The FOIL Structure

James Heath

James Heath (Keoghs)

President

Bio

James Heath (Keoghs)

President

James is a Partner at Keoghs LLP, having joined the firm as a Trainee Solicitor in 1995.

He assisted in establishing the firm?s counter-fraud services division in 1998 and, since that time, has been instrumental in the development and growth of Keoghs' fraud practice. He works with a wide range of insurers and corporate clients helping them to define, implement and improve their counter-fraud strategies, as well as advising upon complex fraud matters.

He is a well-known and respected member of the counter-fraud community, and is regularly invited to contribute to national conferences, events and seminars upon fraud related issues. James also holds the role of Keoghs? COLP and leads the firm's Quality, Risk & Compliance (QRC) team.

As President, James will ensure that FOIL continues to take a leading and influential role in the industry, helping to inform and shape the landscape in which FOIL Members, our Sponsors and Trade & Industry partners operate, and will support the ongoing development of FOIL through London FOIL, new SFTs and expansion of FOIL's geographical footprint.

Away from the industry, James tries to juggle spending time with his wife, Tracy, and daughters Emily & Abigail with reducing his golf handicap to a respectable level.

Lawrence Besemer

Laurence Besemer FCII

CEO

Bio

Laurence Besemer FCII

CEO

Direct dial: 07921 491426

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 nearly 40 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), non-executive Director of SX3 and 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.”

Anthony Baker

Anthony Baker (Plexus)

Vice President

Bio

Anthony Baker (Plexus)

Vice President

Anthony qualified as a Solicitor in 1997 and has over 20 years' experience in the Defendant Insurance market. Anthony is a Partner at Plexus Law heading the Leeds and Manchester offices and handles a full and varied caseload of Major Loss Regulatory and Casualty claims.

He advises Insurers and corporate clients on all types of Regulatory issues including HSE/EHO/CQC investigations, PACE interviews, Inquests and prosecutions. Anthony also handles Major Loss Casualty Claims and has a niche successful specialism in dealing with work related stress claims. He is instructed by a number of major corporate clients as the nominated Lawyer to deal with their stress claims and has successfully defended a number of such claims pleaded at over £10m.

Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners describe Anthony as: "Providing client care to an outstanding level", "particularly astute and thoughtful lawyer" and "Stands out as a beacon of calm and active efficiency".

Outside of work Anthony's time is taken with his 4 boys and their activities including football, cycling and skiing!

Stratos Gatzouris (Consultant - DWF)

Secretary

Bio

Stratos Gatzouris (Consultant - DWF)

Secretary

I have striven throughout my career to act in the best interests of my clients but also believe that I have a duty to work with colleagues and competitors to achieve a common goal for my specialised area, hence my role within FOIL. I am known for getting the job done and for going the extra mile. I strongly believe in showing professional courtesy to all including litigation opponents. I am a strong communicator and mentor.

I have also worked extensively with insurer clients to help develop counter-fraud strategies and continue to strive to maintain thought leadership in this area.

I have offered and provided consultancy services to insurers and law firms in a number of areas including insurance fraud, litigation, training, auditing and regulation.

I am presently working with the DWF Cat PI team on larger value claims and also advise on Section 57 fundamentally dishonest claims.

Nicola Critchley (Horwich Farrelly)

Treasurer

Sarah Higgs

Management Services Consultant

Shirley Denyer

Shirley Denyer (Shirley Denyer LLP)

Technical Director

Bio

Shirley Denyer (Shirley Denyer LLP)

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.

Geoff Owen

Technical Author

Bio

Geoff Owen

Technical Author

Geoff Owen qualified as a solicitor in 1978. During his career he was a partner in a number of national firms, acting exclusively for insurers in high value motor, employers’ liability and public liability claims. In 2005, Geoff semi-retired, gradually reducing his case load and moving into training and writing inhouse publications for a number of firms with which he was a consultant. He is now a consultant with Horwich Farrelly and in April 2019 he was appointed to the new role of FOIL’s Technical Author.

Since 2006, Geoff has lived and worked from home on the Costa Blanca in Spain.

Stephen Hines

Stephen Hines (Taylor Rose TTKW)

Immediate Past President

Bio

Stephen Hines (Taylor Rose TTKW)

Immediate Past 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.

Frank Hughes (BLM)

Scotland Rep to the Executive

Bio

Frank Hughes (BLM)

Scotland Rep to the Executive

Frank has experience in conducting insurer-related litigation across a wide arena, including to the Supreme Court. He specialises in complex loss and emerging risks, with a significant background in disease litigation and large loss. He has been an accredited specialist in Personal Injuries for many years and acts as an expert witness in solicitors’ negligence.

He is a member of the Regulatory Committee of the Law Society of Scotland, a former Chair of the Forum of Insurance Lawyers in Scotland and the current Scottish Representative on the UK FOIL National Executive Committee.

He tutored in Judicial Review at Glasgow University for many years and is the author of an online resource on Scottish Court procedure. He has presented publicly on many occasions on insurance-related subjects, including on ‘Insurance and Brexit’, both nationally and internationally.

Gareth Jones (DWF)

NI Rep to the Executive

Andrew Lothian (DWF)

Regional Rep. Scotland

Bio

Andrew Lothian (DWF)

Regional Rep. Scotland

Andrew is head of DWF's General Insurance practice in Scotland and specialises in Fatal Accident Inquiries, catastrophic injury claims, and EL/PL casualty claims. For more than 20 years he has acted for insurers and self-insured corporates in personal injury litigation. He is ranked by all the main legal directories which describe him as "incredibly impressive" (Chambers, 2018) and having a "tremendous depth of knowledge and experience" (Legal 500, 2018). He sits on the Law Society of Scotland personal injury specialist accreditation panel. For several years was a Fiscal for the Law Society of Scotland prosecuting solicitors for misconduct, and he is also instructed as an expert witness in solicitors' negligence claims. In 2017 he gave evidence to the Scottish Parliament's Justice Committee on the introduction of QOCS and DBAs in Scotland.

Catriona McCorry (McKinty & Wright)

Regional Rep. NI

Stuart Hardy (BLM)

Co-Opted Member

Bio

Stuart Hardy (BLM)

Co-Opted Member

Stuart specialises in defending major loss and catastrophic bodily injury claims with a particular expertise of claims involving policy coverage and arising out of the Uninsured and Untraced Drivers’ Agreement and those claims involving the charity and education sectors. Stuart works with a team of dedicated lawyers to deliver optimum outcomes, compromising claims promptly and economically where appropriate whilst having the ability to maintain a firm line where necessary. He has extensive experience of taking a lead role in strategic decisions and conducting JSMs and other forms of settlement negotiations. Stuart is one of BLM’s Lead Catastrophic Injury Lawyers, responsible with his other key stakeholder partners for the development of BLM’s national catastrophic team, and is a lead member of the Financial and Socio-Economic strategy group. He is also sits on the FOIL National Executive and is an editor of Binghams and Berrymans. As well as handling a full portfolio of large loss injury claims, Stuart is also responsible for the management and development of BLM key client relationships.

Nigel Teasdale (DWF)

Co-Opted Member

Bio

Nigel Teasdale (DWF)

Co-Opted Member

Nigel is the Head of Motor and Fraud at DWF and is the trusted point of contact for a number of insurers on defendant motor claims. He has worked with major motor insurers for over 20 years and has in-depth knowledge of the motor industry.

Nigel’s strategic focus is around motor issues, including policy and indemnity issues and fraud, with technical experience in high-value personal injury motor claims and chronic pain/exaggeration claims.

Nigel was President of the Forum of Insurance Lawyers (FOIL) in 2017 and sits on the National Executive Committee of FOIL. He has given evidence before the Transport Select Committee on the reasons behind the rising cost of motor insurance and the extent of fraudulent / exaggerated whiplash claims. He is also a Director of MedCo, the industry body set up to oversee the improvement of the quality of medico-legal reporting in low value claims and a member of the Ministry of Justice steering group tasked with overseeing the implementation of whiplash reform.
As a principal voice within the insurance industry, Nigel regularly contributes to industry policy and debates such as the development of the MOJ Protocols, Whiplash and the Civil Justice reforms. In January 2018 Nigel appeared before the Justice Select Committee to give evidence again regarding proposed measures to tackle the cost of motor insurance premiums in the UK.

Ruth Lawrence (Keoghs)

Lobby Officer

Nichola Evans

Law Society Representative

Bio

Nichola Evans

Law Society Representative

Nichola qualified as a solicitor in 1993 and is a partner at Browne Jacobson LLP in its Manchester office.

Nichola is a well-respected practitioner in Commercial litigation and heads up Browne Jacobson’s public sector and healthcare commercial disputes offering. Over the past five years Nichola has dealt with a number of Commercial Court trials together with four Court of Appeal matters and one case in the Supreme Court.

Nichola is FOIL’s representative on the Law Society Council and has been a Council Member for six years. She also sits on the Law Society Civil Litigation Committee. In both capacities Nichola is able to put FOIL’s views and ensure that their voice is heard when the Law Society prepares its responses to consultations.

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