Clare Dixon

Education

M.A. (Oxon)




Tel: +44 20 7822 2079
Email: c.dixon@4newsquare.com
Email Clerk: a.call@4newsquare.com

Year of Call: 2002

Profile

Clare’s practice encompasses three main areas: professional liability, insurance and commercial litigation.

She is recommended by Chambers & Partners for professional negligence and by the Legal 500 for both professional negligence, and insurance and reinsurance.

Chambers & Partners says that Clare is “seen by many as a "star of the future"”, that she is “singled out for her advocacy, judgement and all-round courtroom ability” and that she “quickly grasps the commercial angles of the dispute", is “very straightforward, very logical and very persuasive.” In previous years Clare has been described as “a very tenacious advocate" who is, “well prepared”, “determined”, “impressive” and noted for her “commercial understanding and thoroughness”.

Clare was instructed by Zurich Insurance Company in the Employers’ Liability Policy Trigger Litigation. This major policy interpretation case was concerned with the proper interpretation of employers’ liability policies which were written on an “injury sustained” or “disease contracted” basis and whether they would respond to mesothelioma risks at the time of inhalation or when the tumour developed. The case culminated in a two week hearing before the Supreme Court and a successful outcome for Zurich.

She has extensive experience of professional liability matters and is regularly instructed to act for or against solicitors, surveyors, insurance brokers, barristers and accountants. In recent years she has been kept particularly busy with litigation brought by lenders, several of which claims have involved issues of fraud.

At the cross over of her insurance and professional liability work come cases involving professional indemnity policies. Clare has advised both insurers and insureds on a variety of issues including policy interpretation, non-disclosure and fraud. In 2012 she was instructed by insurers in their successful claim in fraud against their former insured: Travelers Insurance Co Ltd & Denton Wilde Sapte v Advani [2012] EWHC 623

Clare is an editor of Jackson & Powell on Professional Liability and on the executive committee of the Professional Negligence Bar Association.

Prior to being called to the Bar, Clare read law at St Anne’s College, Oxford University, where she was President of the Oxford Union.

 


Commercial Dispute Resolution

Clare’s practice includes a variety of commercial work. She has acted in matters involving property damage, sale of goods litigation and mortgage related disputes. She also has experience of obtaining urgent injunctive relief having advised upon and obtained freezing injunctions and disclosure orders.

In 2013, Clare was instructed by Pinsent Masons LLP (led by David Turner QC) on a substantial dispute between a local authority and its services outsourcing provider.

Clare has considerable experience of claims arising out of or involving fraud. In 2012 she was led by Justin Fenwick QC (instructed by Clyde & Co LLP) in a claim which was successfully brought by a professional indemnity insurer and a leading firm of solicitors against their former employee: Travelers Insurance Co Ltd & Denton Wilde Sapte v Advani [2012] EWHC 623. The case was concerned with whether the former employee had acted fraudulently and/or outside the scope of her employment so as to entitle the claimants to recover costs which they had expended in defending both the former employee and her then employer in a previous action.

In 2006, Clare was instructed by Holman, Fenwick and Willan in a 12 week trial in the Commercial Court: Abu Dhabi Investment Company v Clarkson [2007] EWHC 1267 (Comm). The Claimants had invested in a joint venture container shipping line which was to be operated from Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi Container Lines (“ADCL”). ADCL purchased 10 container vessels to run on its line at a cost of about USD$400million. ADCL failed within months of its inception. Proceedings were brought against the ship brokers who had advised the Claimants, the joint venture partner who it was found had fraudulently misrepresented the earning capacity and viability of the vessels, and the bank who had provided funding for the venture.


Construction & Engineering

Clare was instructed by Kennedys LLP in a multi-party construction dispute arising out of the insulation of chilled water pipework at Linklaters LLP’s City office. Two summary judgment applications were made. The first, Linklaters Business Services v Sir Robert McAlpine [2010] EWHC 1145, 130 Con LR 111 considered the duty of care owed by a sub-sub-contractor whose carelessness in installing insulation in a building had caused damage to other areas of that building. The other, Southern Insulation v How Engineering [2010] EWHC 1878 considered whether a sub-sub-contractor could owe a sub-contractor a duty of care such that the sub-contractor could recover sums which it was held liable to pay the main contractor.

In the professional liability context Clare has acted on numerous occasions for and against engineers and architects.


Disciplinary

Clare has appeared in disciplinary proceedings both at the Institute of Civil Engineers and in the Solicitors’ Disciplinary Tribunal.


Insurance & Reinsurance

Clare is recommended by The Legal 500 in “insurance and reinsurance” and her practice includes a substantial insurance element both as a junior and on her own account.

In 2012, the Supreme Court handed down judgment in the Employers’ Liability Policy Trigger Litigation. This was the successful culmination of several years work during which Clare (led by Jeremy Stuart-Smith QC and Leigh-Ann Mulcahy QC) had represented Zurich Insurance Company at a 9 week trial in front of Burton J, a 3 week hearing before the Court of Appeal and a 2 week hearing in the Supreme Court. The case was concerned with the proper interpretation of employers’ liability policies which were written on an “injury sustained” or “disease contracted” basis and whether they would respond to mesothelioma claims at the time of inhalation or when the tumour developed. The Supreme Court found, by a majority, that such policies should respond at the date of inhalation.

With extensive experience in both professional liability and insurance matters, Clare is frequently instructed to advise in respect of non-disclosure, aggregation, successor practice and the interpretation of professional indemnity policies. Her instructions have ranged across a broad range of professions including solicitors, mortgage intermediaries, surveyors and debt recovery agents. She has considerable experience of professional indemnity arbitrations and indemnity conferences.

Clare has particular interest in, and experience of, dishonesty issues and has acted for both insurers and insureds in relation to such matters. In 2012 she was led by Justin Fenwick QC in a claim in which a professional indemnity insurer successfully alleged that an employee of their insured had acted fraudulently: Travelers Insurance Co Ltd & Denton Wilde Sapte v Advani [2012] EWHC 623.

Clare is the editor of the “Members and Managing Agents at Lloyd’s” chapter in the 7th edition of Jackson & Powell.


Professional Liability

Clare is recommended by both Chambers & Partners and The Legal 500 for professional negligence.

Chambers & Partners says that Clare is “seen by many as a "star of the future"”, that she is “singled out for her advocacy, judgement and all-round courtroom ability” and that she “quickly grasps the commercial angles of the dispute", is “very straightforward, very logical and very persuasive.” In previous years Clare has been described as “a very tenacious advocate" who is, “well prepared”, “determined”, “impressive” and noted for her “commercial understanding and thoroughness”.

Clare sets out in detail her experience of each of the professions concerned under the relevant sub-heading.

Accountants, Auditors & Actuaries

Clare has acted both for and against accountants and has particular experience of cases involving tax avoidance schemes. Notable cases include:

Construction Professionals

Clare also has extensive experience of acting both for and against engineers and architects. Recent cases have included:

Insurance Brokers & Agents

Clare has been instructed on various matters concerning insurance brokers, which dovetails with her experience involving general insurance matters. Notable instructions include:

Clare is the editor of the “Members and Managing Agents at Lloyd’s” chapter in the 7th edition of Jackson & Powell.

Financial Services Professionals

Clare has acted in claims both for and against IFAs; in particular, in claims involving advice given on mortgages, pension schemes and investment vehicles.

In 2012/2013 Clare was instructed by a company which specialised in providing advice and guidance to lending institutions on their compliance with the regulatory requirements of the Financial Services Authority (as was). The company was sued by a building society for £½ million arising out of what, the building society said, was an inadequate review of the sale of 4,000 life insurance policies.

Lawyers

Claims against solicitors comprise the largest share of Clare’s professional liability practice and she has a wide breadth of experience across this field. She is frequently instructed in cases involving “lost litigation” of a variety of types, property related disputes (including undue influence) and matrimonial matters.

Examples of her notable and recent cases include:

Surveyors & Valuers

Clare has considerable experience of claims involving valuers and surveyors both in the commercial and domestic context. This area of her practice has become particularly dominant in recent years with the rise of lender litigation. Notable instructions include: