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Michele De Gregorio

Call 2003

"He is bright, immensely hardworking and inspires confidence in clients."
(Legal 500 2017)

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

  • 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 QC in the Court of Appeal. A PLC article on the case is available here.
  • 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.
  • Acting as sole counsel for the claimant at trial in a subrogated recovery action arising out of flooding to the claimant’s property caused by the defendant’s failure to maintain a nearby watercourse.
  • Acting for the defendant’s public liability insurer in a claim arising out of the supply of a component product used for the manufacture of BMW and Mini door panels.
  • Acting for the defendant insurer in a claim for an indemnity under a home insurance policy in respect of a fire (issues concerning refusal of cover for breach of condition; property to be insured’s main domestic residence; and valuation of reinstatement works / time of assessment etc).
  • Advising insurers on issues concerning the scope of business interruption cover in respect of a claim arising out of flooding to the insured’s premises.
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“Superbly responsive with a terrific eye for detail.”

Legal 500 2016

“Down to earth and very good at calming down heated situations.”

Legal 500, 2017

“His knowledge of case law and its application is up to the minute.”

Legal 500 2016

“A very strong, capable and down-to-earth barrister with a pragmatic approach.”

Legal 500 2015

“Technically very good.”

Legal 500 2014

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