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Norman Challis

Principal Associate


Norman was promoted to the role of Principal Associate in August 2021. He has significant experience in a wide range of insurance matters having joined the Ford & Warren large loss team in 2014 from another major insurance practice where he spent over 10 years working in house at two major insurers.

He acts primarily for large insurers in the defence of claims arising out of serious road traffic accidents, accidents at work and public and occupiers' liability claims including major fire and flood events.

Norman has acted for a wide range of clients, from major global businesses and various public bodies including the embassies of foreign governments to SMEs, and private individuals including, members of the aristocracy and media personalities.

Case highlights include:

  • Assisting with the successful defence of a £25m claim arising out of a fire at a Mayfair mansion. The claim was successfully redirected.
  • Assisting with the successful defence of a £3m property damage claim arising out of a fire at an A&E department. This involved complex investigations into the provenance of electrical components which had been manufactured and imported from other parts of the EU.
  • Assisting with the successful defence of a £1m property damage and business interruption claim arising out of a fire at a well known restaurant chain. This involved significant e-disclosure issues and interrogation of email systems going back over a 10 year period. The claim was discontinued with costs recovered.
  • Defending a £500k claim for future loss of earnings arising out of a relatively minor road traffic accident. The case involved complex issues of causation and procedural disputes. The claimant eventually accepted the defendant’s offer of less than 10% of the pleaded value almost a year out of time which created significant savings against the reserve.
  • Acting on behalf of various sole trader electricians and their insurer in defence of an ongoing series of claims from the manufacturer of defective electrical products, which failed, leading to a series of fires. The manufacturer seeks contributions to settlements on the basis that the electricians failed to act on a publicised recall.
  • Successfully defending an employer’s liability claim at first instance and on the claimant’s appeal to the High Court where the defendant employer admitted supplying defective work equipment. The case turned on the claimant’s decision to continue using the equipment he claimed was unsafe and failing to take care for his own safety.
  • An unusual claim for loss of earnings from a model at London Fashion Week who claimed that her hair had been negligently exposed to excessive heat while being over combed. It was alleged that this negligence was compounded by inadequate advice about safely removing the hair style.

In addition to defending third party claims, Norman is also experienced in policy interpretation, scope of cover and indemnity advice, together with policyholder disputes.

A particular highlight is the successful defence of a homeowners claim following a burglary. The policyholder had a series of convictions for possession with intent to supply class A narcotics. This was not disclosed on inception and the risk would not have been accepted if it had been. The damage to the property indicated that the burglar may have been looking for drugs himself.

Away from the office Norman spends a lot of time providing a taxi service for his five year old daughter and is currently recovering from 34 years of hurt now that the mighty Brighton and Hove Albion have been elevated to their rightful place in the Premier League.

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