21 Jul 2021

HSF targets law firm work with hire of Mayer Brown’s London head of insurance

Will Glassey will help grow new firm's solicitors’ professional indemnity and regulatory practice

Portrait of Will Glassey

Will Glassey

Mayer Brown’s London head of insurance, Will Glassey, has joined Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) to help it grow its law firm professional indemnity and regulatory practice.

Glassey leaves Mayer Brown after 21 years, having risen to co-lead its global insurance practice during his tenure. Notable work includes in 2017 acting for AIG in the expedited UK Supreme Court case AIG Europe v Woodman, in which the Solicitors Regulation Authority intervened on the meaning of aggregation clauses under the SRA’s minimum terms.

More recently, his work in last year's CAA v Jet2.com saw him litigate a significant point on legal advice privilege, widely seen as an essential authority by the market.

His move reunites him with his former firm, as he joined Mayer Brown from Herbert Smith.

HSF global head of insurance disputes, Paul Lewis, said: "We are delighted to be welcoming back Will to our disputes team in London, which will enable us to further strengthen our successful solicitors’ professional indemnity (PI) and regulatory practice. Will is a leading name in this area and a trusted adviser to many firms and individuals."

Glassey is one of the pre-eminent solicitors’ defence lawyers in the London market, having been instructed on several sensitive and significant professional indemnity matters.

With instructions from City law firms, barristers, accountants, actuaries (on pensions and tax issues) and property professionals (particularly substantial mortgage frauds and surveyor negligence), his arrival puts HSF in position to challenge Clyde & Co’s strength in indemnity insurance disputes, where it has built up a similarly commanding reputation.   

Glassey combines his indemnity work with related professional disciplinary instructions, including those before the Solicitors’ Disciplinary Tribunal and the Financial Conduct Authority.

He also advises insurers on policy coverage claims and represents insurers and reinsurers in reinsurance coverage disputes. HSF acted for the FCA on the Test Case litigation resolved in the UK Supreme Court this year, in which Lewis was the lead partner.

In 2017, Glassey oversaw a restructuring of Mayer Brown’s London insurance practice which saw a five-partner team, led by London Insurance and Reinsurance Group head David Chadwick, join Kennedys. Mayer Brown has since focused on international expansion, particularly in America, and developing partnership-track opportunities for the firm’s London market associate cadre.

A Mayer Brown spokesperson said: "We thank Will for his contribution to the firm and wish him the best for the future. Our professional risks and insurance disputes practice in London, which has a very well-established reputation for its high-end work, will continue to be led by Jim Oulton.”

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