Suzanne has extensive experience of acting for both Claimants and Defendants in relation to claims for damage to property. Her expertise in insurance and professional negligence (including construction professionals) means that she is particularly well placed to deal with claims arising out of the common perils of fire, flood and subsidence. She particularly enjoys the challenge of dealing with the technical causation aspects of fire claims. She has extensive experience of claims arising out of subsidence and collapse, including claims involving tree roots and party wall issues. She also has experience of claims arising out of pollution and contamination.
- A claim in the TCC against architects and main contractors arising out of the flooding of residential apartment blocks in a development at Merryhill shopping centre, Birmingham. Issues included the meaning and scope of collateral warranties provided by the professionals and the adequacy of the design of rainwater drainage systems.
- A claim against project managers arising out of a major fire in the course of construction works at the Football Association’s premises.
- A subrogated recovery action in the TCC by building guarantee insurers against architects and developers arising out of defects in a row of newly-built terraced houses.
- Acting for a sub-contractor in multiple multi-party proceedings arising out of flooding at a luxury apartment block in Knightsbridge due to the failure of PCVs. At issue is whether the failures are due to manufacturing / design defects or poor specification / design.
- 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.
- 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.
- Shinedean Ltd v Alldown Demolition (London) Ltd & AXA Insurance UK Ltd  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  Lloyds Rep IR 404 – A claim against insurers and construction professionals following the subsidence of a property due to the activity of contractors. The reported case deals with issues of subrogation and the extent of insurers’ rights over recoveries.
- On appeal, Suzanne Chalmers upholds trial Judge’s application of the ‘ex turpi causa’ maxim…
- Joyce v O’Brien & Tradex Insurance Co Ltd: Richard Lynagh QC & Suzanne Chalmers successfully defend the claim in the Court of Appeal
- Recorder (2009)
- Awarded Lord Justice Holker Scholarship (1994)
- MA (Hons), Magdalen College, Oxford (1994)
- Commercial Bar Association
- London Common Law & Commercial Bar Association
- Personal Injury Bar Association
- Professional Negligence Bar Association
- Technology & Construction Bar Association
“She offers the sort of sound advice you hope for when going to a barrister, and really steps up when you need her.”
Chambers & Partners, 2021
“Extremely clever and the quality of her work (advice and drafting) is exceptionally good; at the same time, she can explain complex points of law in a way that can be understood. A credit to the Bar and her chambers.”
Legal 500, 2021
“She is a polished performer. She is extremely clever and the quality of her advice and drafting is exceptionally good and at the same time she can explain complex points of law in a way that can be understood.”
Legal 500, 2021
“She’s no-nonsense in terms of giving you good, straightforward advice. She’s not afraid to commit to a position.”; “She’s exceptionally user-friendly.”; “Highly intelligent, extremely meticulous and has a great grasp of very technical detail.”
Chambers & Partners, 2020
“Very forensic and thorough in her approach, she is easy to deal with and extremely responsive.”
Chambers & Partners, 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