Jessica van der Meer
+44 (0)20 7822 1200
"A first-class intellect, with great attention to detail"Legal 500 2021
"...has sound commercial sense and amazing advocacy skills"Legal 500 2021
Ranked a Leading Junior for Insurance in the Legal 500, she is described as: ‘A first-class intellect, with great attention to detail. She builds strong relationships with clients and experts, and has sound commercial sense and amazing advocacy skills.’
Jessica’s work embraces a unique smorgasbord of Chambers’ specialisations: negligence, commercial, international, public and sports law. In addition, she practices in WTO and International Trade Law, offering a unique perspective as a former economist. She has advised companies and the UK Government on Brexit and its trade-related consequences. She was seconded to the Bank of England’s EU Withdrawal Unit, advising on international trade matters, including WTO and BIT issues.
Her work at the Bank of England placed her at the forefront of Brexit and its implications. She regularly advised the Governors on EU and UK legal matters that impacted Brexit, in addition to her advisory work on international trade. She now to advises clients on all aspects of the EU-UK TCA.
In Chambers, she specialises in negligence and commercial matters, with a particular expertise in international trade, contractual, insurance and reinsurance, professional negligence and property damage.
She has considerable experience in international public law claims, having worked for over five years on the “Mau Mau” Kenyan Emergency litigation. She is appointed to the Attorney General’s London Panel and Public International Law Panel. Closer to home, she has unrivalled expertise in challenging Public Spaces Protection Orders, having advised and represented the Cycling Defence Fund and the Kennel Club in the first ever challenges to local government’s Public Spaces Protection Orders. She has a specialist sports law practice in anti-doping matters and is an appointed Arbitrator for Sports Resolution.
Jessica has significant international experience. As a Pegasus Scholar based in Beijing and Shanghai, she worked on one of the largest anti-dumping investigations to date. Through her time as a Pegasus Scholar she also gained experience 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. Jessica has also been seconded to the International Dispute Team of the French law firm Gide Loyrette Nouel to work on private international and investment arbitrations. 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. In pursuing her combined interest of trade economics and law, Jessica has also contributed to Schmitthoff’s Export Trade: The Law and Practice of International Trade.
Jessica’s practice spans the full breadth of property damage issues: fires, floods, subsidence (including Tree Preservation Orders) landslip and construction disasters. This sets her up with an extensive knowledge on all forms of nuisance and statutory based forms of liability.
She regularly advises on and acts in DPA claims, subrogated recovery and claims for indemnity insurers, with an emphasis on home-owners, construction professionals and network operators.
She particularly enjoys working on claims raising complex technical matters ranging from design issues to geotechnical considerations.
Current and Recent Work
- A Slippery Issue: The Limits of Continuing Nuisance. A case note on Harrison Jalla and Others v Shell International Trading and Shipping Company  EWCA Civ 63
- X v London Borough of Croydon  Advised and acting for claimants in a subsidence claim raising limitation and illegality issues involving a planning application.
- Dover Street  High-end refurbished restaurant in Mayfair goes up in flames days before it is due to open. Jessica advised the claimants as to whom to pursue on after sifting through the technical fire evidence and contractual arrangements between a cornucopia of subcontractors.
- SEPN  Acted for one of many subcontractors engaged to excavate a floodplain. In the process of excavation, the SEPN network cables were damaged; a central issue was to whom and how liability attached, given the contractual matrix between the subcontractors.
- X v London Borough Barnet  Advised and acting for claimants in a longstanding tree roots subsidence claim involving Tree Preservation Orders, concerns on limitation and attribution.
- O v Ceredigion County Council [2018-2021] Acting for claimants in a private sewer dispute that repeatedly flooded property; involved t§echnical issues on limitation, covenants and identification of users and owners of the private sewer.
- SEPN [2019-20] Acting for a defendant in a construction and property damage claim that resulted in considerable damage to a local power network.
- SESW  Acting for a water company where a water main had been drilled into by a third party resulting in extensive escape of water. Legal issues included limitation and whether there could be recovery of certain heads of loss.
- 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.
- 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.
Ranked as a Leading Junior for Insurance in the Legal 500, Jessica undertakes a broad range of insurance and reinsurance work, including cross-border insurance disputes. Her insurance experience extends 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.
She has specialist experience in insurance fraud involving art and cultural property, having worked with Charles Dougherty on the recovery of nine Old Master paintings.
She is described in the Legal 500 as: ‘A first-class intellect, with great attention to detail. She builds strong relationships with clients and experts, and has sound commercial sense and amazing advocacy skills.’
Current and Recent Work
- Generali Assurances  Jessica advised and represented a French insurer contesting jurisdiction of a claim, pursuant to Brussels Recast Regulation and Rome II Regulations. She also advised on issues of coverage.
- Covea Insurance Ltd v O’Reillys  advised and settled Particulars of Claim for insurer to avoid an insurance policy ab initio because of fraudulent misrepresentation.
- 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.
Her property damage and insurance experience makes Jessica a strong advocate and adviser in negligence claims involving architects, surveyors and construction professionals.
Current and Recent Work
- RMS Goole Ltd [2020-2021] representing claimants in a negligent design of vermiculite storage shed claim against surveyors.
- Exeter County Council  a multi-million pound professional negligence arbitration claim brought against an internationally renowned firm of architects regarding the refurbishment and extension of the Royal Albert Museum and Art Gallery.
- McCarthy v Sills & Betteridge LLP  Successfully defended a firm of solicitors in a negligent conveyancing claim involving alleged overpayment of Stamp Duty Land Tax.
Jessica has formidable and unparalleled experience in International Trade Law matters. Her experience in advisory work spans the full range of WTO treaty issues: technical barriers to trade, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, customs, national-treatment and most favour nation issues as well as agriculture and state aid.
- As consultant legal adviser to the Bank of England, she advised on WTO and international trade matters in relation to Brexit with an emphasis on financial services and prudential policy.
- She has advised the Bank of England on all major recent trade and investment negotiations including Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), CETA, EU-Japan Trade Agreement as well as EU association agreements.
- She has advised the Bank of England and Department for International Trade on dispute settlement mechanism clauses and prudential carve-outs in future UK trade agreements. She has also advised on the fallout of the decision in Achmea and its consequences for BITs and future UK trade and investment agreements.
- Her advisory work extends to trade negotiations: she has worked with the Department for International Trade and Her Majesty’s Treasury on the recent UK non-EU Trade Agreements.
Related to Brexit, Jessica has advised on specific aspects of the TCA and their implications, including the Northern Ireland Protocol. Her broad experience in international trade makes her well placed to advise on import and export queries. Jessica has experience in EU Customs law and has particular interest in Rules of Origin and VAT disputes.
Jessica has in-depth, on-the-ground experience in trade defence instruments. She worked on one of the largest anti-dumping investigations of Chinese steel producers by the Canadian Government whilst a Pegasus Scholar. She was responsible for drafting responses to the Canadian Government’s anti-dumping questionnaire, as well as advising the Chinese client as to its engagement with the investigation. This has given her invaluable first-hand experience of the technical and specialised nature of anti-dumping and anti-subsidy work.
Her BIT experience makes her incredibly well-rounded and versatile in investment disputes. She is presently the Assistant to the President of the Tribunal in an ongoing ICISD arbitration. She has previously worked for claimants and respondents in ICSID arbitrations involving Western-based multi-national corporations in dispute with the Chinese government.
Before joining 2TG, Jessica worked for the United Nations and the International Institute for Sustainable Development, where she specialising in international trade and sustainable development issues, including WTO law and bilateral investment treaties. This previous experience provides Jessica with a unique and valuable perspective on international trade issues.
Jessica has a breadth of experience in international private law covering:
- LCIA, CIETAC, SIAC arbitration whilst working with the Chinese law firm Hui Zhong,
- SIAC arbitration whilst working with the Chinese law firm Jin Mao,
- HIAC and ICSID arbitrations whilst working Dentons based in Shanghai,
- ICC arbitrations, whilst being seconded to the International Dispute Team at the French law firm Gide Loyrette Nouel.
- ICSID arbitration as the Assistant to the Tribunal President in an ongoing matter involving the State of Kuwait.
Whilst at Gide she worked on an 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.
She has BIT experience, having worked on various ICSID arbitrations involving a Western-based multi-national corporations in dispute with the Chinese government. She has also advised on the fallout of the decision in Achmea and its consequences for BITs and future UK trade and investment agreements.
She is presently the Assistant to the President in an ongoing ICISD arbitration.
During the COVID-19 Pandemic Jessica has been busy advising and representing the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in appeal proceedings involving medical device producers seeking exemptions to the Medical Devices Directive.
Jessica has a breadth of knowledge and experience in cases involving EU and international law with public law elements. She is appointed to the Attorney General Public International Law Panel.
Jessica’s advisory work at the Bank of England’s EU Withdrawal Unit focused on Brexit and its implications. She has actively advised on the CJEU Wightman unilateral revocation of Article 50 litigation. Her work covered interpreting EU and international law treaties, advising on UK constitutional and administrative law points, and the implications of EU and UK legal judgments on Brexit.
Jessica worked with George Peretz QC and Ben Lask, representing DEFRA, in a Francovich claim made by several British agriculture producer organisations for delayed payments of relevant European Union agricultural subsidies by DEFRA.
She was also long-standing junior to Niazi Fetto and Guy Mansfied QC in the Kenyan Emergency Group Litigation. This was a group action by 40,000 “Mau Mau” and related claimants alleged UK Government responsibility for alleged mistreatment during the Kenyan Emergency in the 1950s. The claims involved complicated areas of constitutional and administrative, torts and personal injury, human rights and jurisdictional elements.
More recently, Jessica has advised on climate change litigation, in particular using judicial review to hold the UK government accountable for its Paris Agreement obligations.
Her public law work also intersects with sport: working with Martin Porter QC, Jessica has advised on and brought the first statutory appeals to challenge various Councils’ decisions to institute a Public Spaces Protection Order (‘PSPO’) in the High Court.
Her work has appeared in the UK Constitutional Law Blog: J. van der Meer, ‘Paws for Thought: The High Court tackles PSPOs in a Landmark Judgment’, U.K. Const. L. Blog (26th Apr. 2018) (available here).
- Plan B v Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and Others  Advising climate change litigation charity on bringing judicial review proceedings against the UK Government for failures to meet its climate change obligations under the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
- 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
- J. van der Meer, ‘Paws for Thought: The High Court tackles PSPOs in a Landmark Judgment’, U.K. Const. L. Blog (26th Apr. 2018) (available here)
- Michaels v Mansfield District Council  Jessica and Martin Porter QC advised Cycling Defence Fund on bringing a statutory appeal challenging the Council’s decision to institute a PSPO prohibiting cycling in a main market square.
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, tennis and weightlifting. Jessica is regularly appointed by Sports Resolution to represent athletes in arbitrations as part of its Pro Bono Service, which she joined in 2015. She is also an appointed Sports Resolution Arbitrator.
Current and Recent Work
- X v ITF  Jessica represented and successfully negotiated a good outcome for a top international Paralympic tennis player in an anti-doping matter (testing whereabouts failures). The matter went through several procedural hearings, including submissions being filed and served and a final hearing date being set, before a negotiated outcome was reached. The outcome would have allowed them to continue to participate in the 2020 Summer Paralympics (but for COVID-19).
- X v ITF [2019-2020] She represented a promising junior professional tennis player in an ant-doping matter (IAAF of prohibited stimulants) where she was able to negotiate, after the first procedural hearing, a mutually beneficial outcome for the athlete and the ITF.
- ‘Why are athletes held to a higher standard than medical professionals in anti-doping? Contrasting the Gil Roberts case and Team Sky Scandal” (18 March 2018) in LawinSport. Available here.
- X v UKAD  Jessica defended a British boxer in a UKAD appeal (IAAF of prohibited stimulants). Although the appeal was unsuccessful, Jessica gained invaluable experience of NADP procedure and drafting substantive documentation in an anti-doping matter.
- X v UKAD  Jessica obtained a reduced suspension for a British weightlifter in a UKAD appeal. This matter gave Jessica detailed knowledge of the NADP Rules and Procedure.
More recently, through her Brexit and international trade law experience, Jessica has advised professional athletes on their freedom of movement to the EU under the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement.
Outside of Chambers, Jessica is a keen cyclist, a ÖttilÖ swimrun champion, a world loppet enthusiast (having completed the Engadin ski marathon), and an experienced rower, having represented the University of Leiden (the Netherlands) in the women’s eight internationally.