Clyde & Co adds 19-strong UK product liability team from DWF

Partners Peter Barnes and Charlotte Kelly join alongside 17 team members and bring expertise in Japanese industries

Charlotte Kelly and Peter Barnes Images courtesy of Clyde & Co

International insurance giant Clyde & Co has added a 19-strong team of product liability specialists in the UK from DWF. 

The team is led by London-based partners Peter Barnes and Charlotte Kelly and includes a legal director, a trio of senior associates, four associates and nine other legal professionals and support staff. 

The team focuses on product liability arising from property, construction, aviation, energy, mining, motoring and manufacturing risks, with Barnes and Kelly also bringing particular expertise in the Japanese motor manufacturing, heavy manufacturing and energy sectors. 

“Our investment in this team proves the commitment to our offering in the product liability space,” said James Cooper, chair of Clyde & Co’s global insurance practice. “The hires align with our strategy to offer insurers the depth and breadth of support across business lines and regions they are looking for.”

Barnes is a dual-qualified solicitor and barrister and spent almost seven years as a partner at DWF before joining Clydes, prior to which he was at Bristol-based insurance firm Fox Hartley. He regularly advises in respect of coverage under primary and excess/umbrella liability and reinsurance policies and specialises in high severity events in the UK and internationally under public, product and pollution liability reinsurance covers. 

Meantime, Kelly made partner at DWF two years ago having also joined the firm in 2016 from Fox Hartley. She brings experience advising the London Market and international insurers and reinsurers on complex coverage and reinsurance disputes and also defends claims with a focus on product liability in the property, manufacturing, life sciences, energy, retail, motor and aviation sectors. 

The addition of Barnes and Kelly brings Clydes’ product liability partner tally to 70 globally. The practice handles cross-border disputes for clients from sectors including agriculture, manufacturing, automotive and retail and is known for its representation of insurers. 

Clydes said the team from DWF would join its insurance, financial and professional disputes practice and would also work with the aviation and casualty teams. 

Its arrival follows Clydes recording its 24th consecutive year of growth in the 2021/22 financial year, when revenue grew 1.6% to £650m. Profit grew 4% to £159m though profit per equity partner fell marginally from £715,000 to £708,000, due to an increase in the number of equity partners.

Clydes’ merger with UK insurance firm BLM went live last July, a move that saw the latter’s 790 lawyers combine with Clydes' 2,440 legal professionals to create an insurance behemoth with revenues in excess of £700m. 

DWF declined to comment on the team’s departure.

Email your news and story ideas to: [email protected]