Insurance & Reinsurance
Paul Higgins has significant experience of advising on issues relating to construction of insurance contracts, coverage disputes, issues of misrepresentation and material non-disclosure, issues particular to motor contracts (including the involvement of the MIB), contribution claims among insurers and issues arising under the Third Parties (Rights against Insurers) Act 1930. Paul has particular experience in obtaining disclosure from third parties including the police and fire brigade relevant to insurance disputes. He also has experience of claims against those handling data stolen from insurers.
Paul has appeared in the Supreme Court in relation to such matters.
- Cameron V Hussain & the MIB  UKSC 6 – Instructed by the MIB on an important appeal concerning the operation of the Untraced Drivers’ Agreement (‘UTDA’) and whether it was possible to sue an unidentifiable tortfeasor. The appeal was successful following the intervention of the MIB on grounds that had been conceded by insurers in the Court of Appeal.
- Q v Esure Services Limited Peterborough CC, May 2019 – Insured suspected to be fictional. Whether a relevant insurance policy had been effected or issued within the meaning of S. 151 of the RTA 1988 (‘RTA’), whether a policy had been delivered to ‘the person by whom the policy had been effected’ under s.147(1) RTA 1988, whether judgment could be entered against a ‘person’ within the meaning of s. 151(2) of the RTA and issues of service.
- ‘Alvechurch’ coach crash case – Advising in respect of cover in relation to a high-profile and particularly sensitive case, involving a coach that overturned in France carrying teachers and schoolchildren. There were a number of fatalities and very significant injuries. Negotiating contributions and indemnities between various potential defendants and drafting documents relating to global settlement agreements.
- NO v PQ, Birmingham County Court – Question as to whether catastrophic injuries occasioned by driver of an HGV who lost consciousness by reason of a ‘cough syncope’ was actionable and covered by a policy of motor insurance. Claim settled on first day of trial for small fraction of pleaded value.
- Iver Recycling v AM Trust Europe Limited, Central London County Court, HHJ Walden-Smith – Whether a legal expenses insurer who had charged a premium of £26,923.00 was liable for the other side’s costs when the claim was subsequently found to be fraudulent.
- Sinclair v Sneddon, Peterborough CC, October 2015 – Advising Provident Insurance on coverage, relating to principles in Dodson v Peter H Dodson Insurance Services Limited and policy extensions generally.
“Extremely knowledgeable, strategic and commercially astute when advising upon fundamental dishonesty – a force to be reckoned with in this field of expertise.”
Legal 500, 2021
“He is an excellent barrister with a fearsome reputation.”; “He’s an extremely strong performer. You go to him if you have a hard case that needs to be presented strongly.”; “A leading barrister in this field.”
Chambers & Partners, 2021
“Clearly a leading member in this field.” “Absolutely fantastic. One of the leading authorities.”
Chambers and Partners, 2020
‘Fields a strong practice in motor insurance fraud and regularly defends insurers against claimants looking to defraud them. He has appreciable experience of handling committal proceedings and putting cases before the Court of Appeal. Higgins is often instructed in high-value and complex claims. “Very robust in his advocacy.” “An excellent barrister.” Recent work: Acted for Liverpool Victoria in committal proceedings against two solicitors and a doctor relating to an amendment to a medical report’.
Chambers and Partners, 2019
‘Astonishing on his feet.’
Legal 500, 2018
‘Fields a strong practice in motor insurance fraud and regularly defends insurers against claimants looking to defraud them. He has appreciable experience of handling committal proceedings and putting cases before the Court of Appeal. Higgins is often instructed in high-value and complex claims. “A big player in this market,” who is “excellent at all aspects of counter-fraud litigation, and in particular trial advocacy and appeal hearings.” “He fights valiantly.”
Chambers and Partners, 2018
‘He has an extremely sharp intellect.’
Legal 500, 2017
Fields a strong practice in motor insurance fraud and regularly defends insurers against claimants looking to defraud them. Has appreciable experience in handling committal proceedings and putting cases before the Court of Appeal. “He has a national reputation for this type of work and his cross-examination is phenomenal.”
Chambers and Partners, 2017
‘An expert in fraud claims, who is brilliant on his feet.’
Legal 500, 2016
‘Enjoys a national reputation for his work in the motor insurance fraud area. He has particular experience in committal proceedings where, sources say, “he has helped to stiffen up the law.” “He’s excellent. What distinguishes him more than anything is his photographic memory.” “He goes beyond what’s expected. He’s already got an amazing reputation but he’s incredibly modest given how intelligent he is and how good he is at the job.”
Chambers and Partners, 2015