Jessica van der Meer
+44 (0)20 7822 1200
Jessica specialises in negligence and commercial matters, with a particular interest in international contractual, insurance and reinsurance, property damage – she was co-founder and co-editor of the 2TG Property Damage Blog – and professional negligence claims. She also has a developing practice in sports law.
Jessica has significant international experience. From September to November 2016, she worked as a Pegasus Scholar with a number of Chinese firms based in Beijing and Shanghai. Through this experience she has familiarity with Chinese contract, company (joint venture and merger and acquisitions) and procedural law, as well as experience working on Chinese, Hong Kong and Singaporean-based commercial litigation and arbitrations. In February 2015 Jessica was seconded to the International Dispute Team of the French law firm Gide Loyrette Nouel to deepen her experience in private international law and arbitration. She is confident in dealing with multi-jurisdictional work that allows her to use her language skills.
Before joining 2TG, Jessica worked for the United Nations and the International Institute for Sustainable Development, where she specialised in international trade and sustainable development issues, including WTO law and bilateral investment treaties. She has continued to pursue her interests in this area, having worked with Professor David Holloway on Schmitthoff’s Export Trade: The Law and Practice of International Trade.
Jessica practices in all aspects of property damage. She has experience assisting in claims raising complex technical matters ranging from design issues to geotechnical considerations. In particular, Jessica has experience of claims relating to fires, floods, subsidence and landslip and other nuisance and statutory based forms of liability. She regularly advises on and acts in subrogated recovery claims and claims for indemnity insurers, with a particular emphasis on construction professionals.
Recent work includes:
- X v Southwark County Council  involved advising and settling Particulars in a subsidence claim involving a permanent Tree Preservation Order and elements of judicial review and limitation.
-  Advising on a Consumer Protection Act claim where one of the prospective defendants went into receivership.
-  Advising on an escape of water claim involving the Defective Premises Act 1972.
-  Advising and settling pleadings in a fire and product liability claim involving an AGA range.
- X v Cambridgeshire County Council  – Jessica advised and drafted the Particulars of Claim in a substantial subsidence case involving limitation and attribution elements.
- X v Y  – Jessica, as a junior to Dore Green, analysed quantum and drafted the Schedule of Loss in a multi-million pound property damage claim.
- X v Y  – Advising and settling pleadings in a contribution action relating to personal and property damage caused by a breathing air cylinder.
- Co-operative Group Limited v Birse Developments Ltd and Others  EWHC 530 (TCC) – Jessica worked with Dore Green in this High Court case which examined when a main contractor’s claim in tort against a sub-contractor or member of its professional team is time-barred by virtue of section 2 of the Limitation Act 1980. This case is the current authority on what constitutes damage in this context and the latest date on which it might be said to have occurred.
Jessica undertakes a broad range of insurance and reinsurance work, including cross-border insurance disputes. Her insurance experience extends in particular to coverage disputes, issues of policy wording and policy construction, breach of warranties, and claims raising contentious technical issues on the proximate cause of loss. She is regularly instructed to advise on third party rights to coverage information under the Third Parties (Rights against Insurers) Act 1930.
Recent work includes:
- B  Advising on the insurance position and vicarious liability of a company where it, via a TUPE transfer, acquires the employees of another company who have been engaged in a long-running fraud.
- Equitas Ltd and Riverstone Insurance UK Ltd v NMP BV  Jessica was junior to Charles Dougherty QC, where they represented the insurers in an insurance fraud claim involving nine Old Master paintings allegedly stolen from a renowned Dutch gallery in 1987. The paintings were subsequently recovered by the Dutch police in 2009.
-  Coverage issues relating to a home insurance policy where the premises were used to manufacture illegal drugs.
- B v S  Advising on the function and implication of basis clauses and non-disclosure in the context of an employers’ liability insurance policy.
Jessica has particular experience in solicitor’s negligence claims, ranging from negligent advice and negligent conduct of a claim to issues of breach of fiduciary duties/breach of trust for solicitors appointed as personal representatives.
Given her property damage and insurance experience, Jessica is also a strong advocate and adviser in negligence claims involving architects, surveyors and construction professionals.
Jessica has particular knowledge in cases involving EU and international law elements and that raise issues of choice of law, forum, jurisdictional disputes, anti-suit injunctions and freezing injunctions.
She has experience in commercial disputes arising from the sale of goods and supply of services and advises regularly on a broad range of contractual matters.
Jessica has worked on complex questions of jurisdiction at a high-level. She assisted Marie Louise Kinsler in Winrow v Hemphill and Ageas Insurance Ltd  EWHC 3164 QB, where the High Court was required to determine the law to be applied to the assessment of damages for personal injuries arising from a road traffic accident in Germany. Jessica has particular expertise in the jurisdictional status of British and American army basis.
Jessica is also a junior to Niazi Fetto and Guy Mansfield QC in the ongoing Kenyan Emergency Group Litigation. This is a group action by 40,000 “Mau Mau” and related claimants alleging UK Government responsibility for alleged mistreatment during the Kenyan Emergency in the 1950s. The claims involve complicated areas of constitutional and administrative, torts and personal injury, human rights and jurisdictional elements.
Jessica has gained experience in international private law, in particular:
- LCIA, CIETAC, SIAC arbitration whilst working with the Chinese law firm Hui Zhong in September 2016,
- SIAC arbitration whilst working with the Chinese law firm Jin Mao in October 2016,
- HIAC and ICSID arbitrations whilst working Dentons based in Shanghai in October and November 2016,
- ICC arbitrations, whilst being seconded to the International Dispute Team at the French law firm Gide Loyrette Nouel in February 2015.
Whilst at Gide she worked on a ICC arbitration involving a dispute over oil exploration rights awarded by an African state; a contractual dispute between a French and English company and she assisted in successfully advising on multiple jurisdictions’ (English, French, Dutch and Scots Law) approach to authority and a principal granting apparent authority.
Whilst at Jin Mao, Jessica advised and worked on a SIAC arbitration involving German and Indonesia based companies who had a contractual dispute in relation to the testing of coal.
Jessica’s sports related practice covers all major sports with a particular focus on anti-doping cases (WADA and on a national level) in cycling and weightlifting.
X v UKAD  Jessica obtained a reduced suspension for a British weightlifter in a UKAD appeal.
Jessica’s background in international and insurance work makes her a strong advocate and adviser in sport-related injuries that have commercial, jurisdictional and/or insurance implications.
She has also been involved in cases at the intersection of public law and sport. Working with Martin Porter QC, Jessica has advised on and brought the first statutory appeal to challenge a Council’s decision to institute a Public Spaces Prohibition Order (‘PSPO’) in the High Court.
Summers v London Borough of Richmond  Jessica and Martin Porter QC represent the Kennel Club in the first statutory appeal to be brought to the High Court challenging a PSPO restricting dog walking within the borough of Richmond.
X v Mansfield District Council  Jessica and Martin Porter QC advised Cycling UK on bringing a statutory appeal challenging the Council’s decision to institute a PSPO prohibiting cycling in a main market square.
Outside of Chambers, Jessica is a keen cyclist, a world loppet enthusiast (having completed the Engadin ski marathon in March 2017), long distance runner and an experienced rower, having represented the University of Leiden (the Netherlands) in the women’s eight internationally.