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1 P R O P E R T Y & C O N S T R U C T I O N l e a d i n g i n s u r a n c e l a w 4

2 Contents Recovery Subrogation 4 Major Property Damage 5 Business Interruption 6 Property Related Litigation 7 Construction Failure & Disputes 8 Goods in Transit & Dry Marine 9 Geotechnical & Subsidence 10 4

3 Welcome to Greenwoods Greenwoods has a dominant property and construction practice. Strengthened in depth and breadth in recent years, the firm now deals with the full range of physical risks, including property casualty work, construction failure disputes, business interruption and recovery subrogation. The Property, Construction & Insurance Group interacts closely with other groups in the firm and also benefits from the support of Greenwoods Intelligence Resource. We deal with all sizes of loss, from multi-million pound individual actions to the handling, on a delegated basis, of books of business which collectively can amount to large exposures. Much of our work is highly technical, and our detailed knowledge of the property, construction and insurance sectors enables us to work efficiently and productively with industry experts and counsel. This also means that in matters heading for litigation or arbitration, we can quickly identify the critical issues which will determine the outcome. The earlier we are instructed the better. Ideally within days of a loss to enable us to provide prompt guidance on coverage issues and on the scope of expert and evidential enquiries. Whether dealing with first party disputes or third party claims, we respond swiftly to instructions with focused and cost-effective appraisal, informed assessments of technical matters and careful selection of experts and counsel, when necessary. We use alternative dispute resolution where appropriate and will seek effective recovery action wherever this is viable. 3

4 Recovery Subrogation No-win, no-fee basis for the recovery of the insurer s outlay Simultaneous action to recover the insured s uninsured losses The pursuit of successful recovery claims can sometimes be a costly and time-consuming process, which explains why insurers are often reluctant to pursue third parties for an insured outlay. The regulations governing Conditional Fee Agreements (CFAs) allow insurers to pursue the recovery of their outlay on a no-win, no-fee basis. Greenwoods has a team of specialist lawyers who are dedicated to recovering insurers outlays using CFAs. Ours is a value-added service which gives insurers the opportunity to recover damages that may otherwise have been impractical to pursue. We provide regular status reports on all the recoveries we are pursuing for them, and we demonstrate the same commitment to swift resolution that characterises all our other work. Besides the obvious benefit to the insurer s bottom line, our service gives the insurer an extra competitive edge. We can seek to recover their insured s uninsured losses at the same time, on the same no-win, no-fee basis. 4

5 Major Property Damage n Fire and explosion n Flood n Structural failure and collapse Handling claims of this nature forms an important part of our work. There are very few, if any, high profile fires or floods within the UK with which we do not end up having an involvement. We are particularly well-known for our pioneering work on fires arising from mechanical and electrical installations. The successful handling of such claims depends on the quality of the investigations put in train in the immediate aftermath of the loss. We ensure that these are properly conducted without compromising the position of the retained experts, with whom we work closely from day one. We will invariably have worked with these same experts before. Many of our cases rest on individual facts, like the dramatic Shoreditch fire of 2010 attributable to a burning candle; others involve redefining recurrent issues, such as the spread of fire between premises after Hot Works. Whichever is the case, clients can be confident that our lawyers will have an immediate familiarity with the issues that will decide the case. In an era of climate change, liability for the poor management of flooding risks is an increasingly important and high profile area of the law. Our direct experience ranges from handling litigation after catastrophic dam collapses to advising strategically upon weather driven events like the 2009 flooding in Cockermouth. 5

6 Business Interruption Manufacturing and service industries Early involvement in the claims cycle to control the process Close collaboration with insurers and loss adjusters Informed quantification of the business impact Business interruption is one of those loss categories where involving specialists at the earliest possible time can make a real difference to the eventual size of the settlement. The key is to reach early agreement on the ground rules for the assessment of the claim, and then to ensure that these rules are consistently applied throughout negotiations. This may involve complex calculations based on the claimant s business patterns and on the general state of their business sector. Our recent work in this area includes challenging reinstatement issues following large losses at businesses across a wide range of sectors, from sawmills to recruitment agencies. Business interruption is often thought difficult. But it only requires clear principles and dogged application of the figures, even if very careful persuasion is needed to conclude a claim, as in one recent case that required multiple mediations given the host of issues. 6

7 Property Related Litigation Party wall disputes Defective premises claims The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 has placed a considerable extra burden on insurers who provide cover for construction work on domestic property. They are facing an increasing number of claims that require a detailed understanding of the mechanics of the Act. The problem is exacerbated by the strong emotions that often attend these cases, with furious neighbours prepared to go to almost any lengths to secure the compensation to which they feel entitled. We approach these cases with due thoroughness and sensitivity, to encourage both sides to confine themselves to the facts and to appreciate the advantages of an early, mutually-agreeable solution. We also regularly defend claims under the Defective Premises Act 1972 and in regard to nuisance between adjoining properties. 7

8 Construction Failure & Disputes Construction and engineering projects of ever increasing complexity keep pushing the boundaries. Such projects require bespoke insurance solutions in case things go wrong. When they do, the lawyers dealing with the subsequent fall out are required to be specialists in construction and engineering, with particular knowledge of the specific contract forms, dispute resolution procedures and insurance products involved. With a wealth of experience in construction failure, Greenwoods provides the experienced and understanding interface between the construction and insurance sectors. At one end of the spectrum we might be concerned with coverage issues under Contract Works and Latent Defects policies; at the other, the issue might be to isolate and define the allocation as to the risk of damage between employer and contractor in the light of any customisation of standard form contracts, bringing with it unintended consequences. Our involvement might start with an analysis of liabilities when there is a structural failure long after completion, or with the need to assist at the procurement stage in tailoring an all embracing project insurance. If a dispute does arise, whether the parties are committing to adjudication, ADR, arbitration or litigation, those working with Greenwoods will find in our team not only skilled lawyers, but also technically minded people who understand buildings, building services and engineering works and are well able to keep at equal speed as to the technicalities with the expert professionals who will undoubtedly also be involved. 8

9 Goods in Transit & Dry Marine Loss or damage of goods in transit Loss or damage of goods in storage We are regularly involved in a range of cases concerning goods lost or damaged in transit and in warehouses. This is an area where those without real specialism will soon come to grief. A recent case involved the loss of very high value supercars. The claimants anticipated very high damages; an expectation we corrected by careful reference to Convention limits. Where we suspect fraud or theft, we can commission investigators to determine exactly when and where the goods went missing. We recently successfully traced a consignment of mobile phones that had disappeared in a carousel-type fraud. Another notable recent case we successfully defended was the theft of a multi-million pound consignment of perfume, whose owners were in breach of their policy terms because it had been stored in the open at a site in West London. 9

10 Geotechnical & Subsidence Greenwoods Geotechnical & Subsidence team has expertise in the whole spectrum of geotechnical related issues from domestic subsidence through to major landslips and ground movement claims. The successful pursuit of subsidence claims depends on technical expertise and a detailed knowledge of the decided legal authorities. At Greenwoods, we have more than enough technical and legal expertise to cut through any attempts at obfuscation. Lawyers specialising in geotechnical and subsidence issues Early screening service improves CCFA recovery record We undertake a rigorous risk assessment of the technical evidence, reviewing movement results, soil investigations, DNA tests, engineering and arboriculturalists plans and reports and any other relevant data. We then seek to ensure that the overview of expert opinion is appropriately measured, to prevent claims becoming unduly technical and more difficult to resolve. Greenwoods clients also benefit from an early screening service provided by established engineering experts. The results of the preliminary screening are made available before any CPR Part 35 expert is appointed, ensuring that, even if monitoring evidence is poor, a robust expert opinion will allow a recovery to be advanced. This early screening service, combined with our close inspection of all available raw data, accounts for our notable success in subrogation recovery. We are usually able to achieve a higher percentage of successful claims than other law firms in the CCFA market - and with larger than average returns. A dedicated data and MI system, available on our extranet, enables our insurer clients to monitor the status of all claims. 10

11 Other practice areas Personal Injury Insurance Commercial & Financial Risks Fraud Health & Safety Motor Prosecutions Sectors Agriculture Construction & Engineering Manufacturing Marine Property Owners & Management Public Sector Sport, Leisure & Travel Transport & Logistics Utilities & Energy

12 Bristol London Bedford Square London Market Office Manchester Milton Keynes Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority

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