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  • FOIL Update on SFO v ENRC - now available to download > updates
  • The Digest September 2018 - now available to download for members in information > updates
  • The Voice Issue 5 2018 - now available to download for members in The Voice
  • Jurisdiction in Insurance Disputes Event - Tower of London > info in External
  • FOIL Update on Sentencing Guidelines - now available to download > updates
  • FOIL Update - EU SFT Update - now available to download > updates
  • Response to consultation on Damages - Investment Returns and Periodical Payments (Scotland) Bill 2 - download > consultations
  • Response to the Public Bill Committee’s Call for Evidence on the Civil Liability Bill - available to download > consultations

FOIL People

Stephen Hines

Stephen Hines

FOIL President

Stephen was called to the Bar in 2014 having qualified as a solicitor in 2009. Shortly after qualifying as a solicitor, he was granted Higher Rights of Audience as a Solicitor Advocate (All Proceedings, All Courts) and is a former partner of a top 200 law firm, where he remains as a consultant advising on key industry developments. He has been praised by peers and clients alike for his clear, practical and thorough advice, and complimented by members of the judiciary on his written and oral advocacy.

As President, Stephen has a leading and influential role in the industry, helping to inform and shape government policy on a wide variety of issues, like fixed costs regimes, whiplash reform, pan-European insurance issues (like those arising out of the Vnuk case) and the discount rate.

Stephen is a member of the MedCo Education and Training subcommittee and a member of the Ministry of Justice Whiplash Reform Programme Guidance and Support Sub Group.

Outside of industry, Stephen is a member (and former Vice Chair) of the governing body of Linchfield Community Primary School.

Stephen has a busy home life and loves to spend time with his wife and four children and, whenever time permits, he enjoys playing golf, squash, and taking part in outdoor pursuits.

Ruth Lawrence

Ruth Lawrence

FOIL Vice President

Ruth has considerable experience of professional indemnity disputes, having acted for a wide range of professional practitioners on behalf of insurers for over 20 years. In particular, she is known for her heavyweight construction practice defending the full range of construction professionals and successfully resolving them either through negotiation, mediation and trial, having taken proceedings through to the Supreme Court. Ruth is also known for defending professionals before their disciplinary bodies. She has a niche practice and specialist knowledge of the veterinary profession.

Ruth is experienced in all aspects of dispute resolution, having been at the forefront of the drive to mediation throughout her career. She is very aware of the need to provide pragmatic commercial advice and focuses herself and the team to achieve the right outcome for the client. Ruth is known for her drive for innovative costs solutions to introduce both costs certainty and an alignment of interest between her team and the client.


  • Acting for the successful engineers in the Court of Appeal decision in RJT Consulting Engineer Ltd -v- DM Engineering Ltd [2002] EWCA Civ 270
  • Acting for the successful civil and structural engineers in the High Court decision in Co-operative Group Limited -v- John Allen Associates [2010] EWH
  • Current active cases include a multi-million pound action affecting a new-build retail development and adjacent homeowners, criminal and civil claims

Laurence Besemer

Laurence Besemer

Direct dial: 01256 466 354

Laurence is the CEO of FOIL a position he has held since 2009.

Working alongside the President and the Executive Committee, he is responsible for long term strategy and the infra structure of the organisation.

Laurence comments:
“With over 35 years insurance claims experience, in the UK and overseas, I understand the industry and the pressures that claims managers and handlers face. I am a Fellow of the Chartered Insurance Institute, Managing Director of C-Mas, (Claims Management Advisory Services) and a Director of TopQuotes Insurance Brokers. I am a life-long Manchester United fan and am working hard to get my three young daughters versed in the benefits of being a red.”.

Shirley Denyer

Shirley Denyer

Technical Director


A qualified solicitor with over 30 years’ experience working in London and the North West, Shirley has experience of handling a wide range of disputes, from Public Liability to Clinical Negligence, Commercial Litigation and Costs.

Through Shirley Denyer LLP, Shirley has been involved in FOIL since 2007, as a non-practising solicitor. She was appointed to the newly created position of Technical Director in 2016, taking on a role in developing FOIL’s strategy and focus. She has responsibility for all of FOIL’s technical publications and the work of the eighteen Sector Focus Teams. Working with the SFTs and the National Committee she also handles FOIL’s consultation responses.

Shirley is based in Manchester. Outside work, despite the weather, she gets outdoors as much as possible, playing tennis and cycling.

Nick Teasdale

Nigel Teasdale

Immediate Past President

Partner and Head of Motor, Fraud and Costs teams at DWF.
Having worked with major insurers for over 20 years, Nigel has an in-depth knowledge of client issues and is the trusted point of contact for a number of insurers on defendant motor claims. Working within the industry, Nigel’s strategic focus is around motor issues, including policy and indemnity issues and fraud. Nigel’s technical experience is in high-value personal injury motor claims with a speciality in large loss and chronic pain.

Nigel sits on the National Executive Committee of FOIL and through his involvement he has given evidence before the Transport Select Committee on the extent of fraudulent/exaggerated whiplash claims. He is also the Immediate Past President of the Forum of Insurance Lawyers and a Director of MedCo, the industry body set up to oversee the improvement of the quality of medico-legal reporting in low value claims.

As a principal voice within the insurance industry, Nigel regularly contributes to industry debates such as the development of the MOJ Protocols, Whiplash and the Civil Justice reforms.