Year of call: 1984
Silk: 2003
E: tweitzman@3vb.com

Email the Practice Managers:

SilksPMs@3vb.com

Tom Weitzman has a general commercial practice, specialising in insurance and reinsurance work. He also does a substantial amount of professional negligence work. In recent years his practice has also included financial regulation, product liability and pensions work. He has experience of both commercial arbitration and ADR.

He is ranked by both Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 as among the Leading Silks in the fields of “Insurance” and “Professional Negligence”.

Nominee and runner-up (one of two) for Chambers & Partners' Leading Insurance Silk of the Year Award 2015 and Chambers & Partners' Leading Professional Negligence Silk of the Year Award 2013.


‘A fantastic intellect.’

Legal 500 UK 2015

“He really knows how to strike the correct balance between being technically very good and having excellent judgement and being very user friendly with lay clients.”

Chambers & Partners UK 2016

Ranked by both Chambers & Partners and The Legal 500 UK as a Leading Insurance Silk.

Chambers & Partners

"A very well-regarded insurance and reinsurance silk who has decades of experience.  He is particularly adept at dealing with D&O and professional indemnity policy claims for both policyholders and insurers.  …  ‘Offers first-class advice on a number of complex issues of insurance law. He's very responsive and quickly gains the confidence of clients.’" (2015)

“Praised  .. as a silk with ‘a brilliant mind” , he has a comprehensive knowledge of insurance and reinsurance law.   He is sought after to appear in many high profile cases, especially those involving professional indemnity issues.” (2014)

“Attracts praise for his ‘prompt and decisive advice’ and his ‘quick wit and in-depth knowledge of insurance law.’”  (2013)

The Legal 500 UK

“An excellent insurance heavyweight, who is highly intelligent and fun to work with.” (2015)

“A leader in his field.” (2014)

“… the go-to person for technically complex policy and construction matters.” (2013)

Clients include: Lloyd's syndicates, major insurance and reinsurance companies (including both composite and specialist insurers and reinsurers), captives and indemnity funds, many of the major insurance and reinsurance brokers (Aon, JLT, Lockton, Marsh etc. and a wide variety of insureds (individuals, professionals, companies and institutions).

Recent instructions include a number of “large value” claims arising out of the recent “Credit Crunch” under claims under (variously) Financial Institution, Professional Indemnity or Directors and Officers Liability insurance policies together with a multitude of “smaller vale” claims arising out of the mis-selling of financial products..

Former instructions include acting in connection with many of the major market controversies of recent years, such as: the PA spiral (clients included major participants in the spiral, brokers placing PA risks and an underwriting agency); film finance litigation (clients included insurers and reinsurers of film finance risk and brokers of such business) and the Lloyd's names litigation.

Areas of expertise include (but are not limited to) the following types of cover: Business Interruption; Contractors All Risk; Directors & Officers; Energy; Financial Institutions; Life (and other “Long Term” insurance products); Marine; Political and like risks; Professional Indemnity; Project Insurance; Public and Product Liability; Reinsurance (both facultative and treaty).

He is also familiar and is regularly instructed in connection with, insurance regulatory issues (see below under “Financial Regulation).   In addition to advising firms and their insurers in relation to such issues, he is also regularly instructed by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (and was formerly regularly instructed by their predecessor, the Financial Services Agency).

Reported cases include:

Phoenix Life Assurance Limited v The Financial Services Agency [2013] EWHC 60 (Comm). Dispute as to the proper construction of “with profits” policies sold to consumers and the nature of the guarantee as to the performance of such policies given to such policyholders.

Gard Marine & Energy Ltd v Lloyd Tunnicliffe & Ors [2011] EWHC 1658 (Comm). Energy market reinsurance dispute in respect of losses caused by Hurricane Rita.

Re Commercial Union Life Assurance Company Ltd [2009] EWHC 2521 (Ch) Court approval of the re-attribution of the Aviva inherited estate.

Dornoch Ltd & ors v Westminster International BV & Ors [2009] EWHC 1782 (Admlty) Trial of further issues arising out of the loss of the WD Fairway, including a claim by the insurer against the assured pursuant to sections 423 to 425 of the Insolvency Act 1986.

Dornoch Ltd & ors v Westminster International BV & Ors [2009] EWHC 201 (Admlty) Preliminary issues in relation to a dispute between assured and insurers arising out of the loss of a mega-size dredger, the WD Fairway; issues include the insurer's rights in relation to wreck pursuant to sections 63(1) and/or 79(1) of the Marine Insurance Act 1906.

Standard Life Assurance Ltd v. Oak Dedicated Ltd & Ors [2008] EWHC 222 (Comm); [2008] Lloyd's Rep. IR 552 Dispute as to the proper construction of a Financial Institutions Insurance Policy; claim against brokers for failing to obtain cover that clearly met the assured's requirements.

GNER Ltd v JLT Corporate Risks Ltd [2006] EWHC 1478 (QB) Claim against brokers for obtaining cover which did not meet its client's requirements; strike out application involving consideration of issues of limitation and abuse of process.

HIH Casualty and General Insurance Ltd v JLT Risk Solutions Ltd [2006] EWHC 485 (Comm); [2006] Lloyd's Rep. 493; [2007] EWCA Civ. 710; [2007] Lloyd's Rep. IR 717 Claim against brokers by insurers in respect of film finance insurance; allegations of both fraud and negligence.

BP plc v Aon Limited and Another [2005] EWHC 424 & 2115 (Comm); [2006] Lloyd's Rep. IR 577 Claim against brokers in respect of declarations to an Open - "fac/oblig"- cover; issues in dispute include sub-brokers' duties, causation, estoppel etc.

Friends Provident Life & Pensions Ltd v Sirius International Insurance Corp & Others [2004] EWHC 1799 (Comm) [2004] 2 All ER (Comm) 707, [2005] Lloyd's Rep. IR 135; [2005] EWCA] Civ 601 Claim by insured under excess insurance in respect of liability for pensions mis-selling; issues include the requirements as to the giving of notice to excess layer insurers and the effect of the CA's earlier decision in Alfred McAlpine v BAI.

College Credit Ltd v The National Guarantee Corporation Ltd [2004] EWHC 978 (Comm) Construction of an insurance policy providing cover in respect of a finance scheme.

Midland Mainline Ltd & Others v Commercial Union Assurance Co Ltd & Others [2003] EWHC} 1771 (Comm); [2004] Lloyd's Rep. IR 22 Insurance claim in respect of losses suffered by train operators following the Hatfield rail crash; issues as to construction, aggregation, the operation of policy exclusions etc.

GE Reinsurance Corp & Others v New Hampshire Insurance Co [2003] EWHC 302 (Comm); [2004] Lloyd's Rep. IR 404 Film Finance reinsurance dispute; issues as to breach of warranty etc.

Re Continental Assurance Company of London plc [2001] BPIR 733 Claim pursuant to section 214 of the Insolvency Act against former directors of insolvent insurance company.

Re Drake Insurance plc [2001] Lloyd's Rep. IR 643 Directions in relation to the conduct of the insolvency of Drake insurance plc; issues as to the return of premium etc.

Gan v. Tai Ping [2001] Lloyd's Rep IR 291 Reinsurance dispute with a claim over against the broker in respect of the reinsurer's allegations of misrepresentation/non-disclosure.

Urban Regeneration Agency and Ors v Mott MacDonald & Ors (1999).   Multi-million pound professional negligence claim against engineers in respect of the decontamination of St Mary’s Island, Chatham.

O&R Jewellers v. Terry [1999] Lloyd's Rep. IR 436 Claim under Lloyd's jewellers block policy with a claim over against the brokers.

New Hampshire v. MGN [1997] Lloyd's Rep. IR 24 (at 1st Instance only) Claims under fidelity insurance by various Maxwell companies and the trustees of Maxwell pension funds; issues include the legal nature of composite insurance etc.

Deeny v. Walker: Deeny v. Littlejohn [1996] Lloyd's Rep. IR 276 Claim by Lloyd's Names against their syndicate's auditors and brokers.

St Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Co. v. McConnell Dowell and others [1995] 2 LLR 116 [Dispute between assured and its insurers; important guidance on inducement]

South Carolina Insurance Co. v. Al Ahlia Insurance Co. [1987] AC 24 Reinsurance dispute; claim to injunct evidence gathering proceedings in the US; important dicta on the basis and availability of injunctive relief.

Ranked by both Chambers & Partners and The Legal 500 UK as a Leading Professional Negligence Silk.

Chambers & Partners

"He gives very precise advice and is very good with clients. He has a clear, logical and structured approach which clients love. … He is exceptionally bright, but what makes him stand out is that he is easy to work with and collaborative” (2015)

“Renowned for his work in insurance related-disputes.   He has a good reputation among brokers and in-house insurance lawyers and is billed as “quite simply the go-to silk for brokers negligence cases.’” (2014)

“… another highly rated advocate. … Interviewees say he is ‘top of the tree’ when it comes to brokers negligence cases.” (2013)

The Legal 500 UK

“A fantastic intellect.” (2015)

“A strong ability and willingness to work as part of a team to find practical solutions to difficult problems.” (2014)

“very straightforward and easy to work with.” (2013)

He has experience of acting for and/or against the following professionals:-

  • Actuaries
  • Accountants
  • Architects
  • Brokers (both insurance and reinsurance)
  • Engineers
  • Financial advisers
  • Solicitors
  • Surveyors and valuers
  • Underwriting agents

 

Clients include: many of the leading insurance and reinsurance brokers (Aon, JLT, Lockton, Marsh etc.), major firms of architects and engineers, leading accountancy firms, actuaries and solicitors, various IFA networks and individual IFAs and the professional indemnity insurers of all the above professions.

Recent instructions include:

A claim against brokers in respect of a complex reinsurance programme and their attempt to “stretch” the limits of that programme over a number of years;

A claim against (Hong Kong) solicitors by their former client in respect of what turned out to be a “pyrrhic” victory in arbitration proceedings;

A claim against a property manager in respect of its alleged failure to take proper precautions to prevent the start and/or spread of a very large fire;

A claim against an IFA “network” in respect of its alleged liability for the acts of members of that network;

Former instructions include acting for and/or against brokers in respect of claims arising out of the PA spiral, the writing of film finance risks, the "Metro" litigation (together with numerous similar instructions for or against brokers in relation to other less well known disputes); acting for engineers in respect of claims arising out of a large "decontamination" project; claims against Lloyd's auditors; claims against solicitors in respect of the drafting of transactional documents and the conduct of litigation, claims against actuaries in respect of the valuation of pension assets and liabilities,  claims against surveyors in respect of negligent valuations and claims against IFAs in respect of the mis-selling of financial products..

Reported Cases include:

Standard Life Assurance Ltd v. Oak Dedicated Ltd & Ors [2008] EWHC 222 (Comm); [2008] Lloyd's Rep. IR 552 Dispute as to the proper construction of a Financial Institutions Insurance Policy; claim against brokers for failing to obtain cover that clearly met the assured's requirements.

GNER Ltd v JLT Corporate Risks Ltd [2006] EWHC 1478 (QB) Claim against brokers for obtaining cover which did not meet its client's requirements; strike out application involving consideration of issues of limitation and abuse of process.

HIH Casualty and General Insurance Ltd v JLT Risk Solutions Ltd [2006] EWHC 485 (Comm); [2006] Lloyd's Rep. 493; [2007] EWCA Civ. 710; [2007] Lloyd's Rep. IR 717 Claim against brokers by insurers in respect of film finance insurance; allegations of both fraud and negligence.

BP plc v Aon Limited and Another [2005] EWHC 424 & 2115 (Comm); [2006] Lloyd's Rep. IR 577 Claim against brokers in respect of declarations to an Open - "fac/oblig"- cover; issues in dispute include sub-brokers' duties, causation, estoppel etc.

Gan v. Tai Ping [2001] Lloyd's Rep IR 291 Reinsurance dispute with a claim over against the broker in respect of the reinsurer's allegations of misrepresentation/non-disclosure.

O&R Jewellers v. Terry [1999] Lloyd's Rep. IR 436 Claim under Lloyd's jewellers block policy with a claim over against the brokers.

Deeny v. Walker: Deeny v. Littlejohn [1996] Lloyd's Rep. IR 276 Claim by Lloyd's Names against their syndicate's auditors and brokers.

 

Tom Weitzman QC frequently represents insureds, insurers and reinsurers in arbitrations (albeit that the details of such arbitrations must necessarily be confidential). He is also regularly appointed to act as an arbitrator or expert in relation to insurance and reinsurance disputes.

Tom Weitzman QC has a wide experience of Financial Regulation in the insurance context.  In addition to advising firms and their insurers, he is regularly instructed by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (and was previously regularly instructed by their predecessor, the Financial Services Agency).   Such instructions include advising as to compliance and regulatory response, the alleged mis-selling of financial products, the application of the regulatory regime to specific products (including whether products constitute “insurance”) and Part VII Long Term Insurance Business transfers.

Recent instructions include advising the FCA as to whether certain products are “insurance”, advising the PRA in relation to a (very large) Part VII Long Term Insurance Business transfer and advising insurers as to their liabilities in respect of the costs of section 166 Past Business Review.

Reported cases include:

Phoenix Life Assurance Limited v The Financial Services Agency [2013] EWHC 60 (Comm). Dispute as to the proper construction of “with profits” policies sold to consumers and the nature of the guarantee as to the performance of such policies given to such policyholders.

Re Commercial Union Life Assurance Company Limited [2009] EWHC 2521 (Ch)). Representing the FSA in relation to the re-attribution of the Aviva inherited estate.

Tom Weitzman QC has experience of insolvency in the insurance context.

Reported cases include:

Dornoch Ltd & ors v Westminster International BV & Ors [2009] EWHC 1782 (Admlty) Trial of issues arrising out of the loss of the vessel, the WD Fairway, including a claim by the insurer to set aside the disposal of the wreck by the assured pursuant to sections 423 to 425 of the Insolvency Act 1986.

Re Drake Insurance plc [2001] Lloyd's Rep. IR 643 Directions in relation to the conduct of the insolvency of Drake insurance plc; issues as to the return of premium etc.

Re Continental Assurance Company of London plc [2001] BPIR 733 Claim pursuant to section 214 of the Insolvency Act against former directors of insolvent insurance company.

Tom Weitzman QC has experience of product liability litigation (for example he acted for a major UK cigarette manufacturer in respect of group proceedings brought by claimants suffering from lung cancer: see Hodgson v. Imperial Tobacco Ltd & Others [1998] 1 WLR 1056).

He is regularly instructed by both insured and insurers in relation to claims under Product Liability Insurance Policies.   Recent instructions in this area include acting for a large medical services provider seeking indemnity from its Product Liability insurer in respect of claims arising out of the supply of “PIP” breast implants.

He is also familiar with the Bermuda Form and has been instructed in connection with a number of disputes arising under that Form.