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Alex Denslow

Alex Denslow

Head of the CMS Insurance Group

CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP
Cannon Place
78 Cannon Street
United Kingdom
Languages English, French

Alex Denslow is Head of the CMS Insurance Group. In this position, he leads an international team of 100 specialist lawyers.

He is a recommended partner in Chambers and Legal 500 for insurance / reinsurance disputes and international arbitrations, and was shortlisted for the Financial Times Innovative Lawyer.

Alex advises international insurers and reinsurers on direct and reinsurance disputes and coverage issues, across non-marine (particularly property and casualty) and marine (cargo, freight liability and offshore energy) matters. He also has extensive experience of defending brokers and their E&O insurers in major multi-party disputes. He provides coverage advice and handles the defence of claims across energy, specie, property solicitor and IFA lines of business.

Alex has considerable trial experience. He has been involved in several landmark cases including the Court of Appeal decisions in Bonner-v-Cox; Jones-v-Environcom; Clark-v-In Focus and Aspen Insurance-v-Adana Construction and acted in numerous successful confidential arbitrations.

Having held in-house positions at Miller Insurance Services LLP, Markel International and Aon, Alex’s advice is underpinned by an understanding of how the insurance market operates. He provides tailored risk management training to clients and lectures extensively on legal issues affecting the market, as well as litigation strategy. He is a co-author of the leading English legal textbook "Insurance Broking Practice and the Law". Alex was awarded the CMS Client Relationship Partner Award for outstanding service to his clients.

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The enthusiastic and dedicated Alex Denslow is commended by clients for always seeing the bigger picture


Alex Denslow understands what drives insurers

Legal 500

Relevant experience

Professional Indemnity (defence and coverage)

  • IFA and its PI insurers in the ground-breaking Court of Appeal decision of Clark v In Focus Asset Management, which decided that a claimant cannot accept the maximum FOS award limit, and then sue for the balance of loss in court.
  • Aon in the heavyweight “77 Energy Cover” (Bonner-v-Cox) Commercial Court litigation, a six month trial of a complex £100m dispute over reinsurance of an energy cover purchased by Lloyd’s underwriters.
  • Broker Miles Smith in the Court of Appeal case of Jones v Environcom, the seminal decision on the duty of care owed by a broker to its client.

Reinsurance (defence and coverage)

  • Coverage and aggregation issues arising in connection with California Wildfires, Hurricane Frances, Typhoon Songda, World Trade Centre, PA Spiral, NZ earthquakes, Superstorm Sandy
  • Numerous successful arbitrations, most recently concerning the trigger of an OIML Warranty following an incident involving the FPSO Maersk Gryphon.

Liability (defence and coverage)

  • A  groundworks contractor in the Court of Appeal decision of Aspen v Adana Construction which concerned its coverage dispute with its liability insurer following a tower crane collapse. the first reported decision on the meaning of “product” in a standard combined contractor’s liability policy and determining the inter-relationship of product and public liability sections and the operation of efficacy exclusions in product liability wordings. 
  • Coverage advice on the failure of steel bolts in The Leadenhall “Cheesegrater” Building. 
  • Complex arbitration involving a coverage dispute following a claim made for US$ 17mn CBI losses flowing from the collapse of a bridge in Russia.

Energy, Marine, Specie (defence and coverage)

  • Italian insurers in relation to the successful subrogated recovery in a Commercial Court trial against the Salvage Association following a negligent JH143 Shipyard risk assessment survey which contributed to damage following a fire on the vessel MV Cala Palma.
  • Coverage / defence instructions on a wide variety of specie issues involving freight liability, cargo, aquaculture, fine art and trade credit.
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  • 1996 - The College of Law, Guildford
  • 1995 - LLB, Southampton University
  • 1991 - The King’s College School, Wimbledon 
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  • British Insurance Law Association
  • The Law Society
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Lectures list

  • 15 March 2016 – Speaker SZ Reinsurance Day, Munich
  • 18 Sept 2015 – Speaker, Aon Benfield Facultative Eastern European Reinsurance Conference, Prague.
  • 13 July 2015 – Speaker, NARIM Dutch Association for Insurance Managers (English insurance law)
  • 13 March 2015 – Speaker, CausaRie Dutch Insurance / Reinsurance Professionals (English insurance law).
  • 21 Nov 2013 – Presentation to London Reinsurance Market Claims Group (Superstorm Sandy).
  • 18 Nov 2010 – Presentation to the LMA Claims Committee ( legal ramifications of the Lloyd’s Claims Scheme)
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Show only
March 2019
In­sur­ance In­sights
22 Feb 19
The FCA finds lim­ited is­sues in its Whole­sale In­sur­ance Brokers Mar­ket...
On 20 Feb­ru­ary 2019, the Fin­an­cial Con­duct Au­thor­ity (FCA) pub­lished its fi­nal re­port clos­ing its mar­ket study in­to the whole­sale in­sur­ance brokers mar­ket, in an un­usu­al step which could largely be re­garded...
18 Jun 19
An­nu­al Re­view 2018 – 2019
18 Oct 18
In­sur­ance brokers’ neg­li­gence: the ap­proach to caus­a­tion
The court has provided use­ful cla­ri­fic­a­tion on the ap­proach to caus­a­tion in claims against in­sur­ance brokers, in par­tic­u­lar what a claimant has to prove in or­der to suc­ceed in es­tab­lish­ing wheth­er the...
31 Jan 18
Ten things every in­surer should know
12 Jun 18
In­sur­ance brokers’ du­ties: duty of dis­clos­ure and the eli­cit­ing of...
In a de­cision that will be wel­comed by the brok­ing com­munity, the court has taken the op­por­tun­ity to set lim­its upon the du­ties owed by brokers (where an ex­tremely high stand­ard has been set in re­cent...
19 Oct 17
In­sur­ance: 2017 Cali­for­ni­an Wild­fires
The dis­asters that have struck North Amer­ica in the second half of 2017 have put un­re­lent­ing pres­sure on re­in­surers and in­surers of US Prop­erty & Cas­u­alty. The dev­ast­a­tion caused by Hur­ricane Har­vey,...
01 Sep 17
Po­ten­tial im­pact of Hur­ricane Har­vey on in­surers and re­in­surers
In­surers and re­in­surers are strug­gling to as­sess the dam­age of Hur­ricane Har­vey, which shows no sign of abat­ing since it made land­fall on the Texas Gulf Coast on Fri­day 25 Au­gust as a Cat­egory 4 storm,...
10 Nov 16
Denton ‘re­mains good law’ as Court of Ap­peal re­af­firms im­port­ance...
The Court of Ap­peal, with the Mas­ter of the Rolls presid­ing, this week in Clear­way Drain­age Sys­tems Ltd v Miles Smith Ltd re­fused to al­low an ap­peal for re­lief from sanc­tions where the Ap­pel­lant’s so­li­cit­ors...
04 Nov 16
Prop­erty in­sur­ance: re­in­state­ment and meas­ure of in­dem­nity
The Court of Ap­peal has held that, in a case where prop­erty had been dam­aged by fire and there was a real pos­sib­il­ity that the prop­erty would not be re­in­stated by an in­sured, the court could de­cline to...
09 Sep 16
Re­in­sur­ance Bul­let­in: Pre Monte Carlo Ren­dez­vous Con­fer­ence up­date
As the re­in­sur­ance mar­ket be­gins to head off to the Ren­dez­vous Con­fer­ence, few will dis­agree that there is a sense of déjà vu (again) of nav­ig­at­ing a con­tinu­ing soft mar­ket with con­sequent rat­ing/pri­cing...