FOIL elects Stuart Hardy as president

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Stuart Hardy, partner at BLM Law, has been elected president of the Forum of Insurance Lawyers (FOIL).

Nicola Critchley, partner at DWF Law, becomes vice president of FOIL, and will work closely with Hardy throughout the year.

Hardy (pictured) has nearly 25 years of experience in motor, employer liability and professional liability litigation, with a focus on serious and complex injuries and involving claims of a technical nature and cross jurisdictional issues.

He succeeds Jennette Newman of Clyde & Co who, during her tenure as president, faced a number of important issues, including the Supreme Court’s judgment on business interruption, and the launch of the Official Injury Claim small claims portal.

Commenting on his appointment, Hardy said: “It is an honour to take up the position of FOIL president. At a time of change and transition for the insurance industry and other sectors, there are challenges ahead but also great opportunities and I look forward to working with my colleagues to support our insurance clients and the wider industry through this change.”

“My presidency will focus on consolidation and evolution rather than ‘ripping up the sheet’ and trying to do something completely new. My colleagues and predecessors in FOIL have done an excellent job of laying the groundwork and identifying the critical areas for reform. My focus will be on continuing along that path and helping to support the FOIL agenda through into 2022 and beyond.”

Hardy added: “Jennette has led FOIL brilliantly in what was a particularly testing year for industry. I look forward to working closely with the national executive, FOIL’s divisions across the UK and Ireland, and its SFTs to ensure that we continue to lead the way in driving the agenda and supporting FOIL Members and the wider insurance sector.”

Commenting on Hardy’s appointment, FOIL chief executive officer Laurence Besemer said: “A proactive agenda for positive change has always been our priority. Stuart has been a key part of FOIL for some time and understands our evolving focus very well. Under his leadership, I have no doubt that we will finish 2022 in an exceptionally strong position.”

“Climate change, the post-pandemic transition for businesses and diversity in the workplace are all examples of highly complex issues which everybody is grappling with perhaps not for the first time but certainly with a far greater sense of urgency now. This means that proper, well-considered and effective reform is more important than ever before. Equally as important is the role that industry organisations like FOIL play in bringing multiple firms and experts together to help solve these challenges.”

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Mark Dugdale is the editor of Claims Media. Mark welcomes articles, letters or feedback from readers and can be reached via mark.dugdale@barkerbrooks.co.uk