This website uses cookies

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience. By using our website, you agree to our Privacy Policy

New President elected for FOIL

New President elected for FOIL


Pete Allchorne, Partner at international law firm DAC Beachcroft, has been elected President of the Forum of Insurance Lawyers (FOIL)

Pete is taking over from Nicola Critchley, Partner at DWF Law. Pete previously chaired FOIL’s Motor SFT, and has worked with insurance clients for more than 20 years. His strategic focus is on civil justice reform, the legal and regulatory issues impacting the future of road transport and the impacts of digitisation of the sector.  

The insurance industry has a challenging year ahead, with geopolitical, financial and environmental instability characterising the nature, volume and frequency of claims. The continuation of the Ukraine invasion and now a new crisis in the Middle East, the cost-of-living crisis and Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) considerations, are just some of the issues insurers and their lawyers are grappling with today. With stubbornly high inflation and the anticipation of a general election during 2024, Pete’s appointment comes at a time when FOIL needs to offer thought leadership more than ever, helping insurers and insurance lawyers adapt to a fast changing environment, providing a sounding board to its members and campaigning for change. 

As an organisation, FOIL brings together the combined experience of its 8000 members to guide its thinking and create legal proposals which will help support the insurance industry though these uncertain times. FOIL’s members actively collaborate with each other, and with other organisations, across a number of different jurisdictions, enabling information and knowledge on matters impacting the industry to be exchanged both within and across a number of territories.  This collaboration plays a key role in the organisation’s ability to effect change.

Pete’s focus on civil justice reform in England & Wales includes the impact of the recent extension of the fixed recoverable costs across the fast and new intermediate track; the changes to the medical reporting process for low-value Road Traffic Accident claims; the ongoing mixed injuries litigation; the three-year anniversary of the first OIC claims in May 2024, the date by which the first review of the tariff must be completed and will see the first cases reaching limitation; the incoming 17th edition of the Judicial College guidelines; and more. In Scotland, FOIL will contribute to the consultation pertaining to a portal for low value RTA claims; as well as assisting members and insurers following the imminent publication of the Sixth edition of the NI Green Book regarding the assessment of general damages. The announcement in the recent King’s Speech of an Automated Vehicles Bill will require subsequent consultation, and FOIL is well positioned to inform the debate on legal and regulatory issues. Lastly, the upcoming reviews of the Personal Injury Discount Rate across all three UK jurisdictions is of particular interest to the insurance industry that FOIL’s membership serves. FOIL intends to make its voice heard loud and clear on these ongoing issues, all of which will have significant implications for the defendant insurance sector in the years ahead.
Equally, FOIL also recognises what matters to its members as businesses themselves: Diversity & Inclusion, ESG and the mainstreaming of Artificial Intelligence are all issues with particular impacts for insurance lawyers and insurers. Under Pete’s direction, FOIL will continue to provide a safe space for members to discuss and be open about these issues and how they and their clients are impacted.

Looking to the future, FOIL will also be focussing on talent and the need to espouse the benefits of a career in insurance and risk to younger generations of lawyers.  Tomorrow’s FOIL will play a vital role in showcasing this. 

Howard Dean, Partner at Keoghs, will take up the position of Vice-President of FOIL, supporting Pete on all of the organisation’s activities.

Commenting on his appointment, Pete said: “I am delighted to be appointed as president of FOIL, and am looking forward to taking the lead in supporting our members and their clients in such challenging times for the sector. 

"Insurance lawyers have been witness to and significantly impacted by a series of legal, socio-political and financial challenges in 2023 - and there’s more to come in 2024. As president, working collaboratively with other industry stakeholders and organisations, I intend to ensure FOIL continues to provide a leading voice on issues that are affecting insurance lawyers, so they are prepared for the challenges they face in the year ahead.”

Commenting on Pete’s appointment, FOIL CEO Laurence Besemer said: “Pete is an experienced insurance lawyer who has been a member of the FOIL Executive Committee for a long time. He is the ideal candidate to lead the organisation into 2024.

“With all the change that is happening right now, FOIL continues to be a leading voice representing the defendant insurance legal community. FOIL’s members work collaboratively with one another to drive change, as well as with other representative organisations, and set the agenda through participation in government consultations and lobbying for reforms. This is all grounded in reality of the most pressing issues insurers and their lawyers are facing. Pete, myself and the rest of the Executive Committee, will ensure this is continued into the next year.”