Contentious Insurance

William Fry’s Contentious Insurance Group understands that the unique considerations and complexities of insurance disputes require incisive technical but also commercially driven legal advice. The Contentious Insurance Group offers a dedicated, specialist service with in-depth insurance law expertise focused on meeting the demands of the insurance industry. Our high calibre lawyers have extensive experience of contentious insurance matters in Ireland and the London Market making us a premier contentious insurance practice.

Led by John Larkin, one of Ireland’s leading insurance practitioners, the Contentious Insurance Group’s core expertise includes advising on policy coverage, the defence of claims, pursing subrogated recoveries, handling fraudulent claims and drafting policies in the following insurance sectors:

  • Engineering, Construction and Energy
  • Professional Indemnity
  • Public Liability
  • Product Liability and Recall
  • Commercial and Residential Property Damage
  • Commercial Risk and Business Interruption
  • Reinsurance
  • Directors & Officers and Errors & Omissions Insurance
  • Financial lines, including Market Risk and Fidelity Guarantee cover
  • Agriculture; and
  • Local Authority

The advent of the Commercial Court and adoption of UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration provides greater opportunities for the swift resolution of major insurance disputes in Ireland.

The recent addition of Paul Fisher from AIG, to our team of experienced litigators (including Barry Cahir and Ruairi Rynn) provides the Contentious Insurance Group with unrivalled expertise in this area. 


William Fry has an extensive Insurance and Reinsurance practice representing clients in all sectors of the industry. The Firm's most recent contentious insurance experience includes:

Advising on the appropriate wording of a Catastrophe Excess of Loss Reinsurance for a financial services body.

Advising on the commutation and novation of a book of Workers' Compensation Reinsurance business.

Advising on the wording in mortgage indemnity guarantee policies.

Advising a leading company providing title insurance to the real estate and mortgage industries in respect of claims made on foot of its policies.

Advising a number of international corporate companies on professional negligence claims made against them.  Such entities include stockbrokersinternational accountancy & consultancy firmsinternational real estate & valuation firms andinternational insurance brokers.

Advising various Construction and Engineering clientsState bodies and an international media corporation in respect of claims by third parties and the coverage afforded to them under their insurance arrangements.

Acting for various corporate entities and individual insureds regarding claims on policies such as Directors & Officers, Credit Risk insurance, Product Liability and claims in connection with Intellectual Property rights.

Members of the Group have also obtained instructive and invaluable experience following secondments to major insurers in the UK and Ireland.


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We are consistently ranked as one of the leading insurance and reinsurance law firms in Ireland.


"The lawyers are by our side in a fast and evolving regulatory landscape; it doesn't feel like working with an anonymous corporate law firm. They are very solution-oriented and pragmatic in their approach. Their depth of knowledge and willingness to turn things around in a tight timeframe are fabulous." "The team provides comprehensive and effective advice on complex transactions, which are completed on time and within budget."
Chambers Europe, 2015 - Insurance


William Fry is ‘a known centre of insurance expertise’.
Legal 500 EMEA, 2015 - Insurance

"The team is impressive. It is in tune with what I want, responsive and gets great results."   "The lawyers are incredibly knowledgeable, but not at all arrogant. It is an authority in our industry."  
Chambers Europe, 2014 - Insurance

Sources say: "With this firm we can pick up the phone and get things done very quickly." "Lawyers here delivered what they said they would and when they said they would. They are very consistent – all the work is excellent and they are easy to do business with."
Chambers Europe, 2013 - Insurance


William Fry has ‘high industry knowledge and interaction’ and is the firm of choice for many transactions.
Legal 500 EMEA, 2013 - Insurance


Sources say: 'The team will work all hours to make sure we get what we need in the time.' 'It is a tight-knit team that is full of integrity and works to provide the best for its clients.'
Chambers Europe, 2012 - Insurance


William Fry is an ‘expert in its field’.
Legal 500 EMEA, 2012 - Insurance



John Larkin
John Larkin ‘provides practical solutions’.
Legal 500 EMEA, 2015 - Insurance

"There is nothing about insurance that he doesn't know. He is a great guy to go to when you have a problem because he will always give you time and make sure you get support and attention."
Chambers Europe, 2015 - Insurance

Department head John Larkin "is focused, solution-driven and commercially minded. He has great industry knowledge," enthuse clients.
Chambers Europe, 2014 - Insurance

John Larkin's "knowledge of insurance law is second to none. He understands the marketplace and really combines that with his pragmatism. He is easy to deal with and not a time waster."
Chambers Europe, 2013 - Insurance


Clients value John Larkin's 'fantastic network – he knows everyone in the business in Ireland and further afield.'
Chambers Europe, 2012 - Insurance


Clients highlight team head John Larkin for his ‘keen understanding of the financial services environment’.
Legal 500 EMEA, 2012 - Insurance


Barry Cahir
Barry Cahir represented governmental banking client NAMA in judicial review proceedings brought by real estate giant Treasury Holdings, regarding enforcement action taken by NAMA following the unlawful transfer of assets. He offers clients experience of insolvency and corporate recovery disputes.
Chambers Global 2015 - Dispute Resolution

Barry Cahir ‘quickly sums up complex matters’.
Legal 500 EMEA, 2015

Barry Cahir is described by sources as "a smart guy and very good at listening, a very helpful and unusual strength. He will reflect on things and come back to you when needed." He is particularly active on NAMA-related litigation.
Chambers Global 2014 - Dispute Resolution

Barry Cahir, who brings ‘tact and judgement to the table’.
Legal 500 EMEA, 2014

Barry Cahir has a reputation amongst market sources as a skilled and solid commercial litigator.
Chambers Global 2013 - Dispute Resolution


Eoin Caulfield
Eoin Caulfield ‘provides practical solutions’.
Legal 500 EMEA, 2015 - Insurance

Eoin's "ability to cut through complicated issues and arrive at an opinion. He is practical, prompt and thorough, making everything easy."
Chambers Europe, 2015 - Insurance

Eoin Caulfield is praised as "pragmatic, understands everything about the area, and provides practical and solution-oriented advice." He recently advised Allied World Assurance on the proposed merger by acquisition of its insurance and reinsurance platforms to form a single carrier.
Chambers Europe, 2014 - Insurance

Eoin Caulfield is described as "exceptionally knowledgeable about the sector and insurance start-ups as well as any regulatory and commercial issues that may affect insurance companies."
Chambers Europe, 2013 - Insurance


Eoin Caulfield is highly valued by clients, who say 'he is approachable and knowledgeable, with an exceptional understanding of the European insurance market.'
Chambers Europe, 2012 - Insurance


Clients highlight Eoin Caulfield as being ‘a pillar of support’.
Legal 500 EMEA, 2012 - Insurance

Key Contacts

John Larkin Partner

Barry Cahir Partner