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Helen Jones

Partner, Manchester

Helen is an insurance litigation specialist possessing extensive expertise in a broad spectrum of commercial insurance related matters including policy coverage, property damage and business interruption.
Helen Coates | Partner | Manchester | DWF

Experience


Specialising in commercial insurance, Helen is regularly instructed by major insurer clients, particularly in relation to high value/complex disputes, including those involving international aspects and issues of jurisdiction and applicable law.

She advises in relation to both first and third party claims involving commercial and consumer insurance products.  Helen has a wealth of experience advising on policy coverage and interpretation disputes, property damage, business interruption, vulnerable customers and complaints involving the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Helen is regularly instructed in relation to major property damage incidents arising from a broad spectrum of insured perils including fires, explosions, floods and other adverse occurrences, most recently the COVID-19 global pandemic in respect of which she represented and insurer client in a Test Case before the High Court and in a leapfrog appeal to the Supreme Court.   In addition, Helen is experienced in acting in matters involving environmental aspects such as for example loss/damage to renewable energy facilities, pollution and nuisance.   

Helen's attention to detail and her ability to quickly identify the key issues enables her to provide practical, concise and timely advice to clients, adopting a pragmatic approach to seeking to resolve disputes. Helen regularly represents clients in various forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution.

Regularly instructed to act on behalf of defendants in high value public and product liability claims, Helen's calm and reassuring nature enable her to quickly build a rapport with policyholders and to steer them through what can be an incredibly challenging time for them personally and/or for their business.   

Helen has particular expertise in advising on and resolving insurance related complaints escalated to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) and leads a team of solicitors specialising in this area.

Recent Cases


Financial Conduct Authority v. Arch Insurance (UK) Ltd and others [2020] EWHC 2448 (Comm) and [2021] SCUK 1
Representing a major insurer client in the 2020/2021 FCA Business Interruption Test Case relating to policy coverage and interpretation in respect of business interruption claims arising from the COVID-19 pandemic estimated to be relevant to c.370,000 small businesses with potential claims totalling c.£1.2 billion. 

In addition to dealing with the above litigation, Helen leads a team of solicitors acting for insurer clients in respect of several hundred policy coverage disputes arising from non-FCA Test Case wordings, including assisting insurers with the drafting of submissions to the Financial Ombudsman Service in regard to COVID-19 business interruption claims.

Rushbond Plc v. JS Design Partnership LLP [2020] EWHC 1982 (TCC)
Representing the Defendant in a multi-million pound claim against an architects practice in which a dispute arose as to whether it was a 'pure omissions' case giving rise to no assumption of responsibility to the Claimant property owner and no basis on which a duty of care might be owed.   

Laserpoint Ltd v. Prime Minister of Malta & Others [2016] EWHC 1820 (QB)
Acted for the successful appellant in an appeal against the enforcement in England of a multi-million pound judgment handed down by the Civil Court in Malta against the appellant.  There had been a delay of nearly 26 years before judgment was issued which in all the circumstances was a breach of Article 34 of Regulation (EC) 44/2001 (Brussels 1).