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John Greenbourne

Call 1978

"A master of detail and also very good on his feet."
(Legal 500 2016)

Insurance & Reinsurance

Ranked as ‘Leading Junior’ in Legal 500 (since before 2009)

Extensive experience in cases involving policy disputes and non-disclosure in personal and commercial policies, particularly professional indemnity, motor, fire, holiday and personal accident policies and film finance insurance. Well equipped to deal with COVID-19 related issues given his general knowledge of insurance law and principles of policy interpretation and their application in cases (e.g. business interruption claim by a flooded hotel).

Selected Cases

  • HLB Kidsons v Lloyds Underwriters [2009] Lloyd’s Rep IR 178, [2009] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 8 (CA) – Concerning timing of notification of claims under accountants’ professional indemnity policy and whether condition precedent.
  • Bankers Insurance Co v South [2004] I Lloyd’s Rep IR 1 – Concerning issues of whether holiday policy covered liability for jet ski accident, whether notification term a condition precedent, effect of Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1994 – whether breach of condition precedent entitled insurers to avoid in absence of prejudice.
  • Bankers Insurance Co Ltd v South and Gardner [2004] Lloyd’s Rep IR 1 – Whether a jet ski fell within the definition of a waterborne craft and the consequences of failure to notify insurers of the incident.
  • Kincardine Fisheries v Sunderland Marine Mutual Insurance (CA) The Times 12.2.97, [1998] CLY 3363 – Construction of fish farm insurance policy – claim against brokers and insurers.
  • Theodore Goddard v Fletcher King [1997] 2 EGLR 131 – Liabilities of solicitor and surveyor for drafting of defective lease.

Civil/Insurance Fraud

  • Acted for defendant in multi-million pound claim by claimant who had suffered a serious ankle injury. Claimant alleged continuing symptoms resulted in such serious pain and disability that he required a wheelchair or at least two crutches on the rare occasions he was able to leave home and that he needed to have a below-knee amputation. Advised on tactics and extensive surveillance gathering and editing. Surveillance films showed claimant doing things which demonstrated that his claim was being grossly exaggerated (including walking normally and unaided at a motorway service station on the way back home from consultation with amputation specialist, where on arrival and departure he had made a show of dramatic grimacing and hobbling on his crutches to demonstrate his great pain and difficulty with mobility). Claimant asserted that the evidence did not show anything to his detriment but capitulated before the next interlocutory hearing.
  • Acted for defendant in claim against amphibious vehicle tour operator by passenger falsely alleging injury when vehicle bumped into river embankment wall. Material on claimant’s social media revealed activities which were incompatible with the alleged injuries. Advised as to how to proceed and drafted a Defence pleading fraud. Claimant promptly discontinued. Insurers were inclined to let the claimant go without paying their costs but accepted advice that this was not the normal rule and they should insist on their costs being paid, which they did.

Selected Cases

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“John is meticulous in both the preparation and delivery of his advice. He has a forensic approach to the evidence that instils confidence.”

Legal 500, 2024

“A very user-friendly and approachable junior.”

Legal 500, 2024

“John has meticulous attention to detail, a sensible and pragmatic approach to cases and puts clients at ease with his approachable manner.”

Personal Injury – (Legal 500, 2022)

“Very approachable, responsive and gives digestible advice. He is always willing to listen to views and takes time to discuss them.”

Insurance and reinsurance – Leading juniors (Legal 500, 2021)

“Inspires total confidence with very thorough preparation and drafting skills.”

Personal Injury – (Legal 500, 2021)

“He is easy to work with, responsive and gives digestible advice.’”

Professional Negligence – (Legal 500, 2021)

‘Thorough, analytical and good on his feet.’

Insurance and reinsurance – Leading juniors (Legal 500 2017)

‘He has an incredible attention to detail, leaving no stone unturned.’

Personal injury – Leading juniors (Legal 500 2017)

‘Incredibly talented.’

Professional negligence – Leading juniors (Legal 500 2017)

‘he provides thoroughness and a rigorous test of the evidence’ and ‘superb attention to detail and preparation’ and ‘a master of detail and also very good on his feet’

'Leading Junior' (Legal 500 2016)

‘very experienced in policy disputes and issues regarding non-disclosure in policies’ and ‘he has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the law and is very approachable’ and ‘a thorough and enthusiastic barrister, who is a formidable drafter and good on his feet’

'Leading Junior' (Legal 500 2015)

‘thorough analysis and fierce advocacy’

'Leading Junior' (Legal 500 2014)

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