Essex Court Chambers

Insurance Department

London (Bar)
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Essex Court Chambers offers impressive advocacy in the courtroom alongside considerable strengths handling international arbitrations. The set possesses enviable prowess in the Bermuda Form, counting published authors on the subject among its tenants. Capable of handling a breadth of insurance and reinsurance disputes involving the marine, construction, pharmaceutical and energy sectors, among others. Members of Essex Court Chambers have been involved in a number of high-profile insurance cases, including Halliburton v Chubb which followed the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

Client service: "They're excellent and the clerking service is the best there is." "They go above and beyond, even in very challenging circumstances. It is a committed team that handles scheduling very smoothly." Joe Ferrigno is senior clerk.


Claire Blanchard QC

Very experienced commercial barrister who is known for taking on disputes in the marine insurance sector. She is also well versed in non-marine cases, including construction and energy arbitrations.
Strengths: "She's a bright, hard-nosed advocate." "She has a strong insurance practice and is well recognised in the market." "A very good, strong advocate."


David Scorey QC

An impressive silk who maintains a strong reputation in Bermuda Form work. He also handles a wide range of other commercial insurance disputes, a number of which involve jurisdictional issues. Scorey is experienced in insurance and reinsurance litigation involving the energy and financial services sectors.
Strengths: "He takes a very commercial and pragmatic approach while also knowing the law. He doesn't produce advice in a vacuum." "He has an immense knowledge of Bermuda cases."
Recent work: Appeared in the Supreme Court for Chubb Bermuda Insurance in a USD100 million claim made by Halliburton under an insurance policy relating to the settlement by Halliburton for USD1.1 billion of claims following the Deepwater Horizon incident in 2010.


David Walsh

Well-regarded junior who receives praise for his insurance and reinsurance expertise. He offers particular strength in marine matters. He has also recently been sought out to act in disputes relating to property damage and political risk claims.
Strengths: "He is a stellar performer at the junior Bar and a top choice for marine insurance cases." "He is very capable and his pleadings are tight and good."
Recent work: Instructed in Lassan Holdings v Generali and Others, a EUR25 million claim under a property damage and business interruption policy following damage to an aluminium smelter in the Netherlands.


John Lockey QC

Known for the breadth of his international practice, he is particularly visible in Hong Kong, where he frequently handles insurance arbitrations. He is also noted for his strength in Bermuda Form matters. He has received recent instructions in high-value disputes arising in the financial and pharmaceutical sectors.
Strengths: "He has an encyclopedic knowledge of insurance, he will jump in and get his hands dirty and he has a good sense of humour, which really helps in stressful litigation." "A very good advocate, who is always totally on top of things." "He provides rapid, clear advice and he's not afraid to put his name on a course of action."
Recent work: Acted for Weyerhaeuser in a dispute with Hiscox, regarding jurisdiction battles where the policy contains competing arbitration and jurisdiction clauses.


Paul Stanley QC

An experienced advocate who has an impressive track record handling cases involving the Bermuda Form, a subject on which he is a published expert. He is renowned for his skills as both advocate and arbitrator.
Strengths: "One of the heavyweights of the Insurance Bar." "He's a true insurance expert."


Philippa Hopkins QC

Well-regarded advocate experienced in a wide array of commercial disputes. She demonstrates considerable expertise in marine insurance, reinsurance and international arbitration.
Strengths: "She's extremely proficient and a tough opponent as she is well prepared and will have done all the checks and digging that's needed." "She's very responsive, efficient and her work quality is excellent." "She has a really strong and developing insurance practice."
Recent work: Acted for Griffin Underwriting in claims for breach of a settlement agreement, originally against the owner of a vessel detained by pirates and then released, but now in tort against the individual behind the owning company in person.


Steven Berry QC

Highly effective advocate who takes on a range of hefty commercial cases. He has significant experience in major insurance and reinsurance disputes, and is particularly adept at claims involving shipping as well as international arbitration.
Strengths: "He has a nice advocacy style, his manner is light and he brings you into his line of argument." "He's more than superb. Even in a dire trial he can hold his own and keep the team amused."