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Steven O'Sullivan

Senior Associate, London

Steven is an insurance litigator with substantial experience in professional liability, much of which was obtained in-house defending claims. Over recent years, he has widened his experience to include international arbitration, coverage, property damage, product liability and food safety.
Steven O'Sullivan | Senior Associate | DWF


Steven has over 25 years' post-qualification experience in insurance litigation. For many years, he acted for the insurers of solicitors and other professionals to defend claims. Although still doing some professional liability work, he now deals with wider insurance matters, especially coverage and property damage, including recovery work. He also has experience of Bermuda form arbitration, construction related claims and product liability, including in relation to food. 

At the start of his career, Steven was a personal injury solicitor, particularly in relation to EL, PL and MIB claims. 

Having gained some experience working temporarily in Australia, he subsequently spent over six years in-house, working for a market-leading insurer managing professional indemnity claims and the associated litigation. On returning to private practice, he acted for insurers to defend their professional insureds but then moved more into property damage, mainly in relation to fire and flood, in contract and tort, together with other insurance litigation and arbitration, including disputes between insurers.

As a result of his in-house exposure Steven has a keen appreciation of insurer's objectives to dispose of matters at minimum cost and ideally over as short a life-span as possible. 

More recently, in 2022, Steven seconded to a major insurer in a claims management role. Notable work includes assisting in the successful defence of a first party claim for $15m plus interest from a major US pharmaceutical company (Bermuda form arbitration), recovering over £1 million relating to a hotel fire and settling multiple claims against an importer relating to losses caused by contamination of food with peanuts.

Steven regularly contributes articles, including to the New Law Journal. He is also the author of the Lexis Nexis practice notes for professional negligence claims together with several precedent letters of claim relating to damage recovery. For over 20 years, Steven has volunteered at the Waterloo Legal Advice Service providing voluntary legal advice to those who would struggle to fund it privately. His role is now as mentor to advisors, advising on all kinds of matters but particularly employment, housing, family and consumer problems. He also enjoys football and hill walking.