Background

Several years ago, FOIL undertook a radical overhaul of its special interest groups to strengthen its areas of sector focus and engage more effectively with the whole of its membership.

A series of new member-led sector focus teams was set up to be more closely aligned to the operational structure of the insurance industry, making these teams immediately more relevant to the interests of FOIL members and their client base.

Each team has a similar structure limited to 5-6 lawyers from different member firms in England and Wales plus a member from London FOIL, Scotland and one from Northern Ireland in most cases. In addition, there are 6 Scotland specific SFTs, 2 Northern Ireland specific SFTs and 3 London FOIL SFTs. Members join for no longer than 3 years and the annual time commitment is approximately 3 days, although this can vary depending on external developments in any given sector.

The teams currently set up, focus on the areas listed below, and FOIL will use the same template and structure to focus on new areas of insurance law as markets develop and reforms evolve.

The Sector Focus Teams

  • Abuse Claims Practice Procedure

    Who’s in this team

    • Alastair Gillespie (Keoghs)

    • Graeme Watson  (Clyde & Co)

    • Joe Napier (Napier & Sons)

    • Kate Prestidge (Plexus)

    • Kella Bowers (Forbes Solicitors)

    • Paula Jefferson (BLM)

    • Rebecca Maby (DAC Beachcroft)

    • Sarah Erwin-Jones (Browne Jacobson)

    Meeting Minutes
  • ADR

    Please feel free to contact any one of the team with your views on these or any other topics.

    • Early Neutral Evaluation in light of Lomax v Lomax and the CJC report on ADR
    • Arbitration in personal injury claims
    • On-line Dispute Resolution. Watching brief

    Who’s in this team

    • Ben Appleton (Kennedy's Law)

    • Catriona Stewart (Clyde & Co)

    • Claire Fox (Horwich Farrelly)

    • James Arrowsmith (Browne Jacobson)

    • Lea Brocklebank (DAC Beachcroft)

    • Mark Johnston (DWF)

    • Paul Hughes (Thomas Miller Law)

    • Tim Wallis (Trust Mediation Ltd)

    Meeting Minutes
  • Catastrophic Claims

    Who’s in this team

    • Catherine Currie (BTO Solicitors)

    • Dave Cottam (Weightmans)

    • Joe McManus (Kennedy's Law)

    • Leonard Edgar (John McKee& Sons)

    • Philip D’Netto (Plexus)

    • Rod Evans (Horwich Farrelly)

    • Steven King (DWF)

    • Tony Cawley (Clyde & Co)

    • Victoria Coleman (Keoghs)

    Meeting Minutes
  • Clinical Negligence

    Please feel free to contact any one of the team with your views on these or any other topics.

    • Fixed Recoverable Costs
    • The CQC and professional duty of candour.
    • Costs Budgeting

    Who’s in this team

    • Amanda Wylie (Kennedys)

    • Anna Walsh (Capsticks)

    • Claire Petts (Clyde & Co)

    • Daryl Norvock (Acumension)

    • Graeme Watson  (Clyde & Co)

    • Ian Long (Browne Jacobson)

    • Mike McKenna (Hill Dickinson)

    • Robert Tobin (Kennedys)

    Meeting Minutes
  • Construction

    Please feel free to contact any one of the team with your views on these or any other topics.

    • Considering and reviewing the impact on construction claims of the 2 year pilot on disclosure currently running
    • Impact of changes to the pre-action protocol
    • Monitoring the impact of the Grenfell Tower fire on construction claims

    Who’s in this team

    • Eamon Mooney (Kennedys)

    • Gareth Liddy (Johnsons)

    • Jonathan Brown (Clyde & Co LLP)

    • Manus Quigg (Brodies)

    • Paul Lowe (Weightmans)

    Meeting Minutes
  • Costs

    Please feel free to contact any one of the team with your views on these or any other topics.

    • The continued bedding down of the costs budgeting regime and the anticipated introduction of the new Bill of Costs on a mandatory basis.
    • Fixed costs: following the publication of Lord Justice Jacksons report, full participation in the development and implementation of a wider fixed costs regime, to address both the extension of fixed costs & the adverse consequences arising from case-law
    • The issue of costs payable after late acceptance of a Part 36 offer in cases subject to a fixed costs regime.

    Who’s in this team

    • Adam Burrell (DAC Beachcroft)

    • Chris White (Plexus Law)

    • Howard  Dean (Keoghs)

    • John Brown (Acumension)

    • Matthew Hoe (Taylor Rose)

    • Michelle McCullough (BLM)

    • Nicola Critchley (DWF)

    • Paul McCarthy (Horwich Farrelly)

    • Steve Dawson (DWF)

    Meeting Minutes
  • CPR

    Who’s in this team

    • David Webb (Taylor Rose TTKW Ltd)

    • Julia Messervy-Whiting  (Shakespeare Martineau)

    • Mark Fowles (Browne Jacobson)

    • Mark Holmes (DWF)

    • Michelle McCullough (BLM)

    • Noelle Donnelly (Brodies)

    • Sarah Dalton (Langleys)

    Meeting Minutes
  • Credit Hire

    Please feel free to contact any one of the team with your views on these or any other topics.

    • Working with the MOJ to achieve reform of the credit hire market
    • The assessment of Basic Rate
    • The potential for the Civil Liability Bill issues to encourage fraudsters to migrate to other areas - fraud in high value credit hire claims.
    • The relationship between insurers and CHOs plus focusing at the moment on the rate review

    Who’s in this team

    • Barry Finnegan (Murphy O’Rawe)

    • Charles Williams (Weightmans)

    • Christopher Dibb (Plexus)

    • Emma Fuller (DAC Beachcroft)

    • Gary Herring (Keoghs)

    • Gavin Perry (DWF)

    • Max Withington (Horwich Farrelly)

    • Melanie Mooney (Clyde & Co)

    • Robin Tanner (Kennedys)

    • Sarah Cartlidge (BLM)

    • Stephen Hines (City Gate Chambers)

    Meeting Minutes
  • D&O

    Please feel free to contact any one of the team with your views on these or any other topics.

    • How Directors and Officers manage their business during and in the aftermath of the Covid-19 disruption.
    • Wrongful Trading liability - increasingly an area of focus by insolvency practitioners and others against D&O's in recent years but also now with a likely increased frequency of consideration given economic conditions.
    • Directors’ liability for climate change policy and impact - the need to assess and manage.

    Who’s in this team

    • Hannah Williams (Kennedys)

    • James Denison (Weightmans)

    • Kieran Walshe (DWF)

    • Marlene Henderson (Browne Jacobson)

    Meeting Minutes
  • Disease

    Please feel free to contact any one of the team with your views on these or any other topics.

    • Handling mesothelioma claims following the failure of the MoJ consultation
    • Dealing with the continuing influx of deafness claims
    • Costs issues post Jackson

    Who’s in this team

    • Cameron Clark (Kennedys)

    • David Pugh (Keoghs)

    • Derek Adamson (DWF)

    • Jim Byard (Weightmans)

    • Sean McGahan (DAC Beachcroft (Northern Ireland))

    • Stuart Mackie (Plexus)

    • William Potts (DAC Beachcroft)

    Meeting Minutes
  • Employers' Liability

    Please feel free to contact any one of the team with your views on these or any other topics.

    • The portal -The impact on EL/PL claims
    • The elasticity of vicarious liability
    • Secondary victims
    • Issues arising from proposals to increase small claims track limit
    • Issues arising from Brexit

    Who’s in this team

    • David Mayor (Forbes)

    • Jonathan Head (Horwich Farrelly)

    • Kathy McGillie   (Tughans)

    • Manbir Thandi (DWF)

    • Sean Riley (Langleys)

    • Thomas Middlebrough (Plexus Law)

    • Tracy Smyth (Weightmans)

    Meeting Minutes
  • Environmental Insurance

    Please feel free to contact any one of the team with your views on these or any other topics.

    • Is the insurance industry ready for climate change?
    • Green energy investment options
    • In conjunction with the FOIL Marine SFT, raising awareness of the increasing numbers of marine vessels that are decommissioned and recycled in ways contrary to international law and the damage this causes to the environment

    Who’s in this team

    • Angus Crawford (BTO)

    • Carole Vernon (Kennedys)

    • Chris Green (Keoghs)

    • Gareth Liddy (Johnsons)

    • Iain Butterworth (Thomas Miller Law)

    • Karen Cornwell (Kennedys)

    • Niall McLean (Brodies)

    Meeting Minutes
  • European

    Who’s in this team

    • Sara-Jane Eaton (DWF)

    Meeting Minutes
  • Fraud

    Who’s in this team

    • Damian Rourke (Clyde & Co)

    • David Scott (Horwich Farrelly)

    • Elaine Ibbotson  (Keoghs)

    • George Strahan (Johnsons Law)

    • Jill Sinclair (DWF)

    • Miles Hepworth (DWF)

    • Sarah Hill (BLM)

    • Stuart Clemson (Plexus Law)

    Meeting Minutes
  • London FOIL Energy

    Who’s in this team

    • Angela Flaherty (Clyde & Co LLP)

    • Mark Fitzgerald (Weightmans LLP)

    • Russell Wright (Kennedy's Law)

    Meeting Minutes
  • London FOIL Marine

    Please feel free to contact any one of the team with your views on these or any other topics.

    • Liability for mis-declared cargo
    • The increasing size of cargo ships
    • Liability for breaches of the Emissions Regulations 2020
    • In conjunction with the FOIL SFT on environmental issues, raising awareness of the increasing numbers of marine vessels that are decommissioned and recycled in ways contrary to international law and the damage this causes to the environment

    Who’s in this team

    • Charles Patterson (Thomas Miller Law)

    • Mike Roderick (Clyde & Co)

    • Shaan Burton (Kennedy's Law)

    • Toby Vallance (DAC Beachcroft)

    Meeting Minutes
  • London FOIL Reinsurance

    Please feel free to contact any one of the team with your views on these or any other topics.

    • The continued growth of ILS funds as alternative capital
    • The hours clause

    Who’s in this team

    • Andrew Schutte (Keoghs)

    • Gavin Coull (EC3 Legal)

    • Ling Ong (Weightmans)

    • Nigel Brook (Clyde & Co)

    Meeting Minutes
  • Motor

    Please feel free to contact any one of the team with your views on these or any other topics.

    • Independent medical panels and MedCo.
    • Costs - the practice of listing a 10 minute hearing that is the final stage.
    • Technological advances in the motor industry- including telematics and driverless cars. Motor Fraud

    Who’s in this team

    • Glyn Thompson (Weightmans)

    • James Power (Horwich Farrelly)

    • Karen Fyffe (C&H Jefferson)

    • Perminder Devgun (Lyons Davidson)

    • Roger Mackle (Langleys)

    • Sally Richmond (Plexus)

    • Vikki Melville (Clyde & Co)

    • William Balfry (DWF)

    Meeting Minutes
  • Northern Ireland Access To Justice

    Please feel free to contact any one of the team with your views on these or any other topics.

    • The reforms following on from the Access to Justice Civil Reforms Report
    • New commercial fast tract system to be introduced in early 2019

    Who’s in this team

    • Alison Cassidy (BLM)

    • Amanda Wylie (Kennedy's Law)

    • Catriona McCorry (McKinty & Wright)

    • Laura McKee (Tughans)

    • Matthew Fitzpatrick (Horwich Farrelly)

    • Scott McCarroll (DWF)

    Meeting Minutes
  • Northern Ireland Costs

    Who’s in this team

    • Amanda Wylie (Kennedy's Law)

    • Enya McKenna (Carson McDowell)

    • Karen Fyffe (DWF)

    • Matthew Fitzpatrick (Horwich Farrelly)

    • Michael McCann (Hool Law)

    Meeting Minutes
  • Northern Ireland Disease

    Please feel free to contact any one of the team with your views on these or any other topics.

    • Inconsistencies in the application of the Industrial Disease Claims Working Party guidelines in Northern Ireland
    • The change in the frequency of the different types of disease claims in Northern Ireland
    • The general issue of Pre-Action conduct in disease claims

    Who’s in this team

    • Cathal O’Neill (Carson McDowell)

    • Claire Wylie (DWF Law LLP)

    • Denise Phillips (Murphy O’Rawe)

    • George Strahan (Johnsons Solicitors)

    • Kellie McKinstry (Tughans)

    • Michael McCann (Hool Law)

    • Pauric McGonagle (BLM)

    • Sean McGahan (DAC Beachcroft (Northern Ireland))

    Meeting Minutes
  • Northern Ireland Motor Credit Hire

    Please feel free to contact any one of the team with your views on these or any other topics.

    • The inconsistent approach of the Courts in accepting Northern Ireland evidence of hire rates
    • Copley v Lorne and intervention letters
    • The use of interrogatories when impecuniosity is cited in the Defence

    Who’s in this team

    • Aisling Mellon (DAC Beachcroft (Northern Ireland))

    • Barry Finnegan (Murphy O’Rawe)

    • Cathal O’Neill (Carson McDowell)

    • Gareth Liddy (Johnsons Solicitors)

    • James Kelly (BLM)

    • Pauline Walker (Tughans)

    Meeting Minutes
  • Product Liability

    Please feel free to contact any one of the team with your views on these or any other topics.

    • Connected and Autonomous Vehicles
    • The Evolving Nature of Product Risks and Policy Wording
    • Legislative and Regulatory Change

    Who’s in this team

    • Daniel West (BLM)

    • David Kidman (DWF)

    • Fiona East (Weightmans)

    • Joanna Fulton (Burness Paull)

    • Karishma Paroha (Kennedy's Law)

    • Victoria Curran (Browne Jacobson)

    Meeting Minutes
  • Professional Indemnity

    Please feel free to contact any one of the team with your views on these or any other topics.

    • Policy cover in respect of fines incurred for breaches data protection following cyber-attack.
    • Promoting better take up of adjudication in accordance with the professional negligence pre-action protocol
    • Liability for professional negligence leading to a data breach

    Who’s in this team

    • Alisdair Matheson (Brodies)

    • Jeremy Riley (Kennedys)

    • Kathy McGillie   (Tughans)

    • Ross Baker (BLM)

    • Sarah Naylor (Keoghs)

    Meeting Minutes
  • Property

    Please feel free to contact any one of the team with your views on these or any other topics.

    • Denial of access claims arising from terrorism

    Who’s in this team

    • Chris Lagar (DWF)

    • Frances Thompson (Kennedys)

    • John Hinton (DAC Beachcroft)

    • Mark Morton (BTO Solicitors)

    • Mark Wing (Clyde & Co LLP)

    • Naomi Campbell ( Kennedys)

    Meeting Minutes
  • Public Sector

    Please feel free to contact any one of the team with your views on these or any other topics.

    • Police/Blue-light claims - led by Denise Brosnan
    • Housing - led by Carol Dalton
    • Local Authority - led by Andrew Ellis
    • Healthcare - led by Lesley Allan and Louise Butler
    • Education - led by Bridget Tatham

    Who’s in this team

    • Andrew Ellis (Forbes)

    • Andrew Steel (Plexus)

    • Bridget Tatham (Browne Jacobson)

    • Carol Dalton (Langleys)

    • Chris Webb-Jenkins (Weightmans)

    • Katrina Boyd (DWF)

    • Lesley Allan (Clyde & Co)

    • Louise Butler (DAC Beachcroft (Northern Ireland))

    • Sarah Swan (Keoghs)

    Meeting Minutes
  • Regulatory Law

    Please feel free to contact any one of the team with your views on these or any other topics.

    • Clarifying the ramifications of SFO v ENRG on legal privilege and the impact on insured companies. Supply an A4 summary of the practical impact of the case once the judgment is handed down.
    • The revised guidelines on sentencing following a conviction of manslaughter.

    Who’s in this team

    • Chris Newton (Keoghs)

    • James Jevon (DWF)

    • Jonathan Edwards (Clyde and Co)

    • Kathryn Lumby (Kennedys)

    • Kevin O’Hagan (DAC Beachcroft)

    • Richard Salvini (Plexus)

    • Zoe McDonnell (BLM)

    Meeting Minutes
  • Rehab

    Please feel free to contact any one of the team with your views on these or any other topics.

    • How is "success" defined in rehab?
    • Goal setting in rehab - an unrealistic goal?
    • Rehab in chronic pain cases - is there a better way?

    Who’s in this team

    • Chris Eccles (Clyde & Co)

    • Claire Wylie (DWF)

    • Elaine Chapman (Weightmans)

    • Emma Cahill (Langleys)

    • Garry Ferguson (BTO)

    • Raheema Mohammed (Horwich Farrelly)

    • Stephen Foster (Kennedys)

    Meeting Minutes
  • Retail

    Please feel free to contact any one of the team with your views on these or any other topics.

    • Vicarious Liability
    • Retail Fraud
    • Franchising Risks

    Who’s in this team

    • Andrew Evans (Hill Dickinson)

    • David Pickford (Forbes)

    • Heidi Swales (Kennedys)

    • Kari Hansen (Hill Dickinson)

    • Matthew Williamson (Weightmans)

    • Peter Forshaw (Weightmans)

    • Sean McGahan (DAC Beachcroft (Northern Ireland))

    Meeting Minutes
  • Scotland Costs

    Who’s in this team

    • Caroline Coyle (DWF)

    • Claire White (BTO)

    • Frank Hughes (BLM)

    • Kate Donachie (Brodies)

    • Marian Tytler (Clyde & Co)

    • Seonaid Busby (Weightmans)

    • Val Pitt (Horwich Farrelly)

    Meeting Minutes
  • Scotland Disease

    Who’s in this team

    • Andrew Forsyth (Burness Paull)

    • Andrew Gilmour (BLM)

    • Calum Fife (Weightmans)

    • Daniela Fusi (Clyde & Co)

    • Helen Callaghan (DWF)

    • Jennifer Stewart (BTO)

    • Jenny Dickson (Morton Fraser)

    • Lynn Livesey (Brodies)

    • Stuart Mackie (Plexus)

    Meeting Minutes
  • Scotland Fraud

    Who’s in this team

    • Angus Gillies (BTO)

    • Emily Jeffrey (Keoghs)

    • Jill Sinclair (DWF)

    • Kirsty Yuill (BLM)

    • Louise Houliston (Kennedys)

    • Lynn Livesey (Brodies)

    • Seonaid Busby (Weightmans)

    • Steven Smart (Horwich Farrelly)

    • Vikki Melville (Clyde & Co)

    Meeting Minutes
  • Scotland Large Loss

    Who’s in this team

    • Andrew Lothian (DWF)

    • Doug Kier (Weightmans)

    • Ewan McIntyre (Burness Paull)

    • Garry Ferguson (BTO)

    • Laura McMillan (Brodies)

    • Rachel Henry (BLM)

    • Steven Smart (Horwich Farrelly)

    • Tanya Gordon (Clyde & Co)

    Meeting Minutes
  • Scotland Professional Negligence

    Who’s in this team

    • Alisdair Matheson (Brodies)

    • Andrew McConnell (DWF)

    • Catriona Stewart (Clyde & Co)

    • Chris Mackay (Burness Paull)

    • Colette Finnieston (Clyde & Co)

    • Karen Cornwell (Kennedys)

    • Lindsay Ogunyemi (DWF)

    • Pamela Stevenson (Weightmans)

    Meeting Minutes
  • Scotland Rules

    Who’s in this team

    • Douglas McGregor (Brodies)

    • Julia McDonald (DWF)

    • Karina Manson (BTO)

    • Lyndsey McLean (Horwich Farrelly)

    • Natalie Gibb (Clyde & Co)

    • Ross McIntyre (Weightmans)

    • Tim Webster (BTO)

    Meeting Minutes
  • Solicitors Regulation

    Please feel free to contact any one of the team with your views on these or any other topics.

    • Client conflict between insurer/insured
    • Separate business rules
    • CPD

    Who’s in this team

    • Bavita Rai (Weightmans)

    • Gregory Morris (DWF)

    • Rod Evans (Horwich Farrelly)

    • Shirley Denyer (FOIL Knowledge Services Consultant)

    • Victoria Arnott (Clyde & Co)

    Meeting Minutes
  • Sports

    Please feel free to contact any one of the team with your views on these or any other topics.

    • Insurability issues
    • Safeguarding and child protection
    • Concussion and head injuries
    • Issues arising from transgender participants in sport

    Who’s in this team

    • Bruce Ralston (Weightmans)

    • Chris Foulkes (Plexus)

    • David Mayor (Forbes)

    • David Spencer (BLM)

    • Jason Howarth (Keoghs)

    • Leanne Conisbee (Clyde & Co)

    • Marc Goldstein (DWF Law LLP)

    • Richard Rowe (DAC Beachcroft)

    Meeting Minutes
  • Technology and Cyber Liabilities

    Please feel free to contact any one of the team with your views on these or any other topics.

    • Wearable technologies
    • The Supply chain
    • Insurance for technologies such as drone, sensors, robotics, and software

    Who’s in this team

    • Amy Nesbitt (Weightmans)

    • Cameron Carr (DAC Beachcroft LLP)

    • Helen Bourne (Clyde & Co LLP)

    • Lynn Richmond (BTO Solicitors)

    • Prue Hopley (Horwich Farrelly)

    • Roisin Harper (DAC Beachcroft (Northern Ireland))

    • Simon Murray (DWF LLP)

    • Tom Pelham (Kennedy's Law)

    Meeting Minutes

Looking to Join a Sector Focus Team?

Vacancies

Sector Focus Teams have 5 key roles

  1. To help develop policy for FOIL so that when issues arise the organisation a position to take
  2. To facilitate training or seminars, for members, and non-members on topical or important issues arising in their sector
  3. To act as spearheads for particular campaigns or projects in their sector e.g. consultation or administrative reform processes
  4. To engage in thought-leadership with insurers and other focus groups on behalf of FOIL
  5. To demonstrate to non-members and potential clients the extent of expertise within the FOIL membership

Team Roles

  • Icon Individual

    Role of Head

    • Lead the SFT and act as the key contact point for the FOIL National Committee via the National Steering Committee, and for insurers / self-insurers.
    • Set the long term agenda and strategy for the SFT so it can act as a spearhead for particular campaigns or projects in the sector e.g. consultation or administrative reform processes.
    • Identify other key issues affecting the sector and devise the most appropriate response.
    • Propose FOIL position / policy on issues affecting the sector
    • Scan the horizon for new consultations, key cases, and market activity relevant to the sector and report these back to the SFT and the NSC.
    • Set the meeting agendas for the quarterly meetings
    • Identify and implement consistent policy and succession plans
  • Icon Individual

    Role of Deputy

    • Deputise for the SFT Head
    • Support the work of the SFT and the other officers
    • Help to set the long term agenda and strategy for the sft
    • Help to identify the key issues affecting the sector
  • Icon Individual

    Role of Liaison Officer

    • Ensure that NSC is aware of all SFT activity
    • Ensure that the other members of the SFT are kept informed of all SFT activity
    • Liaise with other FOIL members interested in the Sector to get feedback and activity suggestions
    • Identify training areas from within the Sector
    • Prepare CBA / proposal for central funding of training sessions
  • Icon Individual

    Role of Communications Officer

    • Prepare formal communication on activity and policy around the key Sector issues for review by the National Steering Committee
    • Prepare and distribute minutes of each quarterly meeting
    • Promote SFT training sessions / seminars
  • Icon Individual

    Role of Scotland and Northern Ireland reps

    • To liaise between the SFT and the regional members to make sure both are aware of the key issues in the sector
    • To raise issues of interest in the region to the rest of the SFT
    • To promote the work of the team to other FOIL member in the region

Typical Activities of a SFT

  • Respond to press enquiries
  • Produce opinion pieces
  • Host roundtable events
  • Inform FOIL consultation responses

Overall the time commitment for participation in the teams is typically 2-3 days per person per annum in total spread out throughout the year. Individual lawyers should serve no more than three years on a team.

Laurence Besemer (CEO)

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