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Michael Curtis KC

Call 1982 • KC 2008

"He is extremely clear, calm and persuasive when on his feet in court."
(Chambers UK 2016)

Insurance & Reinsurance

Acting both for insurers and insured in claims arising under a variety of different types of policy, including disputes about policy construction and avoidance.

Selected Cases

  • Over the last 18 months Michael has been instructed in numerous cases in the UK and internationally for insurers and insured where the amounts in dispute have ranged from £/$ millions to £/$ hundreds of millions under a variety of policies including project, CAR, BI, PI, property and product liability.
  • Advising on policy coverage in a multi-million-burglary claim.
  • Acting for insurers in respect of a multi million claim under a CAR policy arising out of the refurbishment of a landmark public building.
  • Advising on policy coverage in business interruption claim arising out of a fire at a power station in the Philippines.
  • Acting for insurers in respect of a multi million claim under a CAR policy arising out of piling works.
  • Acting for hotel owners and property insurers in a claim in the Commercial Court by liability insurers seeking to avoid a policy covering a contractor’s liability for a fire which destroyed a hotel and holiday resort on the South Coast.
  • Acting for insurers in respect of a claim under a business interruption policy arising out of damage to a major recycling plant.
  • Advising a Housing Association on which of its various policies provided cover in respect of a claim against it by its neighbour for tree root damage.
  • Advising insurers in respect of a property damage / liability claim arising out of a commercial and residential development.
  • Acting for the insured in respect of a claim arising from a fire during the course of the construction of a landmark London development.
  • Advising insured in respect of the insurance of warranties contained in a share transfer agreement.
  • Acting for the insured in respect of multi million claim under a financial services liability policy.
  • Acting for the insured in respect of insurers’ purported avoidance of cover in respect of a policy covering a £25-50m fire claim at one of the largest pharmaceutical distribution centres in Europe.
  • Advising insurers in connection with claims made under the Riot Damages Act to recover multi million pound outlays for repairs and the like arising out of the 2011 summer riots.
  • Advising in a dispute concerning liability for costs arising out of joint insurance.
  • Leading a team of 3 juniors in a 3-month $150m international arbitration concerning a claim under a project policy for hurricane damage caused to a hotel and condominium development in the Caribbean. The arbitration settled in the second month of the hearing. The claim involved complex issues of assessment of damage, quantification of loss and policy construction. There were 51 factual witnesses and 18 experts.
  • Advising the insured in a fire claim where insurers sought to avoid the policy. Insurers agreed to provide an indemnity shortly after the completion of the pre action protocol.
  • Advising insurers on the combined effect of the terms of the construction contracts and the insurance policies in respect of an office development.
  • Acting for insurers in the Commercial Court in relation to a $50m claim arising out of the delay to the construction of a power station in Pakistan. The claim settled shortly before the trial of a series of preliminary issues concerning the interpretation of the policy.
  • Advising in respect of a claim by a solicitor against his firm for failure to arrange insurance on his behalf. Issues included whether the solicitor would have been eligible for insurance in any event.
  • Coles v Hetherton [2013] Lloyds Rep IR 9 (Cooke J); [2014] Lloyds Rep IR 367 (Court of   Appeal) – Acting for the Allianz and Provident policy holders in a group of test cases in the Commercial Court concerning the proper measure of loss in cases involving damage to chattels.
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  • Ranner Arbitration Prize
  • MSc (Construction & Arbitration Law), Kings College London
  • MA in Law (Oxon)


  • ACIArb
  • PNBA
  • LCIA
  • SCL


“Michael is highly intelligent, and has an encyclopedic legal knowledge.”

Legal 500, 2022

“Very good with clients, and his explanations are clear and in plain language. He pays great attention to detail and knows his strategy, but is flexible in approach when necessary.”

Legal 500, 2021

“He is an extremely capable technical lawyer, exceptional judgement and strong advocate.”

Legal 500, 2021

“He is undoubtedly a go-to barrister for complex work and is fantastic with clients.”

Legal 500, 2021

“His written advice is a tour de force of the relevant law, covers all the angles and comes up with a practical solution.”

Legal 500, 2020

“Great at getting straight to the detail.”

Legal 500, 2020

“A highly regarded silk.”

Legal 500, 2020

“A very able advocate, who is brilliant in court.”

Legal 500, 2017

“Extremely capable and user-friendly, with a fantastic attention to detail.”

Legal 500, 2017


Legal 500, 2017

“He is extremely clear, calm and persuasive when on his feet in court.”

Chambers & Partners, 2016

“He is very measured and very sensible so you feel you are in safe hands”.

Chambers & Partners, 2016

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