Members of Devereux have experience in a broad range of commercial and insurance matters, and the expertise to advise on the many potential disputes arising from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing lockdown.

The Commercial team is confronting and able to advise on a range of COVID-19-related issues, but particularly those arising in a contractual context, including whether a contract has been frustrated as a result of COVID-19 and the requirement to perform discharged, or if a failure to perform amounts to a breach, as well as the applicability and interpretation of force majeure provisions, where they exist.

Members of the Insurance team have already been consulted on a wide range of claims arising from the pandemic. Equipped with extensive experience of the Lloyd’s and companies’ markets, and highly esteemed for its work in insurance and reinsurance law, the Devereux insurance team is ideally placed to advise on all insurance and reinsurance issues raised by the pandemic. Important issues arise under event cancellation, material damage and business interruption, trade credit/insolvency, EL/PL and D&O covers, amongst others. The novel context of the pandemic and governmental responses has already provoked substantial legal controversy as to cover provided by policies, which is set to continue.

Issues of professional negligence are also in sharp focus, with disputes arising as to whether professionals have performed their responsibilities to the required standard, in what are, in many cases, unique situations. Devereux has barristers from silks to juniors who are experienced and able to assist in such matters, having advised previously in cases involving, amongst others, legal professionals, the financial sector, the insurance markets, accountants, and medical practitioners.

Colin Edelman QC and Richard Harrison acted for the Financial Conduct Authority in the Covid-19 test claim brought against eight leading insurers, leading the senior and junior team of counsel respectively in the High Court. Colin Edelman QC was lead counsel for the Financial Conduct Authority at the Supreme Court. This is considered as one the most important pieces of insurance litigation in over a decade. For more information click here for our news item.