RPC bolsters insurance ranks with partner hire in London from Mayer Brown

Mike Newham joins amidst rising insurance cases against banks and financial institutions

Mike Newham Image courtesy of RPC

UK law firm RPC has added insurance lawyer Mike Newham as a partner in London from Mayer Brown. 

Newham, who specialises in financial institutions and directors’ and officers’ liability claims, has made the move after almost 12 years at Mayer Brown, where he served most recently as counsel. His work at the US firm saw him provide coverage advice arising from the Kaupthing banking collapse and Madoff fraud – both heavily contested cases. He has also defended claims against lawyers, auditors and accountants and associated investigations by regulators, including the SRA, ICAEW and FRC.

RPC’s managing partner James Miller said: "Mike has a solid reputation as a leading insurance lawyer and is admired by his clients and the wider legal market. He is committed, collaborative and will doubtless prove a great asset to our leading insurance group."

Newham has joined RPC at a time when insurance claims against banks and financial institutions are rising thanks to the post-pandemic disputes climate, which has seen an upturn in claims against senior managers and institutions. Further claims – including coverage disputes – are expected given the worsening economic climate.

RPC has acted for insurers in relation to most of the major market losses of the last two decades, including for insurers of clearing banks, global investment banks, fund managers, hedge funds and global insurers, as well as their directors; the sector is one of RPC’s key markets.

Simon Laird, RPC's global head of insurance, said Newham’s “extensive experience, in-depth knowledge and personable approach are an exciting addition to our leading complex coverage disputes team." 

Newham is not the only insurance lawyer to exit Mayer Brown in London recently; partner Will Glassey left the firm at the end of last year after more than two decades to join Herbert Smith Freehills, as the latter also moved to bolster its insurance bench.

Newham’s move to RPC comes shortly after the firm promoted five insurance lawyers - Fiona Hahlo, Sian Morgan, George Smith, Alex Almaguer and Felicity Strong, to partner in its 2022 round. The firm has added a total of 22 new partners to its insurance group over the last two years across its UK, Hong Kong and Singapore offices through a combination of lateral hires and internal promotions. 

The firm also bolstered its arbitration team earlier this month with the addition of Shai Wade from Stephenson Harwood, with Wade taking on the role of head of international arbitration. 

While RPC’s team does not have the scale of larger rivals like Clyde & Co, the firm last year announced an alliance with five insurance law firms, including US firm Hinshaw & Culbertson, Australia’s Colin Biggers & Paisley, Dutch firm Kennedy Van der Laan, Canada’s Miller Thompson and France’s HMN, to offer insurers access to a broader suite of lawyers globally.

A spokesperson for Mayer Brown said the firm wished Newham well in his new role.


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