Samantha Holland

Samantha is a Partner in the Commercial Litigation team, and UK head of the Gowling WLG insurance practice described as "Proactive, creative where required and very efficient..". Technically minded and results focused, she is not only able to handle the most complex commercial disputes but is adept at advising on the myriad of insurance issues which often arise in the context of those disputes. She has acted on behalf of policyholders on the full gamut of policy coverage disputes, ranging from issues with presentation of the risk to construction of policy terms and conditions, and has handled highly technical disputes for clients operating in the construction, nuclear and rail industries (having also previously advised the Access Disputes Committee on disputes under the Network Code). Her cases have led to her team being shortlisted twice for Litigation Team of the Year.

A fully qualified solicitor advocate as well as an experienced litigator, Samantha focuses on obtaining the best possible outcome with the minimal amount of fuss, advising her clients at an early stage on the optimum strategy to adopt to mitigate or minimise loss, using mediation and alternative dispute resolution where appropriate. Where a case needs to be fought, however, she has experience of preparing large and complex matters for trial or arbitration, and can appear at complex interlocutory hearings on behalf of clients.

Samantha puts the lessons learnt from her litigation practice into good use in advising clients on how to best manage their risk through insurance, stress testing their cover and negotiating the best possible policy wordings. She also works with entrepreneurial clients to bring new insurance products to market, including in the insurtech space. She has almost two decades of experience on providing insurance and risk management advice in connection with major projects and is often brought in to clear deadlocks to corporate and real estate transactions and to manage claims. She has particular expertise of W&I insurance having been heavily involved in that market since its infancy.

Experience

  • Samantha has advised a number of clients on their insurance coverage position in relation to the recent disruption to their business as a result of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) including claims under their public liability cover, D&O policy, property damage and business interruption cover and cancellation insurance.
  • Samantha successfully resolved a significant claim for property damage and alternative hire charges on behalf of her client, a freight operating company, following a crash between two locomotives in Edinburgh. In addition to the recovery action against the other operator, she also advised on a claim under her client's Rail Rolling Stock Physical Damage and Breakdown Policy
  • Samantha and her team acted on behalf of a Lebanese based company and its Kenyan subsidiary in ARIAS arbitral and Kenyan legal proceedings (governed by English law) in connection with a £14m claim made by our clients under their marine cargo and delay in start-up policy following damage to two engines and parts bound for a power plant in Kenya.
  • Samantha advised the JV insured on one of the largest construction insurance claims in the industry worth more than £200 million and involving multiple insurers and reinsurers. She negotiated the project policy for the rebuild works which provided market-leading financial loss and third party liability cover; and advised on the form and content of the associated insurance provisions in the relevant build contract.
  • Managing Boston lawyers and gathering evidence in the UK, Samantha acted on behalf of a company who wanted to terminate an exclusive licensing agreement with regards to the marketing of its specialist indoor snowmaking technology in the US. This was a nasty and emotionally charged piece of litigation but the judgment allowed our client to walk away from the agreement without any downside and with its costs (a rarity in the US)
  • In spite of the fact that we were not advising on the corporate aspects of the deal, Samantha was approached (due to her insurance expertise) to negotiate a buyer side W&I policy in connection with a £600 million acquisition, which equated to one of the largest W&I placements on the insurance market that year.
  • Samantha advised a train operating company on the apportionment of liability on a Schedule 8 claim for compensation under the terms of its Track Access Agreement with Network Rail, achieving a favourable financial outcome for the client without the need for formal legal proceedings.
  • Combining her insurance and commercial litigation expertise, Samantha helped a client to structure a £12 million claim against its former directors and senior employees so as to successfully circumvent the insured v insured exclusion in their run-off D&O policy.
  • Samantha secured a highly favourable settlement for her aviation client in a £47 million dispute as to the operation of revenue accounting provisions in a franchising agreement with a partner airline and following arbitration in the London Court of International Arbitration.
  • Samantha has advised the JV operator of an offshore wind farm in connection with significant claims under its construction all risks policy in relation to which insurers had raised a number of defences securing payments of £70m+ for her client.
  • Samantha acted on behalf of an international nuclear mutual in a £170 million plus claim in relation to which they had an interest as reinsurers on layers amounting to £1 billion. Samantha advised them on the operation of a number of policy exclusions as well as the impact of a statutory transfer on policy coverage and claims conduct issues