our client worth in excess of £1 million.
- Advising pension trustees on the placement of bespoke Pension Trustee Liability insurance following the entry of the scheme into the Pension Protection Fund.
Advising a large supermarket chain on a policy coverage dispute under insurance intended to guard against the risk over-redemptions of discount vouchers in connection with its Christmas promotion.
- Defending a circa £3.5 million claim brought against our client for allegedly negligent claims-handling in conducting the defence of employers and public liability claims over a 2 year period.
- Acting on behalf of a supplier of seatbelts to the automotive industry in connection with a circa £3.6 million contractual dispute with its webbing supplier.
- Wragge & Co, director - 2010 to present
- Wragge & Co, associate - 2004 to 2010
- Wragge & Co, solicitor - 2000 to 2004
- Cartwrights, trainee solicitor - 1998 to 2000
- North Wales Child Abuse Tribunal, assistant to the solicitor to the tribunal - 1996 to 1998
Commercial dispute resolution, advocacy, insurance (policy coverage advice and disputes) and cross border litigation.
Insurance and risk management
- College of Law, Chester - LPC - 1995 to 1996
- University of Bristol - LLB (Hons) Law - 1992 to 1995
- Stratford-upon-Avon Grammar School for Girls - 1985 to 1992
- Chartered Insurance Institute
- British Insurance Law Association
Publications and presentations
Presented on insurance issues to the Commerce and Industry Group and at various industry seminars as well as speaking regularly at various Wragge & Co events