Alison is a specialist in commercial dispute resolution. She has particular expertise in insurance and reinsurance, professional negligence claims and professional disciplinary proceedings.  Alison accepts appointments to act as an arbitrator.

Alison is ranked as a leading junior in Insurance and Reinsurance, by Chambers UK, Legal 500 and Who’s Who Legal, and in Commercial Litigation and Professional Negligence by Legal 500.

The Lawyer selected Alison as one of its ‘Hot 100’ in 2014, and she was shortlisted for Insurance Junior of the Year in the Chambers Bar Awards 2014.

In Insurance, Chambers UK 2017 says about Alison: ‘A very highly thought-of junior who is “just a joy to work with” and experienced in both insurance and professional negligence cases. She is noted for her methodical and meticulous approach.’ “She is outstandingly user-friendly: nothing I put her way seems to floor her. Always calm and in control, she’s good at rolling up her sleeves and making you feel you’re all in this together.” “Technically brilliant and with an eye for detail.”

In Insurance, Chambers UK 2016 said about Alison: ‘Standout junior who boasts expertise in both professional negligence and insurance and reinsurance. She is “a very accomplished advocate.”‘ ‘”Thoroughness and attention to detail is what stands out; she is extremely well prepared for matters, and very cool under fire as well.”‘

Legal 500 2016 says about Alison: ‘An absolute star and a real detail barrister, who is methodical and cerebral’ (Commercial Litigation), ‘Incredibly bright and her advice is always clear and concise’ (Professional Negligence), and ‘She has a wealth of knowledge and experience and applies it with sound judgement’ (Insurance and Reinsurance).

Who’s Who Legal 2017 says that Alison is ‘the top insurance junior at 4 New Square’, according to its research, and that ‘she was described as “extremely knowledgeable, hardworking and charming”‘.

Chambers UK 2015 said: ‘A truly outstanding junior who has deep insurance knowledge and is frequently led by some of the top silks at the Bar. She is equally at home in the courtroom or in arbitration.She writes the textbook, is in a lot of the cases and knows everything there is to know about insurance”‘.

Legal 500 2015 said that Alison was ‘Extremely calm, thorough and a delight to work with; she handles client meetings well’ (Commercial Litigation), that ‘She is always meticulously well prepared and has a very good manner with clients’ (Insurance and Reinsurance), and that she was ‘Very organised and well prepared’ (Professional Negligence).

Legal 500 2014 described Alison as Exceptionally bright’ (Insurance and Reinsurance), ‘User friendly and responsive‘ (Professional Negligence), and said that ‘She shows great attention to detail and intellect, and is also very user friendly’ (Commercial Litigation).

In Insurance, Chambers UK 2014 said: ‘Known for her deep knowledge of insurance and reinsurance law, she is commended for her experience in professional indemnity and business interruption claims… “Very user-friendly, very responsive and easy to get on with”‘.

Alison’s recent work includes a wide range of insurance, reinsurance and professional negligence claims, including issues arising in relation to employers’ liability insurance policies and mesothelioma, private medical insurance, contractors’ combined liability policies, material damage and business interruption insurance and public liability insurance, and substantial insurance and reinsurance brokers’ negligence claims.  She has experience of regulatory issues including claims for compensation under s 138D (formerly s 150) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 and judicial review and professional disciplinary proceedings.

Alison’s recent court work includes Aspen Insurance UK Ltd v Adana Construction Ltd [2015] Lloyd’s Rep IR 511 in the Court of Appeal with Colin Wynter QC, appearances in the Supreme Court and the Commercial Court with Colin Edelman QC in Teal Assurance Co Ltd v W R Berkley Insurance (Europe) Ltd [2014] Lloyd’s Rep IR 56 and [2016] Lloyd’s Rep IR 134, O’Connor v Bar Standards Board [2016] EWCA Civ 775, [2016] 1 WLR 4085 – time limits and indirect race discrimination claim under Human Rights Act 1998 (permission to appeal granted by the Supreme Court in December 2016), and R (Prescott) v Bar Council [2015] EWHC 1919 (Admin), a public law challenge relating to the BPTC Handbook and its application. She is also instructed in contempt of court proceedings brought against former Autofocus rate surveyors by Accident Exchange.

Alison is the author of Insurance Claims (Bloomsbury Professional, 4th edition, 2016), a specialist text on insurance law including brokers’ negligence:

It is extremely welcome to find a book addressing the law of insurance in which clear and succinct answers can readily be found’ – from Colin Edelman QC’s Foreword to the 3rd edition, 2012

Alison Padfield’s book … has admirably combined brevity with clarity of exposition … an excellent book – from a review by Professor Robert Merkin of the first edition in the Journal of Business Law in September 2004

Recent cases include:

  • W R Berkley Insurance (Europe) Ltd v Teal Assurance Co Ltd [2017] EWCA Civ 25 – reinsurance – whether payment into escrow account ascertained insured’s loss under underlying liability policy
  • O’Connor v Bar Standards Board [2016] EWCA Civ 775, [2016] 1 WLR 4085 – time limits and indirect race discrimination claim under Human Rights Act 1998 (permission to appeal granted by the Supreme Court in December 2016)
  • Aspen Insurance UK Ltd v Adana Construction Ltd [2015] Lloyd’s Rep IR 511, CA (with Colin Wynter QC) – claim involving construction of public liability and product liability wordings and their inter-relationship in a combined contractors’ liability policy
  • R (Prescott) v Bar Council [2015] EWHC 1919 (Admin) – public law challenge relating to the BPTC Handbook and its application
  • A Company v D&O Insurers (2014) (with Colin Edelman QC) – successful defence of claim against insurers under policy of D&O insurance at two-day arbitration hearing – details are confidential
  • Herridge v Parker and Allianz Insurance plc [2014] Lloyd’s Rep IR 177 – defence of application for costs against after the event (ATE) insurer as non-party under s 51(3) of the Senior Courts Act 1981; first reported case involving such an application against an ATE insurer
  • Teal Assurance Co Ltd v W R Berkley Insurance (Europe) Ltd [2013] Lloyd’s Rep IR 56, SC (with Colin Edelman QC) – reinsurance case in Supreme Court concerning the order in which claims made by an insured exhaust layers of liability insurance cover and related Commercial Court proceedings
  • Synergy Health (UK) Ltd v CGU Insurance plc & Ors [2011] Lloyd’s Rep IR 500 (with Colin Wynter QC) – high-value insurance (fire) claim raising issues of misrepresentation, non-disclosure and waiver, and quantum of business interruption insurance.

Areas of Expertise

Insurance & Reinsurance
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Alison has substantial experience of insurance and reinsurance work for both underwriters and insureds across a wide range of types of insurance and reinsurance business including commercial combined policies, contractors’ all risk (CAR) policies, contractors’ combined policies, employers’ liability, product liability and public liability cover, property policies, material damage and business interruption insurance, casualty, fire and commercial all risks insurance, professional indemnity insurance, directors’ and officers’ (D&O) cover, legal expenses insurance, private medical insurance, accident, life, permanent health (PHI) and critical illness insurance.

She advises and represents clients in relation to all aspects of insurance claims including the construction of insurance policy wordings, breach of warranties and conditions precedent, non-disclosure and misrepresentation and claims under the Third Parties (Rights Against Insurers) Acts 1930 and 2010.

Alison also has significant expertise in bringing and defending claims against insurance and reinsurance brokers.  Her recent cases include multi-million pound claims in the Commercial Court arising out of group litigation by airline pilots in the United States (acting for insured against reinsurance brokers in connection with complex, multi-layer, multi-year reinsurance programme) and arising out of a fire at two well-known bars/clubs in the East End of London (acting in defence of two separate claims against insurance brokers involving public liability and business interruption insurance).

Alison is the author of Insurance Claims (Bloomsbury Professional, 4th edition, 2016), a specialist text on insurance law:

It is extremely welcome to find a book addressing the law of insurance in which clear and succinct answers can readily be found’ – from Colin Edelman QC’s Foreword to the 3rd edition, 2012

‘Alison Padfield’s book … has admirably combined brevity with clarity of exposition … an excellent book – from a review by Professor Robert Merkin of the first edition in the Journal of Business Law in September 2004

The Lawyer selected Alison as one of its ‘Hot 100’ 2014, and she was shortlisted for Insurance Junior of the Year in the Chambers Bar Awards 2014.

Alison is ranked as a leading junior in Insurance and Reinsurance by Legal 500 and in Insurance by Chambers UK.

Chambers UK 2017 says about Alison: ‘A very highly thought-of junior who is “just a joy to work with” and experienced in both insurance and professional negligence cases. She is noted for her methodical and meticulous approach.’ “She is outstandingly user-friendly: nothing I put her way seems to floor her. Always calm and in control, she’s good at rolling up her sleeves and making you feel you’re all in this together.” “Technically brilliant and with an eye for detail.”

Legal 500 2016 says about Alison: ‘She has a wealth of knowledge and experience and applies it with sound judgement’ (Insurance and Reinsurance), ‘An absolute star and a real detail barrister, who is methodical and cerebral’ (Commercial Litigation), ‘Incredibly bright and her advice is always clear and concise’ (Professional Negligence).

Chambers UK 2016 said about Alison: ‘Standout junior who boasts expertise in both professional negligence and insurance and reinsurance. She is “a very accomplished advocate.”‘ ‘”Thoroughness and attention to detail is what stands out; she is extremely well prepared for matters, and very cool under fire as well.”‘

Legal 500 2015 said that ‘She is always meticulously well prepared and has a very good manner with clients’.

Legal 500 2014 described Alison as ‘exceptionally bright‘, and Chambers UK 2015 said: ‘A truly outstanding junior who has deep insurance knowledge and is frequently led by some of the top silks at the Bar. She is equally at home in the courtroom or in arbitration.She writes the textbook, is in a lot of the cases and knows everything there is to know about insurance”‘.

In Insurance, Chambers UK 2014 said: ‘Known for her deep knowledge of insurance and reinsurance law, she is commended for her experience in professional indemnity and business interruption claims… “Very user-friendly, very responsive and easy to get on with.”‘

In Insurance and Reinsurance, Legal 500 2013 described Alison as ‘exceptionally bright‘, Chambers UK 2013 said that she is seen as a shrewd and effective advocate’ and that as a highly skilled junior she continues to make her presence felt on key cases’, and Legal 500 2012 described her as extremely knowledgeable in her field’.

Chambers UK 2012 said Alison was conscientious, highly thorough and detailed’, and Legal 500 2011 said that her ‘client care skills are second to none’.

Notable recent cases:

  • W R Berkley Insurance (Europe) Ltd v Teal Assurance Co Ltd [2017] EWCA Civ 25 – reinsurance – whether payment into escrow account ascertained insured’s loss under underlying liability policy
  • Aspen Insurance UK Ltd v Adana Construction Ltd [2015] Lloyd’s Rep IR 511, CA (with Colin Wynter QC) – claim involving construction of public liability and product liability wordings and their inter-relationship in a combined contractors’ liability policy
  • A Company v D&O Insurers (2014) (with Colin Edelman QC) – successful defence of claim against insurers under policy of D&O insurance at two-day arbitration hearing – details are confidential
  • Herridge v Parker and Allianz Insurance plc [2014] Lloyd’s Rep IR 177 – successful defence of application for costs against after the event (ATE) insurer as non-party under s 51(3) of the Senior Courts Act 1981; first reported case involving an application against an ATE insurer under s 51(3)
  • Teal Assurance Co Ltd v W R Berkley Insurance (Europe) Ltd [2013] Lloyd’s Rep IR 56, SC (with Colin Edelman QC) – reinsurance case in Supreme Court concerning the order in which claims made by an insured exhaust layers of liability insurance cover
  • Synergy Health (UK) Ltd v CGU Insurance plc [2011] Lloyd’s Rep IR 500 (with Colin Wynter QC) – high-value insurance (fire) claim raising issues of misrepresentation, non-disclosure and waiver, and quantum of business interruption insurance
  • Wood v The Heart Hospital Ltd [2009] BPIR 1538, ChD – impact of potential claim under Third Parties (Rights Against Insurers) Act 1930 on distribution of funds held by CVA supervisor
  • Kamidian v Holt [2009] Lloyd’s Rep IR 242 – claim against Lloyd’s underwriters and claims in bailment against the curators of a Fabergé exhibition in the United States

Some of Alison’s published articles on a range of insurance law topics are available to download here. She also writes the Chaffanbrass commercial law blog.

Cases

W R Berkley Insurance (Europe) Ltd v Teal Assurance Co Ltd

Whether payment into escrow account ascertained insured’s loss under underlying liability policy. Read the judgment...

[2017] EWCA Civ 25
[2017] EWCA Civ 25
W R Berkley Insurance (Europe) Ltd v Teal Assurance Co Ltd

Whether payment into escrow account ascertained insured’s loss under underlying liability policy. Read the judgment here.

Aspen Insurance UK Ltd v Adana Construction Ltd

A claim involving construction of public liability and product liability wordings and their inter-relationship in a c...

[2015] Lloyd’s Rep IR 511, CA
[2015] Lloyd’s Rep IR 511, CA
Aspen Insurance UK Ltd v Adana Construction Ltd

A claim involving construction of public liability and product liability wordings and their inter-relationship in a combined contractors’ liability policy. Read the judgment here.

A Company v D&O Insurers

Successful defence of claim against insurers under policy of D&O insurance at two-day arbitration hearing – det...

A Company v D&O Insurers

Successful defence of claim against insurers under policy of D&O insurance at two-day arbitration hearing – details are confidential.

Herridge v Parker and Allianz Insurance plc

Successful defence of application for costs against after the event (ATE) insurer as non-party under s 51(3) of the S...

[2014] Lloyd’s Rep IR 177
[2014] Lloyd’s Rep IR 177
Herridge v Parker and Allianz Insurance plc

Successful defence of application for costs against after the event (ATE) insurer as non-party under s 51(3) of the Senior Courts Act 1981; first reported case involving an application against an ATE insurer under s 51(3).

Teal Assurance Co Ltd v W R Berkley Insurance (Europe) Ltd

Reinsurance case in Supreme Court concerning the order in which claims made by an insured exhaust layers of liability...

[2013] Lloyd’s Rep IR 56
[2013] Lloyd’s Rep IR 56
Teal Assurance Co Ltd v W R Berkley Insurance (Europe) Ltd

Reinsurance case in Supreme Court concerning the order in which claims made by an insured exhaust layers of liability insurance cover. Read the judgment here.

Synergy Health (UK) Ltd v CGU Insurance plc

A high-value insurance (fire) claim raising issues of misrepresentation, non-disclosure and waiver, and quantum of bu...

[2011] Lloyd’s Rep IR 500
[2011] Lloyd’s Rep IR 500
Synergy Health (UK) Ltd v CGU Insurance plc

A high-value insurance (fire) claim raising issues of misrepresentation, non-disclosure and waiver, and quantum of business interruption insurance. Please read the judgment here.

Wood v The Heart Hospital Ltd

The impact of potential claim under Third Parties (Rights Against Insurers) Act 1930 on distribution of funds held by...

[2009] BPIR 1538,
[2009] BPIR 1538,
Wood v The Heart Hospital Ltd

The impact of potential claim under Third Parties (Rights Against Insurers) Act 1930 on distribution of funds held by CVA supervisor.

Kamidian v Holt

A claim against Lloyd’s underwriters and claims in bailment against the curators of a Fabergé exhibition in the Un...

Lloyd’s Rep IR 242
Lloyd’s Rep IR 242
Kamidian v Holt

A claim against Lloyd’s underwriters and claims in bailment against the curators of a Fabergé exhibition in the United States. Please read the judgment here.

Professional Liability
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Alison is ranked as a leading junior in Professional Negligence by Legal 500 2016, which says about her: ‘Incredibly bright and her advice is always clear and concise’ (Professional Negligence), ‘An absolute star and a real detail barrister, who is methodical and cerebral’ (Commercial Litigation), and ‘She has a wealth of knowledge and experience and applies it with sound judgement’ (Insurance and Reinsurance).

Chambers UK 2017 (Insurance) says about Alison: ‘A very highly thought-of junior who is “just a joy to work with” and experienced in both insurance and professional negligence cases. She is noted for her methodical and meticulous approach.’ She is outstandingly user-friendly: nothing I put her way seems to floor her. Always calm and in control, she’s good at rolling up her sleeves and making you feel you’re all in this together. “Technically brilliant and with an eye for detail.”

Legal 500 2015 said about Alison: ‘Very organised and well prepared’ (Professional Negligence), ‘She is always meticulously well prepared and has a very good manner with clients’ (Insurance and Reinsurance), and ‘Extremely calm, thorough and a delight to work with; she handles client meetings well’ (Commercial Litigation).

Legal 500 2014 described Alison as ‘User friendly and responsive‘, and she was ranked as a leading junior in Professional Negligence by Legal 500 2013.

Alison has extensive experience of bringing and defending professional negligence claims involving a wide range of advisers including insurance and reinsurance brokers, independent financial advisers, solicitors, barristers, accountants, valuers and surveyors, architects and structural engineers and other specialists such as agronomists.

Alison has particular expertise in bringing and defending claims against insurance and reinsurance brokers.  Her recent cases include multi-million pound claims in the Commercial Court arising out of group litigation by airline pilots in the United States (acting for insured against reinsurance brokers in connection with complex, multi-layer, multi-year reinsurance programme) and arising out of a fire at two well-known bars/clubs in the East End of London (acting in defence of two separate claims against insurance brokers involving public liability and business interruption insurance).

For Alison’s recent article with Sophie Belgrove in the New Law Journal on solicitors’ negligence and unbundled legal services, and her article on valuers’ negligence and buy-to-let property, click here.

Alison is the author of Insurance Claims (Bloomsbury Professional, 4th edition, 2016), a specialist text on insurance law:

It is extremely welcome to find a book addressing the law of insurance in which clear and succinct answers can readily be found’ – from Colin Edelman QC’s Foreword to the 3rd edition, 2012

‘Alison Padfield’s book … has admirably combined brevity with clarity of exposition … an excellent book’ – from a review by Professor Robert Merkin of the first edition in the Journal of Business Law in September 2004.

Commercial Litigation
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Alison is ranked as a leading junior in Commercial Litigation by Legal 500 2016 which says about her: An absolute star and a real detail barrister, who is methodical and cerebral’ (Commercial Litigation), ‘Incredibly bright and her advice is always clear and concise’ (Professional Negligence), and ‘She has a wealth of knowledge and experience and applies it with sound judgement’ (Insurance and Reinsurance).

Legal 500 2015 said about Alison: ‘Extremely calm, thorough and a delight to work with; she handles client meetings well’ (Commercial Litigation). Legal 500 2014 said: She shows great attention to detail and intellect, and is also very user friendly.’

Alison’s work in the field of commercial litigation is wide-ranging, including claims for damages for breach of commercial agreements, such as contracts for the sale of goods or supply of services, shareholder and partnership disputes and claims involving the Commercial Agents (Council Directive) Regulations 1993.  She also has extensive experience of insurance and reinsurance claims and professional liability claims in a commercial and construction context.

Click here to read Alison’s recent article with Sophie Belgrove about the impact of certain types of contractual term on termination payments under the Commercial Agents regulations.

Disciplinary
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Alison has extensive experience of regulatory issues including claims for compensation under s 138D/150 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 and professional disciplinary proceedings.  Alison is a member of the Bar Standards Board panel of prosecutors for professional disciplinary matters and appears before Bar Disciplinary Tribunals and on appeal, and in related civil proceedings including for judicial review, misfeasance and under the Human Rights Act. She has also advised in relation to solicitors’ conduct issues, including issues arising under the SRA Code of Conduct 2011. Alison also has extensive experience of equality and discrimination law, both in regulatory and disciplinary and in other matters.

Alison represents the Bar Standards Board in O’Connor v Bar Standards Board [2016] EWCA Civ 775, [2016] 1 WLR 4085 (time limit and indirect race discrimination claim under Human Rights Act 1998; permission to appeal granted by the Supreme Court in December 2016), and in one of the statutory appeals in Rehman v The Bar Standards Board [2016] EWHC 1199 (Admin) (appeal to the High Court by a barrister against a disciplinary tribunal decision; appeared with Lucinda Harris on appeal and before the disciplinary tribunal). Alison represented the Bar Standards Board/Bar Council in judicial review proceedings in R (Prescott) v Bar Council [2015] EWHC 1919 (Admin) (a public law challenge relating to the BPTC Handbook and its application) and in judicial review proceedings and a related claim for discrimination in Iteshi v Bar Council [2012] All ER (D) 241.

Alison acted for the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis in the high profile discrimination claims brought by Commander Shabir Hussain (with Rabinder Singh QC), Assistant Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur (with Tom Linden QC), and Commander Ali Dizaei (with Tom Linden QC; one of The Lawyer’s Top 20 Cases 2013).

Alison also has experience of applications for civil restraint orders including Rehman v Bar Standards Board [2016] EWHC 2023 (Admin).

Qualifications & Memberships

Alison is an elected member of the Bar Council. She chairs the Bar Council Pro Bono Board, the Commercial Bar Association Equality and Diversity Committee, and the South Eastern Circuit Access to Justice Working Group.

Education
BA (Oxon), Lic Spéc Dr Eur (Brussels) (Master’s degree in European Law), BCL (Oxon) (Master’s degree)

Languages
Alison is able to read documents and conduct conferences in French. She has some knowledge of Spanish and Russian.

Publications

VAT registration number: 628224544