Sonia is a Partner in the Dispute Resolution department and head of Mishcon de Reya's Insurance Disputes practice. She specialises in policyholder insurance coverage disputes and complex commercial claims. She has expertise in dealing with all aspects of contentious insurance matters, including reinsurance and captive issues. She also handles significant commercial litigation and arbitration matters, spanning areas involving breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, dishonesty, trust issues and shareholder disputes. She has particular expertise in dealing with high profile D&O insurance coverage disputes and Bermuda Form arbitrations in the life science/pharmaceutical sectors.
Sonia has acted for policyholders in connection with disputes arising under D&O, W&I, property damage and business interruption (PDBI), credit risk, bankers' blanket bond, trade credit, cyber, employment practices, fidelity/crime, fiduciary/PTL and professional indemnity policies. She also assists clients with related global risk management and renewal issues. She is regularly contacted by the press to comment on issues affecting policyholders and the insurance industry, most recently regarding the team's involvement in the high profile FCA Business Interruption Test Case relating to losses flowing from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Sonia represents FTSE 100 companies, corporates and high net worth clients in relation to a broad range of insurance and commercial disputes. Her clients come from a range of sectors including pharmaceutical, life sciences, financial services/private equity, betting and gaming, retail and consumer, real estate and construction and, financial services. Many of her clients are former CEOs and senior executives facing regulatory investigations; in this respect Sonia can often manage both the underlying regulatory investigations as well as related insurance coverage claims. Her matters often have a cross-border element and she has been involved in numerous insurance coverage disputes concerning life science/pharmaceutical mass tort proceedings in the US. She is also experienced in assisting with the conduct of litigation abroad where English law and procedure issues come into play and also managing the interplay between foreign proceedings and the English legal system. Sonia regularly works alongside lawyers in foreign jurisdictions.
As well as being regularly retained to act in commercial disputes before the English courts and to assist with underlying international litigation, Sonia is experienced in all major forms of international arbitration including LCIA, ICC, Bermuda Form, FIDIC and ad hoc arbitration. In the insurance sector, Sonia acts only for policyholders/insureds in insurance coverage disputes against their insurers. For this reason she also tends to be conflict free. Sonia also has extensive experience of the reinsurance market and the interplay between cedants and their reinsurers.
Sonia handles matters where third party litigation funding is required (e.g. most recently the 2020 FCA test case in which Hospitality Insurance Group Action (HIGA) clients obtained litigation funding to bring its claim and intervene formally in the test case) and after-the-event insurance cover is required. Sonia also negotiates and handles insurance matters where litigation buy-out insurance is necessary.
Sonia leads the firm's EDI Committee on Race. She is also a member of the IBA, AIRMIC, BILA, Arbitral Women and the Women in Telecoms and Technology Group.
- Leading the claim for the Hospitality Insurance Group Action in the FCA Business Interruption Test Case proceedings arising out of the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Advising major clients in the Real Estate sector on cover for Covid-19 business interruption claims under loss of rent/property policies.
- Acting for German biotech company on a patent infringement insurance dispute.
- Acting in connection with US plaintiff deposition requests relating to US metal on metal hip litigation brought against a global life science company.
- Acting for Cheval Roc Residential Ltd and Bonne Nuit Cheval Ltd against Zurich Insurance plc on an insurance coverage dispute involving property damage and business interruption relating to a landslip in Jersey.
- Advising on an insurance claim arising out of the expropriation of a client's art collection. Issues included challenging insurers' avoidance of the policy, a potential broker negligence claim and support of high value, complex, multi-jurisdictional litigation.
- Advising global life science insured on cyber coverage issues.
- Representing a corporate trustee in connection with an insurance coverage claim relating to claims and underlying litigation involving allegations of fraud/knowing receipt, breach of fiduciary duty/trust and misrepresentation.
- Acting in connection with coverage issues concerning historic abuse allegations.
- Advising a life science plc on a US$300m manufacturing-related PDBI claim relating to FDA issues.
- Acting for William Hill on Prize Indemnity Insurance issues.
- Acting for a UK listed bookmaker in relation to duty of care / gambling addiction allegations.
- Acting for plc pharmaceutical company on a US$100m Bermuda Form PL dispute relating to alleged defective products.
- Acting for a global life science company in a Bermuda Form arbitration concerning historic class action product liability claims emanating in various jurisdictions.
- Acting for a global life science company in connection with US MDL proceedings involving sale of OTC and claims involving Additional Insureds.
- Acting for a FTSE 100 company on employment practice liability claim issues.
- Acting on D&O coverage issues for a plc linked to bribery allegations in China.
- Acting for a FTSE 100 company on a professional negligence dispute involving brokers.
- Acting for FTSE 100 company on ABAC related insurance coverage issues.
- Acting for a former CEO in connection with D&O coverage issues and in connection with the parallel government investigation and independent inquiry.
Partner, Mishcon de Reya LLP
Partner, Addleshaw Goddard LLP
Legal Director, Addleshaw Goddard LLP
Associate, Addleshaw Goddard LLP
Senior Loss Adjuster, ASL International
Kent at Canterbury, LLB Hons 2:1