"very experienced and focussed"

Legal 500

Richard Harrison

Year of Call: 1991

"very experienced and focussed"

Legal 500

Richard Harrison

Year of Call: 1991

"very experienced and focussed"

Legal 500

Richard Harrison

Year of Call: 1991

Richard Harrison

"very experienced and focussed"

Legal 500

Richard Harrison

Year of Call: 1991

Richard was named Insurance Junior of the Year at the 2014 Chambers Bar Awards. The Awards are based upon independent research conducted for the 2015 edition of Chambers UK.

In May and June 2016 Richard addressed the annual AIRMIC and BIBA conferences on the challenges facing the insurance industry in implementing the Insurance Act 2015 and Enterprise Act 2016 (see ‘Events’ for links).

In November 2015 an Opinion provided by Richard and Colin Edelman QC was relied upon by an alliance of the UK insurance industry, consisting of Mactavish, Lloyd’s, the LMA, IUA, ABI, BIBA, LIIBA and AIRMIC, in the House of Lords debate on proposed amendments to the Insurance Act 2015. The amendments, including amendments proposed by Colin and Richard, became law with the passing of the Enterprise Act 2016 on 4 May 2016.

In November 2013, Richard attended the Insuralex Global Insurance Lawyers Group conference in Bermuda, presenting sessions on ‘The Insurability of Fines and Penalties’ and ‘Aggregation in the Reinsurance Context’. The details may be viewed here.

  • Recommendations

    Senior junior whose practice encompasses significant international insurance and reinsurance disputes. His deep involvement with the industry has led to him providing opinions on amendments to the 2015 Insurance Act. Harrison regularly handles complex arbitrations. "Always makes himself available at short notice, has tremendous legal common sense and demonstrates a thorough grasp of the detail without losing sight of the big picture." "Richard Harrison has wide-ranging insurance knowledge and is hugely efficient." Defended Enterprise Insurance in a dispute involving the alleged repudiation of a claims management agreement. - Insurance & Reinsurance, Chambers UK 2018

    "A practical, sensible and proactive junior with standing in the field."Insurance and Reinsurance, Legal 500 2017

    "Highly rated." - Professional Negligence, Legal 500 2017

    Senior junior whose practice entails handling a significant international caseload of highly complex insurance and reinsurance disputes. His deep involvement with the industry has led to him providing opinions on amendments to the 2015 Insurance Act. "Simply superb. He gives clear, focused advice and is a pleasure to work with." "Extremely sensible, very commercial, very measured and easy to deal with, he knows his insurance and reinsurance inside and out."  Defended Enterprise Insurance against allegations of repudiation of a claims management agreement concerning 12,000 third-party insurance claims. - Insurance, Chambers UK 2016

    Richard Harrison, ranked as a Leading junior in 'Insurance and reinsurance', is "Immersed in (re)insurance jurisprudence and market practice - at the top of his game" - Legal 500 2016

    Richard Harrison is ranked as a Leading junior in 'Professional negligence' "He provides a deep level of knowledge" - Legal 500 2016

    Richard is recommended as a Leading Junior in Insurance and Reinsurance by the Legal 500 and Chambers UK. He is also recommended by Legal 500 as a leading junior for Professional Negligence.

    Has an almost wholly insurance and reinsurance-centred practice and handles cases with significant multi-jurisdictional aspects. He has received instructions from Hong Kong, Germany and Iceland amongst other places. "Incredibly bright, hard-working, thoughtful and reliable." Acted in the Rathbone Brothers case, which concerned over £100 million in liability coverage disputes. - Insurance, Chambers UK 2016

    "He is brilliant, thorough, incisive and strategic – you want him on your team." - Insurance and Reinsurance, Legal 500 2015

    "Exceptional." - Professional Negligence, Legal 500 2015

    Maintains a highly focused insurance and reinsurance practice, and is adept at handling the more technical cases. His work is increasingly international in scope, and he receives instructions directly from Hong Kong, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands, among a number of countries and territories. Expertise: "He's an exceptionally charming individual. He backs that up with also having a really impressive grasp of the issues and the ability to think laterally about the problems one encounters." Recent work: Represents an insured professional trustee who is facing a claim in excess of £100 million brought by a number of beneficiaries of the Jack Walker Trust who allege mismanagement of the trust's assets. - Insurance, Chambers UK 2015

    "Exceptionally capable and very impressive." - Insurance and Reinsurance, Legal 500 2014

    "Very experienced and focussed." - Professional Negligence, Legal 500 2014

    Praised for his ability to handle an extensive range of insurance and reinsurance matters. "He has an incisive mind and often manages to bring a different view to issues he is asked to advise on". "Very intelligent, and has a wealth of knowledge on insurance-related matters. He is very approachable, which makes for excellent collaboration". - Chambers UK 2014

    "Is the kind of barrister who is always willing to go the extra mile. As well as being technically superb, he is approachable and pleasant to work with." He has experience as both counsel and arbitrator in a wide variety of insurance and reinsurance disputes. - Chambers UK 2013

    "Combines technical capability with being very user-friendly; a modern-day senior junior" - Insurance and Reinsurance, Legal 500

    "...provides clear, concise and practical advice" and "gets top marks for judgement, balance and application" - Insurance and Reinsurance, Legal 500

    "Expresses sound and reliable opinions and brings bright and innovative ideas to a case" - Insurance and Reinsurance, Chambers UK

    "...Richard Harrison very succinctly sums up matters in a fair way to the court" - Insurance and Reinsurance, Legal 500

  • Insurance & Reinsurance

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    Richard is ranked as a leading junior for Insurance and Reinsurance in both Chambers UK ("incredibly bright, hard-working, thoughtful and reliable") and Legal 500 ("brilliant, thorough, incisive and strategic – you want him on your team").

    Richard has a profound depth of experience in advising on and arbitrating/litigating disputes in the insurance and reinsurance fields (including Bermuda Form).

    Richard’s experience covers all aspects of insurance and reinsurance, including notification, aggregation, avoidance and fraud, advising re FCA regulation, wordings, TOBAs, binding authorities and claims management contracts; compliance and strategic advice concerning the Insurance Act 2015.

    Richard’s reported cases include Rathbone Brothers v Novae in the Court of Appeal and EL Trigger in the Supreme Court.  Many higher profile cases are the subject of confidential arbitration.  Recent coverage cases include those involving South Korean humidifier disinfectant death and injury claims (product liability insurance); Petrobras corruption scandal class actions (professional indemnity); weapon systems export (export credit insurance); failure of Enterprise Zone, EBT and film financing tax schemes (professional liability); asbestos property and injury claims (public liability); collapse of VW/Audi dealership showrooms (professional indemnity); satellite fuel leak (in-orbit and revenue cover); bespoke merger and acquisition policies; miss-selling of financial products; pension scheme/trustee liability coverage;  fire claims; construction losses; manufacturing losses; Californian wildfires (whole account reinsurance); class actions against auditors (excess of loss reinsurance); legal expenses insurance disputes.

    Recent cases include:

    • C&S Associates UK Ltd v Enterprise Insurance Company Plc [2015] EWHC 3757 (Comm) – representing insurers in a dispute arising from termination of a claims handling delegated authority agreement.
    • Rathbone Brothers Plc v Novae Corporate Underwriting & Ors [2014] EWCA Civ 1464 (Comm) - representing the professional trustee in a dispute concerning the coverage of professional indemnity policies (and related D&O policies) for the defence of a clam for over £100m, based on allegations of mis-management of the assets of an offshore trust.
    • ARB International Baillie [2013] EWHC 2060 (Comm) - representing the former managing director of a reinsurance broker in the successful defence a claim alleging the negligent negotiation of commission entitlements under binding authorities, quota share treaties and excess of loss policies, after a mid-term change of broker.
    • Re Californian Wildfires (2012) - acting for successful reinsured syndicate in an arbitration arising from the Californian wildfires of 2007 involving Whole Account Reinsurances on Joint Excess of Loss Committee terms in Benfield form; coverage of Elemental/Non-Elemental losses; event aggregation
    • Akzo Nobel UK Ltd & AMEC PLC v Excess Insurance Co (2012) (Supreme Court) – Lead Case in the “EL Trigger litigation”,  representing Akzo Nobel and AMEC ("the employers' camp") in this appeal, which established that employers' liability insurance written on an "injury sustained" basis responds to mesothelioma claims on an exposure/causation basis.
    • Re Lehman Brothers (2011) - advising insurers re aggregation of claims arising out of the sale of structured derivative products issued by Lehman Brothers' entities
    • Re a Premiership Footballer (2011) - advising insurers re coverage for alleged career-ending injury;
    • Re a Hong Kong Investment Manager (anon) (2011) - Advising re defence of Hong Kong proceedings alleging trading of geared share accumulators in excess of discretionary investment authority
    • Re Irish Banks (2011) – advising insurers as to coverage for claims arising out of the Irish banking crisis
    • Southern Rock Insurance v Claims Manager (anon) (2011) - pursuing claims for negligent claims handling relating to c.50,000 claims handled by claims management operation for insurer over a period of 3 years; claims pursued in reliance on sampling and actuarial evidence.
    • Re a Firm (anon) (2010) - advising professional indemnity insurers as to coverage for multiple claims against a solicitors’ firm arising out of alleged negligent tax advice concerning tax avoidance schemes reliant on employee benefit trusts
    • Re a Firm (anon) (2010)advising professional indemnity insurers as to coverage for multiple claims against a solicitors’ firm arising out of misappropriation of client funds and property
    • Re a Firm (anon) (2010) – representing solicitors’ firm in a mediated settlement of claims between an ATE insurer, the firm and the firm’s professional indemnity insurer, arising out of unsuccessful group litigation and associated claims
    • Re a Construction Company (anon) (2010) – advising professional indemnity insurers as to coverage for claims against a main contractor in relation to a major city office block project
    • Re a Middle Eastern Development Project (anon) (2010) – advising credit note issuer as to coverage provided by credit insurance following debt restructuring of state-backed major infrastructure project
    • HDI-Gerling Industrie Versicherung v Vitodurum Reinsurance (2008) - pursuing declaratory proceedings on behalf of retrocessionaires of local policies issued pursuant to a global commercial liability program, giving rise to disputes as to jurisdiction, applicable law, limitation, scope of cover and allocation of loss settlements
    • Tesco Stores v D A Constable & Others (2008) - defending underwriters against claims arising out of the collapse of the "Tesco Tunnel" at Gerrards Cross, which resulted in the closure of the main line railway for 2 months. The Court of Appeal found that Tesco's public liability policy did not cover liability arising under a deed entered into by Tesco, the contractual extensions to the policy being construed to cover only contractual transfers of tort liabilities and, possibly, liabilities co-extensive with tort
    • Outokumpu Stainless Limited v AXA & Others (2007) - defending underwriters in an action brought against insurers for losses arising from radioactive contamination and the disposal of radioactive materials from a Sheffield steel plant
    • Kajima Engineering v Volumetric & Others (2007) - advising underwriters in respect of claims arising out of the proposed demolition of the Caspar II development in Leeds, the product of an innovative modular housing project completed in June 2000 for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation
    • Munich Re v G Inc (2006) - advising underwriters re coverage and conflict of law issues arising out of claims under a US jewellers block policy)
    • Reliance National v Danone (2006) - advising underwriters re coverage and follow settlements)
    • Cable & Wireless and Pender Insurance v. Willis (UK) Ltd & 16 others (2006) - defending Willis Group companies in action brought by the Cable & Wireless group arising out of the activities of 5 former Cable & Wireless employees and a former Willis Group employee in and about the running of the Cable & Wireless' captive insurer, Pender Insurance. Claims include breach of fiduciary duty and dishonest assistance in breaches of fiduciary duty in relation to various reinsurance transactions entered into by the C&W captive. Pursuit of related contribution proceedings against Cable & Wireless
    • TAG v Winterthur & O's (2005) - advising solicitors’ professional indemnity insurers re claims notifications received
    • C v. D (2005) - commercial court arbitration application to determine succession of the liabilities of the former Yugoslavian state reinsurer (JZO) arising under the claimant's reinsurance treaty
    • Zurich International (Bermuda) Ltd v. X (2004) (anon reinsurer) - acting for Zurich (Bermuda) in an arbitration to determine very substantial liabilities under various reinsurance treaties; issues of avoidance and breach of warranty, incorporation of underwriting guidelines, limitation, proof of claims, reinsured's record keeping duties, recovery of US declaratory judgment expenses
    • Generali v. Wellington Underwriting & Others (2004) - facultative reinsurance recovery action re loss to a gas turbine power station in Mexico
    • Turegum Insurance Company v. I (anon reinsurer) (2004); Home & Overseas Insurance v. S (anon reinsurer) ((2004); Home & Overseas v. C (anon reinsurer) (2004); Home & Overseas v. D (anon reinsurer) (2004) - various reinsurance arbitrations for Eagle Star Group companies, raising issues of conflict of laws, avoidance, breach of warranty, construction of terms, terms implied by custom and practice, limitation, proof of claims, reinsured's record keeping duties and inspection rights, in the context of reinsurance run-off; related arbitration applications in the commercial court
    • Eagle Star Insurance v. J N Cresswell & Others [2003] EWHC 2224 (Comm) - construction of claims co-operation clause in reinsurance covers
    • London Market Reinsurers (anon) v. Russian Insurer (anon)(2002-3) – advising reinsurers re coverage and follow settlements in relation to 8 figure reinsurance loss arising out of an explosion at a Russian aluminium works
    • Turegum Insurance Company v. D (anon reinsurer) (2003); City of London Insurance Company v. D (anon reinsurer)(2003); City of London Insurance Company v. M (2003) - reinsurance arbitrations for Eagle Star Group companies arising from reinsurers in run-off. Related arbitration applications in the commercial court
    • Former Directors of Equitable Life v. anon insurer (2002) - arbitration arising out of the Equitable life litigation to resolve D&O coverage issues
  • Commercial Litigation

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    Involvement in many aspects of commercial litigation and advisory work including arbitration and ADR.

    Recent cases include:

    • Southern Rock Insurance v Claims Manager (anon) (2011) - pursuing claims arising out of claims handling agreement relating to 50,000 motor-related insurance claims
    • Ideal Software v ACE Fire & Security (2010) – defending claim made against security firm for losses arising out of a warehouse theft
    • Kent County Council v DNA (2010) – defending manufacturer of lighting components alleged to have caused multiple fires
    • Laser & Light v House of Famuir v ASAH Medico (2006) - defending claim brought against cosmetic laser manufacturer
    • Richardson & Richardson v Hyams v Mitchell (2006) - defending directors of former kitchen retail chain and internet supplier UK Appliances/Pennybee of Wimbledon against allegations of dishonest assistance in the insolvent company's alleged breach of debenture
    • Former Shareholders of British Contractors Plant Limited v. Listria Limited (2004) - HC claim arising out of business purchase agreement
    • Grove v. American Express Services Europe Ltd (2003) - claim establishing effect of section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act on international credit card transactions - settled prior to Court of Appeal hearing. The OFT subsequently pursued a test case raising the same point to the House of Lords
    • Hamra & O's v. Donovan & O's (2002) - jurisdictional dispute regarding ownership of bonds
    • Re a Local Authority (2002) - advising a local authority in relation to a proposed termination of a multi-million pound service contract & related "Best Value" and European tendering requirements
    • Re Bridewell Group plc (2002) - dispute arising out of business purchase agreement)
    • Re Medran Developments (2002) - dispute arising out of business purchase agreement
    • Platt & O's v. LUL [2001] 20 EG 227 - defending loss of profits claim for derogation from grant in commercial lease - Hussey v. Eels [1990] 2 QB 227 successfully distinguished
    • Tesi SRL v. Lloyd Lifestyle (2001) - claim by Italian motorcycle equipment manufacturers for breach of contract against UK distributor, following distributor's decision to switch manufacturer
  • Professional Negligence

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    Richard is ranked as leading junior by Legal 500 (2014) for professional negligence, where he is described as ‘very experienced and focussed.’

    Experienced in professional negligence claims involving the insurance sector, legal services, the financial sector, the construction industry, valuers (commercial and residential), accountants and auditors.

    Recent cases include (see above for insurance related claims):

    • ARB International v Baillie [2013] EWHC 2060 (Comm) – representing the former managing director of a reinsurance broker in the successful defence of a claim alleging the negligent negotiation of commission entitlements under binding authorities, quota share treaties and excess of loss policies, after a mid-term change of broker. 
    • Defending numerous commercial and residential valuation claims, including landmark properties
    • Southern Rock Insurance v Claims Manager (anon) (2011) - pursuing claims for negligent claims handling in respect of a portfolio of 50,000 motor-related insurance claims
    • Mis-selling of investment products, including CDO’s and gear-down accumulators etc. (various)
    • Frank v Smith-Caradoc (2010) - defending allegations of negligence made against architects, arising out of an extensive refurbishment project
    • Barrow in Furness Borough Council v Interserve (2006) - defending building maintenance contractors against claims brought by Barrow for indemnity and contribution in respect of fatality and injury claims arising out of the Barrow in Furness legionnaires' disease outbreak and advising in respect of related insurance disputes
    • Lloyd's Syndicate 1087 v RPC (2006) - acting for underwriters in proceedings alleging negligent handling of a subsidence claim brought under a buildings policy
    • X v Y (2006) - acting for underwriters in proceedings alleging negligent adjustments and defence of claims under a public liability policy
    • A v B (2005) T&CC - defending claim against main contractor arising out of negligent staircase design for twin office block developments
    • Woolfall Plc & Capital Developments Inc v. The Rosling Partnership (2004) / Capital Developments Inc v. Rosling Partnership (2004) - defending claims against solicitors for breach of undertakings in relation to the procurement of letters of credit; associated arbitration against solicitors' professional indemnity insurers
    • Vine Developments v. Clarke Willmott & Clarke (2003) - pursuing claim by developer against solicitors for negligent drafting of contracts for the sale of residential units
    • Niece v. Grant Thornton (2003) - pursuing claim for losses arising out of alleged negligent advice concerning taxation of capital gains on sale of company shares
    • CR King v. Hattencrest (2003) - defending insurance broker's negligence claim arising out of policy cancellations
    • RLHIA v. STW (2002) - defending £6m claim for accountants' negligence, including alleged breaches of whistle-blowing duties
  • Fraud

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    Richard Harrison offers expertise in handling fraud in the context of insurance claims, including coverage issues arising from fraudulent activities and the effect of fraudulent conduct in course of pursuing insurance claims.

Memberships and Associations

COMBAR

BILA

LCCBA

ARIAS (UK) Panel Arbitrator

Awards and Scholarships

Squire University Law Scholarship

College Scholarship and Prize

Inns of Court School of Law

Hardwick Scholarship

Lincoln's Inn Sunley Scholarship 1990

Lincoln's Inn Hubert-Greenland Scholarship (Major Award)

Education

University of Cambridge, Robinson College M.A (Law Tripos)