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Ralph Fearnhead, Managing Associate, Dispute Resolution

Ralph Fearnhead


Personal Profile

Ralph is a Partner in the Insurance Disputes practice. He advises on a range of commercial disputes with particular specialisms in insurance/reinsurance and shareholder mis-selling claims. He is also an expert in various forms of alternative litigation funding.

Having spent over 10 years advising policyholders and reinsurers on insurance coverage disputes, he has experience across a wide range of business sectors and product lines including: Professional Indemnity; Political Risk; Business Interruption; D&O; Employers Liability; Credit Risk; Bankers Blanket Bond; and Product and General Liability Policies, as well as a range of more niche products. He has brought claims in a variety of forums including LCIA, GAFTA, ad hoc arbitration and Court.

His reported insurance and reinsurance cases include recovering excess of £100million for Standard Life from its PI insurers in the High Court and Court of Appeal in a case which challenged the conceptual principle of apportionment within liability insurance, and representing a large Japanese reinsurer in multiple arbitrations across different jurisdictions concerning liability for a $1.2bn property damage settlement following the destruction of the World Trade Center, culminating in the well-known English Court of Appeal case.

Ralph has worked on a number of shareholder mis-selling claims under s90 and 90A FSMA and is an expert in both structuring these claims and applying the law in this rapidly growing area. He has so far helped recover over £200million for excess of 100 institutional shareholders, holding UK listed plc's to account for losses suffered by investors as a result of their improper/unlawful conduct. Those clients include well-known public and private sector pension funds and sovereign wealth funds from a wide range of countries.

An expert on alternative modes of litigation funding, including third party funding, ATE/BTE insurance products and CFAs/DBAs, Ralph also advises corporates, funders, insurers and individuals on various aspects of alternative funding.

Ralph won the International Insurance Law Association Europe Prize 2012 and regularly speaks at industry events. He is a member of the British Insurance Law Association, AIDA Reinsurance Working Party and Association of Insurance Risk Managers in Commerce.

Ralph is also part of the MDR Solutions I team, a litigation finance venture offering greater access to funding for claimants.

Key Experience

  • His work on Follow the Fortunes clauses in Reinsurance Law has been published in Insurance Law Review and he is a member of the British Insurance Law Association and Airmic
  • Standard Life Assurance Limited v Ace European Group and Others [2012] EWHC 104 (Comm)
  • Ace European Groups & Ors v Standard Life Assurance Ltd [2012] EWCA Civ 1713

Articles and publications

Career History

Partner, Mishcon de Reya LLP
Legal Director, Mishcon de Reya LLP
Managing Associate, Mishcon de Reya LLP
Associate, Mishcon de Reya LLP
Solicitor, Mishcon de Reya
Managing Associate, Addleshaw Goddard LLP
Edinburgh University, Geography (BSC)

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