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Leon Taylor

Global Co-Chair of Insurance sector

Leon Taylor is head of DLA Piper’s Insurance and Reinsurance disputes team in the UK. His focus is insurance and reinsurance claims and advisory work, in particular policy coverage, commercial contractual and coverholder disputes.

His experience spans direct insurance and facultative/treaty reinsurance business in the UK and international live and run-off markets, and all classes of business, with an emphasis on property and energy, aviation, general commercial, liability, trade credit and political risks. Leon is a recognised leader in international reinsurance contract and aviation coverage disputes in particular.

Areas of FocusInsurance
Professional QualificationsSolicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales


  • Advising numerous UK and international insurers in connection with COVID-19 related claims exposures across multiple classes of direct insurance business, including property damage and business interruption, travel, personal accident and health, trade credit, contingency and event cancellation, including advice on compliance with related UK FCA regulatory guidelines.
  • Advising numerous London market and international reinsurers in connection with COVID-19 related treaty reinsurance contracts, with a particular focus on reinsurance aggregation and reinstatement issues.
  • Acting for a major international reinsurer in successful international arbitration proceedings concerning claims under a property treaty reinsurance contract arising out of the Grenfell Tower disaster in London in 2017.
  • Acting for London reinsurers in connection with numerous complex and high-profile aviation-related coverage losses and disputes, including the shoot-down of Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 over Tehran in January 2020, the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370, the shoot-down of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17, the crashes of Egyptair Flight MS804, Lamia Flight 2933 and Dana Airlines Flight 992, among others.
  • Acting for the administrators of two insolvent insurance companies in relation to important Employer's Liability policy coverage issues arising out of asbestos-related industrial disease claims. The disputes were resolved in the context of major test case litigation and resulted in a seminal UK Supreme Court judgment in March 2012. Durham v BAI (Employer's Liability 'Trigger' Litigation) [2008] EWHC 2692 (QB); [2010] EWCA Civ 1096; [2012] 1 WLR 867.
  • Acting for a major London run-off insurance market service provider in significant Commercial Court and Court of Appeal proceedings concerning complex jurisdictional issues. The Court of Appeal decision is also a leading authority on the meaning of “fraud” in a commercial context. Cavell USA Inc & Anr v Seaton Insurance Company & Anr [2008] EWHC 3043 (Comm); [2009] EWCA Civ 1363.
  • Acting for London market war risks reinsurers in connection with a complex international coverage dispute arising out the confiscation of military helicopter airframes by Russian forces following the annexation of Crimea in 2014.
  • Acting for international and London market reinsurers in a reinsurance coverage dispute arising out of a mining disaster in Southern Africa. The case gave rise to three reported decisions of the English courts, including the Court of Appeal, in connection with a complex jurisdiction dispute, as well as raising important issues relating to property damage and business interruption. KCM Plc v Swiss Re & Others [2005] EWHC 898 (Comm); [2006] EWCA Civ 5.
  • Acting for a major UK insurer in defence of High Court proceedings brought by the social security agency of France seeking recovery of substantial state benefits. The case raises complex and novel issues of international conflicts of laws in the insurance context.
  • Advising London and international reinsurers on coverage issues relating to the total loss of a geostationary geo-stationary telecommunications satellite in orbit.
  • University of Oxford, BA, Hons, 1995


  • Leon has been recognised by clients as “an expert in the field” (Legal 500 2020) and a “brilliant reinsurance lawyer” (Legal 500 2019).
  • He has been described as “highly commended” (Legal 500 2019) and “passionate about going the extra mile … leaves no stone unturned to provide the best advice” (Chambers 2020).
  • Clients have also appreciated Leon’s “remarkable tenacity and out-of-the-box thinking”” (Legal 500 2019).
  • In 2008, Leon received rare judicial commendation from Mr Justice Burton in his judgment in the Employer's Liability ‘Trigger’ Litigation [2008] EWHC 2692 (QB). Burton J praised Leon’s and DLA Piper’s “excellent efficiency” and “leadership” in their role as Lead Solicitor in this multi-action, multi-party test case litigation.


Leon regularly contributes articles on issues of market interest to insurance industry publications including The Insurer, Insurance Day and Post Magazine.


Leon is a regular speaker on insurance and reinsurance law and presents to clients as well as at industry-wide events.

Prior Experience

  • 2001-2003, Assistant and Practising Barrister, London based international law firm