Property Damage

My property damage work encompasses all sorts of claims for damage to various types of property caused by different means: flooding, fire, subsidence, pesticides and invasive species such as Japanese knotweed.

About half of the time I act for insurers defending claims or seeking to making subrogated claims – ie after they have paid the policyholder’s claim, making a claim in the policyholder’s name against the third party responsible for causing the damage to try to recover their outlay.

The other half of the time I act for individuals or businesses who have suffered damage where their insurers will not agree to indemnify them for the damage, or where they are making claims against third parties.

Recent cases

  • I acted for insurers making subrogated claims in respect of damage to residential properties caused by the explosion at the Buncefield oil storage depot. The case was reported as Colour Quest Ltd v Total Downstream UK Plc [2009] EWHC 540 (Comm);
  • A leading property developer carried out a major development of residential property above premises occupied by a bank. I acted for the developer in making Part 20 claims against the plumbing and engineering contractors alleged to be responsible for the causes of escapes of water from the apartments into the bank’s premises;
  • I acted for a contractor facing a claim by a property owner. The contractor was replacing the roof of a property and used a “top hat” scaffolding structure to protect the property during the works. The structure was breached by unseasonable weather, allowing the interior of the property to be damaged by rain;
  • I am acting for a landowner defending a claim by a neighbouring farmer who claims that his vines were damaged by pesticide spraying;
  • I am acting for the owners of flats in a development at Canary Wharf where the insurer is denying liability for damage to retaining wall at the development; the case concerns an issue of whether the damage was caused by subsidence or not.

Relevant articles on property damage

Japanese knotweed

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Stephen James Innes
Bar Council Number 41453
VAT registration number 782715995
Complaints policy available on request from 4 New Square