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Steven Coles

Call 1983

"Technically sound and very patient and detailed in his approach."
(Legal 500)

Steven Coles is regularly instructed in a wide range of insurance-related cases, such as policy coverage disputes, defence of third party claims, and insurers’ subrogated recovery claims – under property policies, professional indemnity policies, public liability policies, contractors’ all risks policies, motor policies and others.

He deals in particular with claims arising from fire, flood, other damage to property, defective building works, defective products, professional negligence, and other contract and personal injury claims. Cases include; high value claims, and heavy claims in terms of witnesses, experts, documents and complexity of legal issues. He has acted as junior to various leading counsel, and on his own, sometimes against leading counsel.

He also accepts instructions by way of conditional fee agreement and on a public access basis, in appropriate cases.

Construction & Engineering

Selected Cases

  • Epsomhurst v Clement Dickens (2014) – Claim in respect of major defective building works to a block of flats.
  • Tyler v Cooper (2010) – Detailed claims and counterclaims in respect of property development projects.
  • Thermal v Kvaerner (1999) – Arbitration over engineering defects in a power station boiler system.
  • Bryant Homes v Redland (1998) – Claim by builder of a residential development on former industrial land against the vendor of the land in respect of chemical and other contamination.
  • Team Services v Kier (1993) 36 Con LR 32 (Court of Appeal) – Interpretation of contractor’s discount clause.
  • Kier v Royal Insurance (1992) 30 Con LR 45 – Insurers seeking to repudiate for non-notification and issue of interpretation over insurance for design / workmanship.

Insurance & Reinsurance

Selected Cases

  • Paperback & Trustees for Roman Catholic Purposes v Kimberly Clark (2015) – Fire claim against paper manufacturer by owners and lessees of a warehouse destroyed by fire, claims totalling over £5 Million.
  • Richmond v Tesco Underwriters (2015) – Acting for insurers in proceedings over policy construction of a household policy covering unsatisfied judgments.
  • Middleton v MMA (2014) – Appearing for insurers at trial in a policy dispute claim over whether property damage by a tenant’s arson was covered or excluded under landlord’s property policy.
  • Harrison v Technical Sign, Maison Blanc & Others (2012) – Claims for over £2 million by three claimants against five defendants arising from serious injuries when a heavy shop fascia fell onto them; numerous claims between the various defendants and their insurers.
  • Plasteknik v Allianz & Caunce O’Hara (2011) – Claim against insurers for £5 million under a property policy for destruction of a factory by fire; issue over construction of policy conditions; and concurrent claim against insurance brokers for negligence.
  • Anglo North American v Vann (2011) – Subrogated claim by insurers together with insured’s own claim for property damage and substantial loss of profits arising from damage to an automatic car wash.
  • Dunn Monarch & Searle v Cornish Bakehouse, Caffe Pasta & Others (2011) – Subrogated claims by insurers of various properties in respect of damage from a fire breaking out in a ground floor restaurant. Contribution claims between the restaurant, supplier of the fat fryer, and manufacturer of the fat fryer.
  • Dow Corning v Tornomeccanica (2011) – Subrogated claim by employer’s liability insurers, claiming indemnity or contribution from the Italian manufacturer of a pulley system which broke, causing injury to an employee.
  • Lloyd Evans v Zurich (2010) – Claim against insurers under landlord’s property policy for fire deliberately started by tenant; issue over policy exclusions and construction of the policy.
  • Wallace v Allianz (2010) – Claim against insurers under property policy in respect of oil damage to land and cottage from a damaged fuel tank.
  • Woodside Care Home v Gregory (2010) – Claim by a care home for property damage and substantial loss of profits arising from roofing works inadequately protected against heavy rain.
  • Dudley v Nordea (2010) – Claim for personal injuries from a tripping accident in a lift in an office building, with various contribution claims between building owners, lessees, and lift maintenance company and their insurers.
  • Lloyds Bank v Kuehne & Nagel (2009) – Claim for £800,000 in respect of land contamination from diesel leaking from tank on industrial premises.
  • Aegon & GP Nominees v Blue Circle, Jarvis & Roger Bullivant (2008) – Claims by the freeholder and the leaseholder of newly built warehouse premises, claiming about £3 million against developers, contractors and piling subcontractors, arising out of cracking of floor slab due to defective piling works.
  • Safeway v McAlpine (2007) – Fire claim for £4 million against builders and architects arising from inadequate fire stopping in the roof space of a large supermarket which burned down.
  • Univar v Send (2007) – Claim for loss of profits arising from contamination of large quantities of toothpaste during manufacture.
  • Cobbetts v Templeton (2006) – Claim for £1 million under legal expenses insurance by solicitors as appointed representative under the policy.
  • Buncefield litigation (2006) – Involved at early stage on liability issues.
  • Neptune Public House (2004) – Claim for £1 million arising out of a fire at a public house.
  • Center Parcs v Axa & Marsh (2003) – Claim against insurers for £80 million under a property policy for destruction of a factory by fire; issue over misrepresentation and non-disclosure; and concurrent claim against insurance brokers for negligence.

Personal Injury

Selected Cases

  • O’Brian v Marnes (2014) – Acting for claimant in relation to a claim for serious leg injuries arising out of a motorcycle accident.
  • Montford v Weeks (2014) – Acting for defendant’s insurers in fatal traffic road accident claim.
  • Campbell v First Bristol (2010) – Claim for £7 million for brain damage caused by road traffic accident.
  • Dudley v Nordea (2010) – Claim for personal injury from a tripping accident in a lift, with contribution claims between building owners, lessees, and lift maintenance company.
  • Taylor v Cashtec (2009) – Claim for injuries resulting in debilitating complex regional pain syndrome.
  • Telling v OCS Services (2008) – Referred to in the White Book under CPR Rule 14, unreported but available on Lawtel – interlocutory decision on compromise of claim by pre-action admission.
  • Gazey v Drax (2008) – Claim for serious burns in factory accident.
  • Ali v Southern Derbyshire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust (2008) – Clinical negligence claim, child lost both feet and part of a lung from life-threatening infection; issue over the standard of emergency treatment received.
  • Anderson v Norfolk and Norwich Hospital (2007) – Clinical negligence case, neurological injuries from cauda equina syndrome after surgery.

Product Liability

Selected Cases

  • Wood v Days Healthcare & Others (2015) – Product liability / personal injury claim by paraplegic claimant against various manufacturers, suppliers and health authorities, claiming serious personal injuries from a defective wheelchair which collapsed, about £1 Million claimed.
  • Itron v Grosvenor (2014) – Acting for suppliers in a claim for £1.5 Million against manufacturers and suppliers in respect of defective solder used in the manufacture of electronic printed circuit boards.
  • Gaule v Facelift & Skyjack (2014) – Acting for suppliers in a personal injury claim against manufacturers and suppliers arising out of defective gate to a mobile lifting platform.
  • Willis v Villroy & Boch (2014) – Acting for defendants in large claim by a paraplegic suffering injury from a jacuzzi bath.
  • BAE v AVK (2014) – Acting for suppliers in a fire claim against suppliers and manufacturers arising out of defective capacitors used in frequency converter equipment.
  • Barber v Whirlpool (2012) – Instructed to advise and appear at trial in a fire claim blamed on tumble dryer.
  • Dow Corning v Tornomeccanica (2011) – Subrogated claim by employer’s liability insurers, claiming indemnity or contribution from the Italian manufacturer of a pulley system which broke, causing injury to an employee.
  • Dunn Monarch & Searle v Cornish Bakehouse, Caffe Pasta & Others (2011) – Subrogated claims by insurers of various properties in respect of damage from a fire breaking out in a ground floor restaurant. Contribution claims between the restaurant, supplier of the fat fryer, and manufacturer of the fat fryer.
  • Univar v Send (2007) – Claim for loss of profits arising from contamination of large quantities of toothpaste during manufacture.
  • Leicester Circuits v Coates (2003) EWCA Civ 290 – Product liability trial and appeal involving ink for manufacture of printed circuit boards for computers.

Professional Liability

Selected Cases

  • Daniel v Mode & Metnor (2014) – Claim for £800,000 against contractors and suppliers in respect of a fire to large residential property caused by defective wiring installation.
  • Rothschild v Instagroup (2013) – Claim for £700,000 against installers of roofing insulation in respect of a fire at a large residential property.
  • Devere v Lambert Pugh (2012) – Acting for claimant in solicitors’ negligence claim arising out of a conveyancing transaction.
  • Mullins v Sykes Anderson (2012) – Solicitors’ negligence claim arising from failure to advise on tax implications of transfer of a French leaseback property into a SIPP.
  • Plasteknik v Allianz & Caunce O’Hara (2011) – Claim against insurers for £5 million under a property policy for destruction of a factory by fire; issue over policy conditions; and concurrent claim against insurance brokers for negligence.
  • Aegon & GP Nominees v Blue Circle, Jarvis & Roger Bullivant (2008) – Claims in negligence by the freeholder and the leaseholder of newly built warehouse premises, claiming about £3 million against developers, contractors and piling subcontractors, arising out of cracking of floor slab due to defective piling works.
  • Safeway v McAlpine (2007) – Fire claim for £4 million against builders and architects for negligence arising from inadequate fire-stopping in the roof space of a large supermarket which burned down.
  • Walker v Goldsmith Williams, Lindsay & Roland (2005) – Claim against two sets of solicitors for failing to issue proceedings in time for a mother against a health authority, arising out of the birth of a disabled child.
  • Center Parcs v Axa & Marsh (2003) – Claim against insurers for £80 Million under property policy for destruction of a factory by fire, issue over misrepresentation and non-disclosure; and concurrent claim against insurance brokers for negligence.

Property Damage

Selected Cases

  • Paperback & Trustees for Roman Catholic Purposes v Kimberly Clark (2015) – Fire claim against paper manufacturer by owners and lessees of a warehouse destroyed by fire, claims totalling over £5 Million.
  • Daniel v Mode & Metnor (2014) – Claim for £800,000 against contractors and suppliers in respect of a fire to large residential property caused by defective wiring installation.
  • Middleton v MMA (2014) – Appearing for insurers at trial in a policy dispute claim over whether property damage by a tenant’s arson was covered or excluded under landlord’s property policy.
  • Itron v Grosvenor (2014) – Acting for suppliers in a claim for £1.5 Million against manufacturers and suppliers in respect of defective solder used in the manufacture of electronic printed circuit boards.
  • BAE v AVK (2014) – Acting for suppliers in a fire claim against suppliers and manufacturers arising out of defective capacitors used in frequency converter equipment, £500,000 claimed.
  • Rothschild v Instagroup (2013) – Claim for £700,000 against installers of roofing insulation in respect of a fire at a large residential property.
  • Plasteknik v Allianz & Caunce O’Hara (2011) – Claim against insurers for £5 million under a property policy for destruction of a factory by fire; issue over construction of policy conditions; and concurrent claim against insurance brokers for negligence.
  • Dunn Monarch & Searle v Cornish Bakehouse, Caffe Pasta & Others (2011) – Subrogated claims by insurers of various properties in respect of damage from a fire breaking out in a ground floor restaurant. Contribution claims between the restaurant, supplier of the fat fryer, and manufacturer of the fat fryer.
  • Aegon & GP Nominees v Blue Circle, Jarvis & Roger Bullivant (2008) – Claims by the freeholder and the leaseholder of newly built warehouse premises, claiming about £3 million against developers, contractors and piling subcontractors, arising out of cracking of floor slab due to defective piling works.
  • Safeway v McAlpine (2007) – Fire claim for £4 million against builders and architects arising from inadequate fire stopping in the roof space of a large supermarket which burned down.
  • Center Parcs v Axa & Marsh (2003) – Claim against insurers for £80 million under a property policy for destruction of a factory by fire; issue over misrepresentation and non disclosure; and concurrent claim against insurance brokers for negligence.

Qualifications


  • MA (Cantab)

Memberships


  • Commercial Bar Association
  • London Common Law & Commercial Bar Association
  • Personal Injury Bar Association
  • Professional Negligence Bar Association
  • Technology & Construction Bar Association

Recommendations


“His technical excellence and calm manner put clients at ease.”

Legal 500 2017

“Technically sound and very patient and detailed in his approach.”

Legal 500

“Technical skills combined with diligence.”

Legal 500

“Instructed in a range of insurance-related cases.”

Legal 500

“A very good insurance counsel.”

Legal 500


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