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Lucas Fear-Segal

Call 2014

+44 (0)20 7822 1200

Practice Overview

Lucas practises in all of chambers’ core areas, with a particular emphasis on insurance, property damage, and professional negligence disputes.

Recent cases include:

  • Campbell v Campbell  (an Account in front of the Chief Master of the Chancery Division, listed for four weeks to distribute the assets of an international jewellery business owned by two brothers. Each brother made numerous allegations of fraud against the other, and claimed that they were owed an eight-figure $US sum.  Settled on the eve of trial).
  • Bluebon v Ageas  [2018] Lloyd’s Rep IR 503 (preliminary issue as to whether an electrical installation inspection stipulation in a commercial insurance policy amounted to a true warranty or a suspensive condition).
  • Maccaferri Ltd v Zurich Insurance plc  [2018] 1 All ER (Comm) 112 (leading Court of Appeal authority on notification in public liability insurance).
  • Shepherd v Byrne & Partners LLP  [2017] EWHC 758 (Ch) (professional negligence: scope of a solicitor’s duty to give tax advice).
  • Re Perepilichnyy and Home Secretary v HM Senior Coroner  [2017] – Represented Life Insurers at the high profile Inquest into the sudden death of Russian businessman Alexander Perepilichnyy, and the satellite High Court proceedings concerning disclosure of documents by MI5.
  • Great Lakes Reinsurance v Western Trading Ltd  [2016] EWCA 1003 [2016] Lloyd’s Rep IR 643 (leading Court of Appeal authority on the measure of insurance indemnity where the destruction of a building has led to an increase in the value of land and there is a risk that the insured will not spend the insurance money on reinstatement).

Lucas has trial and witness-handling experience well beyond his Call. He has cross examined dozens of witnesses, expert and lay, in front of judges, coroners, arbitrators, and juries. He is adept at dealing with technical evidence, and is in his element when arguing cases that require the courteous but determined resolution of difficult conflicts of evidence.

A summary of Lucas’ practice across chambers’ discrete areas of expertise can be found below.

Art, Cultural Property & Luxury Assets

Lucas acts in a range of matters concerning art, cultural property, and luxury assets including:

  • Recovery and restitution of property following thefts, seizures, insolvencies, etc.
  • Advising institutions and owners in relation to loans of artwork
  • Insurance coverage disputes
  • Claims for damages following the destruction, loss or diminution in value of rare objects

In early 2016 Lucas was seconded to the Restitution Department of Sotheby’s, which identifies and deals with potential claims to artworks looted by the Nazis during the Third Reich.

Current and Recent Work

 

  • Campbell v Campbell (Chancery Division Account following the dissolution of a multi-million US$ international jewellery business – see above).
  • Disputed insurance coverage following the theft of a number of gold ingots
  • An attribution and authenticity dispute concerning a painting said to be by the Austrian Romantic painter F.R. Unterberger
  • Liability for the loss of a collection of gold jewellery and watches
  • A dispute about title to a rare 1960s Jaguar car
  • Allegedly negligent distribution by a solicitor of a valuable collection of jewellery under a Will
  • An ownership dispute concerning an extremely rare coloured diamond
  • A dispute as to the value of a collection of rare books
  • The accidental destruction of a valuable clock
  • Damage to a pair of bespoke chandeliers
  • The death of a large group of koi carp fish, many of which were pregnant
Commercial Dispute Resolution

Lucas is briefed as sole or junior counsel in a range of commercial and contractual disputes.  He also regularly advises and appears in insolvency matters.

Current and Recent Work

 

  • X v Y  (instructed as part of a team of counsel headed by Laurence Rabinowitz QC for the preparation of an arbitration concerning a US$200m grain crop joint venture).
  • Campbell v Campbell  (Chancery Division Account following the dissolution of a multi-million US$ international jewellery business – see above).
  • Proving at trial that a “finder’s fee” received by the claimant’s agent amounted to a bribe, and was held on trust for the claimant as principal.
  • Successfully defending at trial, as sole counsel, a well-known firm of solicitors against a claim by a referral agency for substantial unpaid fees, relying on s13 SOGSA 1982.
  • Striking out a claim made by the famous £27m ‘boiler room’ fraudster Tomas Wilmot against one of his former business associates.
  • Numerous instructions to represent the leading insurance-backed tenancy deposit protection scheme at trials concerning claims under contractual indemnity clauses, and to set aside adjudication awards.
  • Briefed (as third junior) in the preparation of a €25 million international commercial arbitration for final hearing.
  • The English Electric Company Ltd v Alstom UK Ltd  [2015] EWHC 294 (QB); trial concerning the construction of an indemnity clause, and the extent to which ultimate responsibility for an historic asbestos claim could be passed up a chain of company sale and purchase agreements, assisting Stuart Benzie.
Insurance & Reinsurance

Lucas has a diverse insurance practice, covering a broad range of non-marine risks, both in Court and in Arbitration.  He has particular experience of life and health risks (see below).

He is regularly instructed by insurers in cases where policyholder dishonesty is alleged or suspected.

Lucas also has a niche specie insurance practice (concerning fine art, jeweller’s block, exhibition risks, cash in transit, etc.) which overlaps with his Art and Cultural Property practice.

Current and Recent Work:

 

Recent cases taken to judgment:

  • Maccaferri Ltd v Zurich Insurance plc  [2017] Lloyds Rep IR 200 (Court of Appeal: notification in public liability insurance)
  • Great Lakes Reinsurance UK (SE) v Western Trading Ltd  [2016] Lloyd’s Rep I.R. 643 (Court of Appeal: measure of indemnity following burning of a listed building)
  • Bluebon Ltd v (1) Ageas (2) Aviva (3) Towergate Underwriting  [2017] EWHC 3301 (Comm) (High Court: preliminary issue as to whether an electrical installation inspection stipulation amounted to a true warranty or a suspensive condition.)

Recent arbitrations include:

  • X insurer v Y insurer  (acted as sole counsel for the successful party in an arbitration before James Drake QC about which insurer was liable to meet a group of claims made against solicitors over an extended period of time).
  • X insurers v Y solicitors  (In front of Jeffrey Gruder QC, led by Bob Moxon Browne QC.  Successfully proved that a pair of solicitors had dishonestly conducted a series of property transactions).
  • X Medical Malpractice Insurers v Y Public Liability Insurers  (Confidential coverage arbitration before Christopher Symons QC concerning whether a group of claims made by victims of sexual assaults by a doctor should be considered under the surgery’s medical malpractice insurance, or by its public liability insurer.  Led by Bob Moxon Browne QC for the successful party).

Ongoing and recent work includes numerous claims concerning:

  • Recovery of insurers’ outlays under the Third Parties (Rights Against Insurers) Act 2010
  • Coverage disputes under the Consumer Insurance (Disclosure and Representations) Act 2012
  • Insureds’ failures to comply with claims cooperation and notification provisions
  • Allegations of misrepresentation and non-disclosure
  • The interpretation of policy exclusion clauses in relation to motor, EL, PL, property, and product liability risks
Life and Health Insurance

Lucas’s insurance practice has a particular focus on life and health risks.

In addition to his advisory work, which is principally focussed on policy response issues, he often attends inquests on behalf of Life Insurers following the death of a policyholder.

Current and Recent Work

 

  • Ms X v Y Insurer.  Refusal of £250,000 benefit under a critical illness policy for failure to disclose a family history of disease.
  • Re: Muhammad Naviede. 8 day jury inquest into the light aircraft crash in which the businessman Muhammad Naviede was killed
  • Re: Alexander Perepilichnyy. Five week Inquest into the sudden death of Russian oligarch and whistleblower Alexander Perepilichnyy in front of the Recorder of London at the Old Bailey.  Lucas’ cross examination received significant press coverage (e.g. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5612807/Police-LOST-evidence-half-billion-dollar-transactions-probing-death-Russian-businessman.html ). Lucas also appeared in Secretary of State for the Home Department v HM Senior Coroner  [2017] 3 All ER 764, the satellite High Court proceedings
  • Re: J QC. Inquest into the death of a well-known barrister on the railway.
Personal Injury

Lucas has a broad personal injury practice, usually appearing for insurer-backed defendants in cases where allegations of fraud are raised against claimants whose injuries are suspected to be exaggerated, fabricated, or deliberately self-inflicted.

He has extensive experience of securing the disapplication of QOCS following the dismissal or discontinuance of claims.

Professional Negligence

Lucas has a broad professional negligence practice, and has acted in dozens of cases in which serious allegations of wrongdoing or negligence are made against a variety of professionals.

He usually acts for PI insurers. Most of his cases concern solicitors, accountants, brokers, valuers, or construction professionals.

Current and Recent Work

 

Recent Trials:

  • Wood v X Solicitors – (2019, Sounthampton CC).  Successfully represented D on a preliminary issue, securing the overall dismissal of a claim concerning the allegedly negligent distribution of valuable collection of jewellery under a Will.
  • Bluebon Ltd v (1) Ageas (2) Aviva (3) Towergate Underwriting  [2017] EWHC 3301 (Comm) – Representing brokers, alleged to have failed properly to advise as to the requirements of a policy term, at a preliminary issue trial concerning the construction of an electrical installation inspection stipulation, and whether it amounted to a true warranty or a suspensive condition.
  • Shepherd v Byrne & Partners LLP  [2017] EWHC 758 (Ch) – Claim concerning a criminal solicitor’s duty to give tax advice.
  • W v Taunton & Somerset NHS Foundation Trust – (2017, HHJ Mithani, Walsall County Court) – Represented D in a negligence claim against a consultant gerontologist. The claim was discontinued halfway through Lucas’ cross examination of C’s expert.

Other recent and ongoing work includes:

  • A group of claims against solicitors alleged to have mishandled historic claims under the vibration white finger compensation scheme
  • Dozens of instructions from defendants resisting allegations that cavity wall insulation has been improperly or negligently installed
  • A group of claims against solicitors said to have failed to advise their clients about stamp duty relief
  • An attribution and authenticity dispute concerning a painting said to be by the Austrian Romantic painter F.R. Unterberger
  • Insurance brokers alleged to have failed to notify insurers of their client’s changing risk profile
  • Solicitors alleged to have inadvertently included an additional portion of land in the sale of part of a landed estate
  • Accountants alleged to have negligently compiled financial reports such that an inflated corporation tax liability was incurred
  • Construction professionals alleged to have failed properly to survey prior to the installation of an insulation system
Property Damage

Lucas accepts instructions to advise, draft, and appear in all matters concerning property damage.

He has extensive experience of claims concerning property damage caused by:

  • Fires: Arson, incendiary electrical faults, bonfire spread and failures to extinguish, kitchen conflagrations, defective partitioning and suppression measures, etc.
  • Flood: Burst pipes and bad plumbing, faulty boilers, defective architectural design and prevention systems, water run-off from neighbouring properties, etc.
  • Cavity Wall Insulation: dozens of instructions from defendants resisting allegations that cavity wall insulation has been improperly or negligently installed.
  • Trees: Ingress of roots requiring superstructure repairs, underpinning, and root-barriers.
  • Other: Oil leaks, commercial pollution, escapes of animals, inappropriate crop-spraying chemical selection, etc.

Lucas has a particular interest in the legal niceties of property damage claims concerning heritage buildings. Several of his cases have concerned the damage or destruction of listed buildings, including:

  • Great Lakes Reinsurance UK (SE) v Western Trading Ltd  [2016] Lloyd’s Rep I.R. 643 (Court of Appeal)
  • Bluebon Ltd v (1) Ageas (2) Aviva (3) Towergate Underwriting  [2017] EWHC 3301 (Comm) (High Court preliminary issue trial)
  • X v London Borough of Y  (£350k claim arising from water damage to a landmark Victorian building in central London)

His related insurance and professional negligence practice means that he is ideally placed to advise in cases where questions of policy coverage, or the possibility of a subrogated recovery against a construction or other professional, are anticipated.