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Fire Damage Disputes

Are you in a dispute as a result of a fire damage claim?

We act for clients who are currently in dispute following a claim regarding fire damage. We can act for either insurers or the insured party and will provide legal assistance to achieve the best possible outcome for all our clients.

We have extensive experience working across all types of property fire damage claim to ensure successful outcomes.

We Can Help

Our partner lead approach enables us to provide you with the best advice to minimise risk whilst managing costs effectively. This approach allows us to provide you with sound knowledge backed by experience to enable informed decisions to be made at every stage of the process.

It is essential that the whole process is managed efficiently from start to finish. Delays can lead to difficulties in reaching a successful outcome. So get control of the situation now and call Charlotte Waters on 0207 993 6960 or Email Charlotte Waters and we will respond accordingly.

Our Experience

Current fire damage cases have and continue to include: 

  • Commercial/Industrial Property

  • Warehouses

  • Factories

  • Manufacturing Plants

  • Office blocks

  • Hotels

  • Military and Defence sites

  • Oil/petrochemical refineries

  • Residential (such as new builds including timber framed houses, listed buildings and stately homes, as well as apartment blocks).

 We are well-known for major disaster cases such as the Cutty Sark Fire and the Buncefield Disaster.

 Insurance Dispute Solicitors 

Our team has expertise in relation to policies covering damage to property caused by named perils such as fire, lightning and explosion. We understand issues arising under such policies, including policy construction and the full range of conditions (including conditions precedent) and policy exceptions (for example notification, wilful default and fraudulent claims)

Business Interruption Claims 
Business interruption losses which flow from an insured peril i.e. fire and accurate measurement of loss sustained are often the most complicated and contentious elements of a claim. We instruct and work with forensic accountants to analyse and advise on initial business interruption loss reserves, calculating actual loss sustained, loss of production and/or sales, and advise on mitigation and expediting expenses.

Subrogation Recoveries 
Following major fire damage we advise on any potential recovery action against those who caused the fire, professionals who designed or constructed the building, or those responsible for the installation and maintenance of fire detection, prevention and suppression systems which may have failed.

Expert Evidence 
We recommend and work with a wide range of professional experts such as forensic scientists, structural engineers, chartered architects and forensic accountants.

Expert analysis of a fire damaged building will normally be required to understand not only the cause of fire and identify potential liability, but also to understand what if any of the structure can be saved and what recoverable losses flow from the damage.

Whilst most of the damage is clearly visible some damage may not. Foundations can suffer from collapse loadings and experts may be required to determine whether they can be reused.

Significant cases in which our team are or were involved include:

  • QinetiQ Holdings Limited -v- BAE Systems (Operations) Limited [2008] (TCC)

    Major fire in a laboratory leased to Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL), an agency of the Ministry of Defence. The fire originated in an anechoic chamber in which plasma experiments were taking place. The Chamber was destroyed and the Building damaged substantially by smoke. Claimed £1.3 million.

  • Shepherd & Neame -v- EDF Energy Networks (SPN) PLC [2008] EWHC 123(TCC)

    A £3.3 million claim following the devastation by fire of six listed buildings on Butchery Lane in the centre of Canterbury. A multi-party action involving nine claimants and six defendants (including Part 20 defendants). Acted for insurers and first defendant.

  • Cutty Sark Fire [2007]

    On 21 May 2007 a fire swept through the famous 19th Century ship Cutty Sark which was undergoing a £25 million restoration. Acting for interested contractors.

  • Buncefield Fuel Depot Explosion [2005]

    Major fire and a series of explosions on 11 December 2005 at the Hertfordshire Oil Storage Terminal, located near the M1 motorway, near Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire, England, one of the largest oil-products storage depots in the U.K. Acting for Insurers and suppliers of gauges and telemetry equipment.

  • National Trust -v- Haden Young Ltd [1996] 72 BLR 1

    Recovery action following a major fire at listed National Trust property (Uppark House) in the region of £22 million.

  • Beoco -v- Alfa Laval [1995] OB 137

    Refinery explosion. Explosion of a heat exchanger at the claimant's works at Bootle, Liverpool. No one was injured but significant property damage and business interruption losses. Issue: indemnity and recklessness.

If you would like more information on how Fisher Scoggins Waters can make a difference to your Property Damage related work, contact us by telephone 0207 993 6960 or email Charlotte Waters.

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