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Peter Barnes



Peter Barnes

Peter Barnes



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Peter specialises in complex and highly technical claims which arise both nationally and internationally. Peter’s practice covers both coverage and liability, with a particular focus on losses and recalls in all classes of business arising from product failures.

Regional experience
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Peter routinely advises in respect of coverage under primary and excess/umbrella liability and reinsurance policies for clients based in the London Market, Japan, the US, and Europe. His practice has a strong focus on product liability and product recall, especially in highly complex technical claims.

Complementary to this, he is experienced in handling (re)insurance policy coverage issues, group litigation, and jurisdiction disputes and his diverse product practice routinely means that he is regularly involved in losses arising in the property, construction and engineering, energy, aviation and manufacturing fields.

Product Liability

Peter handles complex technical product liability claims which typically fall into the areas of motor, engineering, aviation, life sciences, medical devices, energy and construction. He has handled these claims both within the UK and internationally and has led mediations in foreign jurisdictions on many occasions. Peter is the point of contact for a number of blue-chip companies, including well known Swedish, American and Japanese manufacturers, as well as representing Lloyd’s and international insurers. Specifically, Peter has developed a practice supporting Japanese insurers and their insureds globally.

Peter routinely advises producers, distributors, retailers and their insurers on a range of product types. He is experienced in robustly defending claims and navigating complex expert evidence, while upholding the reputation of his clients and reaching effective solutions to commercial requirements.

He advises on product compliance issues, product safety and corrective action management plans, and stress-testing of due diligence exercised prior to release of products onto the market. Peter has a growing life sciences practice involving advising in respect of clinical trials and issues in the medical devices and pharmaceutical arena alongside claims involving veterinary, agriculture and neutraceuticals. Peter’s tech sector and novel product expertise includes advising on products including vehicle safety, lithium-ion batteries, autonomous vehicle technology, automotive and space components and renewable energy amongst others. He regularly advises clients on tomorrow’s technology, and the risks and opportunities they pose.

Examples of Peter’s practice include:

  • Regularly supporting 6 of the 10 largest automotive manufacturers
  • Advising on product liability disputes concerning off shore wind turbines and on shore oil wells, the failure of high density polyethylene pipes in the Middle East and metallurgical disputes concerning failures in aircraft turbines
  • Advising on liability in respect of clinical trials in Europe concerning gene therapy and advice to London Market insurers in respect of their exposure from certain products
  • Regularly advising insurers on policy coverage, drafting and liability and assists major international insures with the creation of a new product liability wordings and provides training and support to clients in these areas
  • Acting in respect of the liability arising from a £2.2billion dollar failure in an LPG plant
  • Supporting insurers in respect of a semi conductor factory fire in the Far East
  • Advising in respect of automotive components and wiring harnesses
  • Supporting manufacturers in respect of liability concerns and product recalls
  • Defending claims arising from contamination in the agriscience arena following contamination of pesticides with herbicides in Africa
  • Supporting insurers in respect of claims arising in the fields of mining, heavy industry, energy, construction or engineering sectors


In the aviation arena, Peter handles high profile aviation liability disputes which arise out of fatal or near miss air accidents. He is also regularly instructed in relation contractual and coverage disputes and dealing with aviation product liability issues - often with cross jurisdictional elements. Peter has most recently been involved in coverage disputes in Europe, fatal accidents involving high profile historic aircraft, fatal accidents involving multiple aircraft, and contractual disputes arising from hangarage and maintenance obligations.

Peter is retained as legal counsel for the UK’s largest aviation binder and is regularly instructed in relation to losses which arise in the general aviation setting. Peter’s product liability practice often ties seamlessly with the losses he is asked to support on. 


Peter acts for insurers and reinsurers handling complex casualty and property coverage claims. He regularly advises on high value, high profile matters in both contentious and non-contentious work, often with an international element.


Peter is regularly instructed by Lloyd's Syndicates, London and international company markets and Composites in respect of high value property claims and business interruption arising from, amongst other things, catastrophic flooding, Covid 19, explosion, storm or fire damage and in respect of offshore and onshore energy risks in the fields of coverage and also with considerable experiencing in defending liability claims.

Examples of Peter’s Property practice include:

  • Policy coverage advice to various London Market insurers in relation to disputed claims under First Party Property and Combined Commercial insurance policies
  • Providing technical expertise in complex property claims which arise out of product liability failures resulting in fire, flood or explosion
  • Advising insurers on coverage and their rights in respect of policy engagement
  • Advising insurers in multiple claims against contractors arising from damage caused by hot works
  • Advising London Market and International Insurers on claims with cross border implications
  • Advising London Market insurers in respect of claims submitted under EAR/CAR policies
  • Providing advice to insurers in respect of Global Liability Programmes and XOL Policies

Peter Barnes is an outstanding Client Partner who is attentive and always delivers output of the highest quality providing us and our insureds with the very best care and service

Legal 500 2023


“Peter Barnes is a partner who is second to none in the rest of the market. A nice chap with an extremely keen eye for the detail, outstanding legal skills and utterly professional. Keeps his client in mind all of the time." Legal 500 2023

“Peter Barnes’ team offer an exceptional service and I have never seen any drop off in attention, quality or service. Outstanding” Legal 500 2023

“Peter Barnes and his team are outstanding. Quality legal professionals, with a keen eye on detail and their clients. Not afraid to think outside of the box.” Legal 500 2023

“His experience, knowledge and technical ability is second to none and we feel lucky to have him working with us providing sensible advice on how to deal with claims. His commitment to staying up to date with us as a business and ensuring that his team are always serving us in the best way possible is admirable”. Legal 500 2021

“…dedicated, hardworking, easy to work with, thorough and very talented” Legal 500 2020



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