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Suzanne Chalmers

Call 1995

"Proficient in handling property-related and business interruption claims."
(Legal 500 2016)

Insurance & Reinsurance

Suzanne acts in relation to all types of policy dispute (non-marine), including all risks, property damage, professional indemnity, personal accident and motor. She is regularly instructed by a number of well-known insurers, including Aviva, AXA, NIG, NFU and Zurich Municipal, as well as Lloyds Syndicates: she handles both coverage disputes and subrogated claims. Policy issues that commonly arise include policy wording, non-disclosure and misrepresentation, the operation of conditions precedent or warranties, proximate cause and double insurance. She has developed particular expertise in cases, which involve allegations of fraud.

Selected Cases

  • Acting for insurers in defence of a claim by a well-known former racing driver for a fixed sum of £2 million under a personal accident policy.
  • Acting for insurance brokers in £1 million claim in the Commercial Court against insurers and brokers arising out of a fire at commercial premises. The issues included the materiality of non-disclosures and inducement.
  • Advising insurers in connection with their exposure to claims arising out of the PIP breast implant litigation.
  • Advising insurers as to their liability to indemnify their insured for stock losses in excess of the £1 million cover provided following a warehouse fire. The case turned upon the correct interpretation of the scope of cover provided under the business interruption section of the policy.
  • Defending a public liability insurance claim arising out of the North Wales Child Abuse Litigation. Issues included proof of the existence of policy over 40 years after the event, insurers’ liability for deliberate acts and the recoverability of costs following late disclosure of material documents (KR v Bryn Alyn (Community Holdings) Ltd [2008] EWHC 2909).
  • Defending a claim against insurers following a fire at a public house on the grounds that the fire had been deliberately set. The claim was resolved without payment to the insured.
  • Defending a substantial claim against insurers arising out of a fire at domestic premises said to contain valuable antiques. Insurers alleged material non-disclosure / misrepresentation.
  • Junior Counsel in a claim for material damage and business interruption arising out of the loss of a tethered helium balloon when it escaped from its moorings near Tower Bridge.
  • Shinedean Ltd v Alldown Demolition (London) Ltd & AXA Insurance UK Ltd [2006] 1 WLR 2696 (CA) – A £700,000 claim by third party against insurers arising out of negligent demolition of property by contractor. An important case dealing with the meaning and operation of claims co-operation conditions.
  • England v Guardian Insurance [2000] Lloyds Rep IR 404 – Claim against insurers and construction professionals following subsidence of property involving issues of subrogation and the extent of insurers’ rights over recoveries.
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Qualifications


  • Recorder (2009)
  • Awarded Lord Justice Holker Scholarship (1994)
  • MA (Hons), Magdalen College, Oxford (1994)

Memberships


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

Recommendations


“Very forensic and thorough in her approach, she is easy to deal with and extremely responsive.”

Chambers & Partners UK Bar 2018

“Proficient in handling property-related and business interruption claims.”

Legal 500 2016

“She provides pragmatic and commercial advice.”

Legal 500 2016

“She is no-nonsense and easy to deal with. She tells you what she thinks and gives good practical advice.”

Chambers & Partners 2015

“Strong for property-related insurance issues.”

Legal 500 2015

“Experienced in insurance, professional negligence and personal injury.”

Legal 500 2014

“Efficient, concise and user friendly.”

Legal 500 2011

“One of the most approachable and practically minded counsel imaginable.”

Legal 500 2010


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