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Anna Laney

Call 1998

"Excellent and very much my go-to for complex claims: incredibly detail orientated and gets to the nub of the issue quickly and effortlessly. Her cross-examination skills are quite formidable and her overall delivery impressive."
(Legal 500, 2022)

Property Damage

Anna is instructed regularly by insurers in relation to property damage claims, and she has particular experience in relation to fire and flood claims. She is co-author of Construction Insurance and UK Construction Contracts with Roger ter Haar QC and Marshall Levine, the 3rd Edition.

Examples of recent work include:

  • Acting on behalf of floor cleaning specialist, in relation to a devastating fire at a property in Little Venice that caused £2 million worth of damage, the cause of which was in dispute.  It was alleged that Anna’s client negligently permitted water to escape from his floor cleaning activities into the switch panels below, which resulted in a resistive failure some seven days later. The claim was dismissed.
  • Acting for insurer in relation to avoidance of insurance policy in consequence of insured’s non-disclosure of a previous fire.  Dispute concerns the interpretation and application of an insured’s disclosure obligations under the Insurance Act 2015.
  • Acting for an insurer on behalf of developer against novated architect where it is alleged the defective roof design resulted in water ingress necessitating wholesale replacement of the roofs to four office blocks.
  • Acting for an insurer in relation to a claim arising out of a fire, where policy issues concerning the insured’s intent as regards redevelopment of the site as at the date of the fire, where issues of fraud arise.
  • Acting for insurer in relation to the successful defence of claim against service engineer whose acts / omissions were alleged to have caused fire. Led by Andrew Bartlett QC.
  • Acting for insurer in relation to fire at a converted mill complex, which devastated entire building within hours of propagation. Claim in excess of £8million. Allegations of professional negligence against architect in relation to design (engineered fire solution, and detailing) and against architect and employer’s agent in relation to supervision of works (settled at mediation).
  • Acting for insurer in relation to claim for £8million arising out of a fire at a hotel refurbishment that was nearing completion.
  • Acting for insurer in relation to claim for £600,000 where damage alleged to have been caused by the negligent design, manufacture and fitting of gas fires in a private London property. Arguments about causation and foreseeability of loss.
  • Acting for insurer in relation to flooding of a hotel due to the failure of a push-fit plumbing fitting which resulted in losses in excess of £500,000.

Selected Cases

  • Hiscox Insurance Company v Mr Ismail Oral (t/a Precious Marble) & TPN Electrical [2018] EWHC 3585 (TCC) – concerned cause of fire originating in switch panels that resulted in losses of £2m.
  • Amsprop Ltd v ITW Ltd [2009] EWHC 2689 (TCC) – Concerned proof of cause of fire at Hard Rock Café, where competing causes alleged.
  • Landfast (Anglia) Ltd v Cameron Taylor One Ltd [2008] EWHC 343 (TCC); 117 Con LR 53 – Concerns recoverability of damages where loss suffered by assignee rather than assignor.
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“Anna is an exceptional construction barrister. She is highly responsive, pragmatic and commercial.”

Chambers & Partners, 2022

“Highly competent, capable, dependable and fantastic to work with. QC quality work and knowledge. Tougher than the rest.”

Legal 500, 2022

“Extremely thorough and knowledgeable, wholly committed to the case at hand. Very impressive delivery in court and personable when dealing with instructing solicitors and clients”

Legal 500, 2021

“Anna is an exceptional construction barrister. She is highly responsive, pragmatic and commercial.”; “She is extremely knowledgeable regarding construction and insurance issues, and also great to deal with.”

Chambers & Partners, 2021

“Anna always gives clear and authoritative advice on case strategy. She has a calm and friendly demeanour.”

Legal 500, 2021

“She is incredibly knowledgeable in construction disputes. I have been very impressed with both Anna’s technical knowledge and legal advice.”; “She is outstanding with clients and really puts them at their ease, giving a firm impression that she is on their side.”

Chambers & Partners, 2020

“A highly regarded junior.”

Legal 500, 2020

“In court she was superb: in control and very attentive to the judge’s requirements.”

Chambers & Partners, 2019

“Enthusiastic, hard-working and a tremendous team player. She rolls up her sleeves and gets involved. She’s a very effective advocate…Proactive, commercial, clever and resourceful.”

Chambers & Partners, 2018

“A fabulous lawyer, who is great with clients and very responsive…Great at cutting out the waffle and putting matters in the right order to achieve results in hopeless cases.”

Legal 500, 2017

“She’s quick to identify the commercial issues”; “as well as being a robust advocate she often finds the small point of detail which turns the case.”

Chambers & Partners, 2016

“Her swift focus is unsettling for opponents and commands confidence in her submissions”; “she tailors her approach to the specific case with a view to achieve the best outcome for the client.”

Legal 500, 2016

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