Property Damage Department

London (Bar)
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Hardwicke represents a strong choice for clients seeking expertise across a broad array of complex and high-value property damage disputes. Members of the set are renowned for their impressive handling of major construction and property development matters, including allegations of negligence. They offer capabilities in claims involving fires, floods and industrial-scale damage.

Client service: "The clerks are great and have a fantastic approach to running the business." "They're a smooth outfit for sure." Practice director Carolyn McCombe leads the clerking team.

Catherine Piercy

Proficient property damage junior skilled in insurance and construction-related disputes. She is capable of dealing with a variety of cases including those relating to fire, explosion and water damage. Her clients include insurers and property owners.
Strengths: "She is brilliant - super smart and super on top of it. She is an excellent barrister all round and we would look to instruct her again." "A competent and thoughtful practitioner."
Recent work: Acted for a piling contractor that United Utilities alleges caused concrete to enter a sewer during its piling works, causing blockage and flooding.

David Pliener

A senior junior who is known for handling disputes of a highly technical nature with aplomb. He also possesses invaluable understanding of the construction industry and is often instructed in cases with an international aspect. Pliener is skilled in handling both the insurance and negligence aspects of damage claims.
Strengths: "He cuts through the irrelevant, he's very level-headed and he is very much a team player. Lay and insurer clients find him easy to understand and enjoy working with him." "He operates at a higher level, like a junior QC for me. He's terrific and knows construction risk inside out."
Recent work: Acted for engineer defendants in a £7 million claim arising out of alleged defects with the design of an underground three-level car park.

Michael Wheater

Offers expertise across a broad range of property damage disputes, including those arising from fires, explosions and floods. His broad client base includes insurers, property owners and tenants.
Strengths: "He is an excellent tactician and a good courtroom fighter."
Recent work: Acted for Henkel in a £15 million claim against a contractor and professional team alleging damage to its business in connection with repair to subsided warehouse flooring.

Paul Reed QC

A highly respected property damage silk who wins praise for his considerable expertise in construction and insurance matters. He is regularly instructed in substantial, high-profile claims concerning multiple parties, and is noted for experience of handling fire damage cases.
Strengths: "He has deep knowledge and will come up with practical solutions. His advocacy is just excellent." "His technical knowledge is way ahead of anyone else in understanding the underlying issues and the insurance points."
Recent work: Acted for Generali in a £20 million insurance claim arising out of damage to an aluminium smelting facility in the Netherlands.