Jeremy Stuart-Smith QC
Tel: 020 7822 2038
Email Clerk: firstname.lastname@example.org
Year of Call: 1978
Year of Silk: 1997
Jeremy brings a wealth of expertise in major commercial and common law litigation. He is described as 'an absolute delight to work with, a great mind and strategic thinker' who is “a true class act” who 'argues complex legal issues in a clear and persuasive way'. He is a ‘fantastic team player, who is brilliant with clients’ with his ‘ability to see the bigger picture and his deep and insightful approach’. And he is “a polished and excellent advocate” who is ‘very persuasive and has a sure touch of the court’.
His main areas of specialism are insurance, professional indemnity, and pharmaceutical and other product liability law and other commercial and technical disputes: he has appeared in many of the leading cases in all of his areas of specialism.
Jeremy is listed in Legal 500 as a leading silk for Insurance & Reinsurance and in both Legal 500 and Chambers Directories as a leading silk for Professional Negligence, Clinical Negligence and Product Liability. He is co-author with Professor Rob Merkin of The Law of Motor Insurance (Sweet & Maxwell 2004)
Jeremy was Head of Chambers from 2009 to 2011
Deputy High Court Judge
Insurance & Reinsurance
Most of Jeremy’s work involves insurance or reinsurance, ranging from professional indemnity, via property to EL/PL coverage issues. Recently litigated insurance cases include:
- Employers Liability Policy “Trigger” Litigation  2 All ER 26 and  EWCA Civ 1096: interpretation of policy terms in Employers’ Liability insurance – now on the way to the Supreme Court.
- Blackburn Rovers Football & Athletic Club Plc v. Avon Insurance Plc & Others  Lloyd's Rep IR 447 (CA): interpretation of policy terms of Personal Accident Policy upon injury to footballer. [And see  Lloyds Rep IR 1 for trial of action]
- Hawley v Luminar Leisure  Lloyd’s Rep IR 275 (CA): defence of claim against insurers of company providing security staff for night club.
- Spriggs v Wessington Court School  Lloyd’s Rep IR 474: successful avoidance of coverage in context of multi-party action against school;
- Ace v Seechurn  Lloyds Rep IR 489 (CA): successful defence of claim against insurers alleging that they had waived limitation and other defences;
- GNER v Avon Insurance  LRIR 793 (CA); successful defence of claim asserting existence of disputed policy terms;
- Avon Insurance v Swire Fraser  1 Comm 573 (Commercial Court); successful defence of claim brought by following market against brokers arising out of PSL scheme for 1990 and 1991.
Current insurance arbitration work includes Essar Oil v United India Insurance (seat of arbitration in Mumbai): ALOP claim arising out of cyclone damage to refinery in Gujarat.
Typical examples of advisory work and expert determinations are:
- Advising reinsurers of Pender Insurance (CGU, R&SA, Ace, Zurich International) in relation to AJC and Global Crossing Cover (2004-2006);
- Advising on product liability coverage issues in the context of Sudan 1 (carcinogenic additive to foodstuffs in the UK);
- Acting as expert to determine re-insurance dispute between R&SA and captive insurer re-assured arising out of construction of policy terms;
- Providing expert advice to determine coverage disputes between Zurich, Hiscox, Kiln and others.
Jeremy is listed in the Legal 500 as a Leading Silk for Insurance and Reinsurance which says: he is 'an absolute delight to work with, a great mind and stategic thinker' and refers to his "superb judgement and crystal- clear logic"
Jeremy has been involved in many of the major product liability issues and cases over the last 15 years, including:
- The Myodil Litigation
- The Organophosphate Litigation 1997-2000 in which he acted for the Defendants in the leading case of Hill v Tomkins
- The MMR Litigation
- The Persona (contraceptive) Litigation
- The Foetal Anti-convulsant Litigation
- Barker v Corus  2 AC 572, liability for the consequences of exposure to asbestos
- Sienkiewicz v Greif 2009] EWCA Civ 1159, liability for minimal exposure to asbestos (and now in the Supreme Court)
The 2010 L500 says that in the field of Product Liability Jeremy 'argues complex legal issues in a clear and persuasive way'. Chambers and Partners (Product Liability) 2010 says: ‘Another silk who receives rave reviews for is style of advocacy is Jeremy Stuart-Smith QC. "He's a smooth performer, very persuasive and has a sure touch of the court".’ Earlier editions of the directories refer to his “ability to see the bigger picture and his deep and insightful approach.” ‘This “extremely effective operator” recently provided advice on potential claims regarding pilots’ alleged exposure to organophosphates’. He has an “acute understanding of what factors will influence the court’s decision” and is “able to argue difficult cases with considerable style.”
Jeremy has conducted a niche practice in the field of clinical negligence relating to wrongful birth and has been involved in many of the leading disputes since McFarlane v Tayside.
Litigated cases include:
Angela Parkinson v. St James & Seacroft University Hospital NHS Trust  QC 266
Rees v. County Durham and Darlington Acute Hospital NHS Trust  3 WLR 1091 (HL)
As a spin-off, Jeremy has acted in claims against lawyers alleging failure to prosecute wrongful birth claims diligently.
Jeremy acts as counsel and arbitrator in both domestic and international arbitrations. Typical of his experience as counsel is the first major ALOP claim arbitrated in India, arising out of damage to a refinery in Gujarat caused by a cyclone. Closer to home, an arbitration arising out of delay in the construction of a refinery in Italy required a combination of insurance expertise and construction law and practice.
As arbitrator Jeremy has accepted appointments under the LCIA and other bodies. Since 2004 he has been an appointed MIB arbitrator.