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Derek Adamson

Partner // Head of Occupational Health and Casualty, Birmingham

Derek is a leading insurance lawyer involved in cutting edge litigation. His expertise is in policy interpretation arising from mesothelioma claims, environmental litigation, product liability and construction cases, including a wide experience of group litigation cases.
Derek Adamson


Derek has nearly 40 years’ experience in insurance work and is national Head of Occupational Health and Casualty practice area in DWF leading teams in 8 UK offices, with responsibility for a total of 160 lawyers.

Derek has built up extensive specialism in insurance policy interpretation/coverage, construction claims, commercial product liability, professional indemnity, environmental/ nuisance claims including coverage, fire and floods not least in the construction arena.

As a partner since 1985, he has led teams in all aspects of insurance claims’ litigation for over 30 years. He has extensive experience of preparation for and advocacy at substantial mediations and joint settlement meetings.

Named as a leader in his field in every Legal 500 and Chambers' Directory published, and known for many years as the leading defendant personal injury solicitor in the Midlands, he is now renowned nationally and in 2014 gave evidence to the House of Commons Justice Committee regarding mesothelioma claims.

Aside from his mesothelioma work, his policy interpretation work extends into environmental claims, product liability and construction. He has wide experience of group litigation, e.g. the Metro-Cammell litigation (1995) Scania IV litigation (2004) and a number of current environmental cases. He has particular expertise in products' claims involving building materials.

He was a deputy district judge between 1993 and 1998 and in 2015 was presented with the Partner of the Year Award at the Birmingham Law Society Legal Awards in recognition of his outstanding contribution to DWF, the legal profession and local Birmingham community.


"provides top-drawer advice… a star individual…an expert in occupational health policy coverage …massively experienced….will roll his sleeves up to break the back of any heavyweight case outstanding on contractual liability and professional indemnity questions".

Legal 500 2018

...a ‘star individual’ 

‘outstanding on contractual liability and professional indemnity questions’.

Legal 500 2017

Birmingham-based key partner Derek Adamson's practice emphasises industrial disease claims and he is frequently instructed on high-end mesothelioma claims. Sources say he is "excellent and very proactive".

Chambers and Partners