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Michele De Gregorio

Call 2003

“He is calm and has a fine strategic mind. He is a very impressive and powerful advocate.”
(Legal 500, 2021)

Insurance & Reinsurance

Michele is frequently instructed by and on behalf of insurers in relation to policy coverage and indemnity issues and in subrogated recovery actions arising out of fire, flood, tree root subsidence, other property damage and in the related fields of construction and product liability.

Michele appeared for the successful appellant in the Court of Appeal in the seminal case on strict liability for the escape of fire, Gore v Stannard t/a Wyvern Tyres [2014] QB 1 (CA), and he is often instructed in complex and technical cases in this field.

Selected Cases

  • Advising insurers, together with Ben Quiney KC, on a c. £50m claim under a W&I policy arising out of the acquisition of a portfolio of renewable energy sites in the UK.
  • Acting for insurers in a c.£4m coverage dispute over breach of hot works conditions in a public liability policy.
  • Advising insurers under a construction all risks policy as to whether a sub-subcontractor is a co-insured, in respect of a c.£3m escape of water claim.
  • Advising insurers on the rejection of a claim under a combined commercial risks policy in respect of fire damage, on the basis of an unattended plant and machinery exclusion.
  • Acting for buildings insurers in a claim for an indemnity that was successfully resisted on the grounds of breach of notification conditions.
  • Advising insurers on the construction of a D&O policy, in respect of claims arising out of the collapse of an international private equity firm.
  • Acting, together with Andrew Rigney KC, in a c.£20m coverage dispute under a latent defects policy in relation to a London hotel.
  • Acting for insurers in relation to a c.£4m subrogated recovery claim arising out of flood damage to a large antiques and oriental art collection.
  • Acting for insurers in a claim for an indemnity of c.£1.5m arising out of a fire at a former textile mill, where the policy had been avoided for misrepresentation and material non-disclosure.
  • Advising insurers as to the scope of cover under a public / products liability policy in respect of a c.£3m claim arising out of building works carried out by the insured to a Grade II listed manor house.
  • Acting for the insurer in a dispute as to the scope of medical expenses cover under a travel insurance policy.
  • Acting for insurers in a dispute concerning the scope of an arbitration clause in a property owner’s policy – application for a stay of proceedings under section 9 of the Arbitration Act 1996.
  • Advising insurers as to notification issues, exclusions and coverage in respect of a claim for an indemnity under a public and products liability policy, in respect of a £1.3m claim against the insured arising out of water damage to commercial premises in Central London.
  • Hall v Environment Agency [2017] EWHC 1309 (TCC) – subrogated recovery claim against the Environment Agency for property damage caused by negligent flood defence works. Finding that s.177 of the Water Resources Act 1991 did not provide an exclusive remedy so as to preclude an action in negligence.
  • Advising insurers as to interaction between an “excess clause” in one policy and a “rateable proportion clause” in a separate policy covering the same liability.
  • Ageas v Gunaratnam [2016] EWHC 845 (QB) – appeal against decision granting relief from sanctions.
  • Gunaratnam v Ageas [2014] EWHC 593 (QB) – claim for an indemnity under a home insurance policy in respect of damage caused by escape of water.
  • Gore v Stannard t/a Wyvern Tyres [2014] QB 1 (CA) – seminal Court of Appeal decision on the application of strict liability under Rylands v Fletcher in cases involving the escape of fire. Michele appeared as sole counsel at first instance and was led by Jonathan Waite KC in the Court of Appeal.
  • Advising insurers as to the application of the principle in Berni Inns in respect of a number of subrogated recovery actions.
  • Advising the defendant insurer on various technical coverage issues in respect of a public and products liability policy concerning a third party claim against the insured arising out of the supply of allegedly defective adhesive products.
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“Michele De Gregorio is first-choice counsel. He is skilful and impressive.”… “Very, very good. He’s forensically very excellent and an excellent cross-examiner.”

Chambers & Partners, 2024

“Very pragmatic and very good with clients – approachable and excellent at explaining difficult concepts and issues to lay clients in a way that they understand without feeling patronised.”

Legal 500, 2024

“Michele is an extremely bright lawyer, he is always fully engaged on the matter, very responsive and very easy to work with, and a great ‘team player’ – a real pleasure to work with.”

Legal 500 2022, Construction

“He offers excellent advice and support.”

Chambers & Partners 2022, Property Damage

“One of my favourite juniors. He is bright, articulate and easy to engage with.”

Legal 500 2021, Insurance and reinsurance

“He’s very pragmatic, commercial and looks at the bigger picture as well as the legal points.”; “He’s very level-headed and is a team player. Lay and insurer clients also find him very approachable.”

Chambers & Partners 2021, Property Damage

“He is calm and has a fine strategic mind. He is a very impressive and powerful advocate.”

Legal 500 2021, Construction

“His attention to detail is second to none.” “He’s extremely hard-working and diligent.”

Chambers and Partners 2020, Property Damage

“He takes a pragmatic and commercial approach to dealing with claims.”

Legal 500 2020, Insurance and reinsurance

“He has a sector wide experience of construction litigation.”

Legal 500 2020, Construction

“Immensely hardworking, very bright, an excellent lawyer, and very good with clients”

Legal 500 2018, Insurance and reinsurance

“Very impressive. He knows his stuff and is a calm, persuasive advocate” and “Very user-friendly”

Chambers & Partners 2018, Property Damage

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