Alison is a barrister specialising 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.
Chambers UK 2018 ranks Alison in Band 1 for Insurance: ‘Recognised as “a go-to junior for insurance claims interpretations and policy questions.” She is experienced in both insurance and professional negligence cases and is particularly noted for her methodical and meticulous approach. She handles insurance and reinsurance arbitrations as well as litigation. “An effective advocate, who is accessible and user-friendly.” “She is delightful and extremely knowledgeable.”’
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.”
Legal 500 2017 says about Alison: ‘Calm, measured, robust and responsive; her advice is invaluable’ (Commercial Litigation), ‘Intellectually very able, extremely knowledgeable on case law, great attention to detail and always prepared’ (Professional Negligence), and ‘Unflappable, attentive to detail and an absolute pleasure to work with’ (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”’.
Alison’s recent work includes a wide range of insurance, reinsurance and professional negligence claims, including issues arising in relation to material damage and business interruption insurance, public liability insurance, professional indemnity insurance, employers’ liability insurance policies, private medical insurance, contractors’ combined liability policies, legal expenses insurance and substantial insurance and reinsurance brokers’ negligence claims. Her work also includes regulatory issues and claims for judicial review, particularly in the context of professional disciplinary proceedings. She also undertakes a wide range of commercial work.
Alison’s recent court work includes an appearance in the Supreme Court without a leader in O’Connor v Bar Standards Board  UKSC 78 ), and appearances in the Court of Appeal in Aspen Insurance UK Ltd v Adana Construction Ltd  Lloyd’s Rep IR 511 (with Colin Wynter QC) and in the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal (with Colin Edelman QC) in Teal Assurance Co Ltd v W R Berkley Insurance (Europe) Ltd  Lloyd’s Rep IR 56 and  Lloyd’s Rep IR 259.
Alison is the author of Insurance Claims (Bloomsbury Professional, 4th edition, 2016), a specialist text on insurance law including insurance 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
‘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
Recent cases include:
- W R Berkley Insurance (Europe) Ltd v Teal Assurance Co Ltd  Lloyd’s Rep IR 259, CA – reinsurance – whether payment into escrow account ascertained insured’s loss under underlying liability policy
- O’Connor v Bar Standards Board  UKSC 78 – time limits and indirect race discrimination claim under Human Rights Act 1998
- Aspen Insurance UK Ltd v Adana Construction Ltd  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  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  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  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