Zurich Insurance Group have hired not one, not two but four law firms to defend an energy insurance coverage claim brought by SBM Offshore, which is a Dutch company that produces vessels as well as engineering solutions to the gas and oil industry. Clyde & Co, Kennedys, Norton Rose Fulbright and RPC will form the quartet of firms defending Zurich against silver circle firm Herbert Smith Freehills. The claim was issued on the 14th of July in the High Court and is expected to be among the biggest cases of 2016 with an estimated value of $1bn (£646m).
The claim refers to the losses incurred following the termination of one of the drilling platforms owned by SBM located in the Norwegian North Sea. The platform known as YME MOPUstor was terminated due to successive operational delays. The platform was also subject to an evacuation of 140 construction workers in July 2012 because of cracks in the cement of the foundations of the platform. However, more details of the case will come to light in 2016.
Head of alternative dispute resolution partner Alex Oddy will be leading the HSF team for SBM and will instruct Mark Howard QC, Neil Calver QC and Stephen Midwinter of Brick Court Chambers.