Johanna Smallman Senior Associate T:01625 704102 M:07789 398992

A commercial insurance litigator specialising in property damage, highways recovery claims and insurance policy disputes.

Johanna acts for insurers to recover losses incurred as a result of damage to property caused by a third party, such as flooding, fire, subsidence or structural defects.  She has also represented claimants and defendants, directly and via insurers, in post-completion construction related disputes.

Johanna also advises commercial clients and insurers on the terms of insurance contracts where there is disagreement about the interpretation of policy wording, a dispute about whether a claim should be accepted or how much should be paid, or where insurance fraud is suspected.

Johanna also acts for highways authorities and their construction and maintenance contractors to recover the cost of repairing damage to highways and infrastructure caused by negligence, including, where necessary, dealing with enforcement of Judgments and insolvency proceedings.

Johanna is a member of the Chartered Institute of Insurers and also sits on the committee of the Forum of Insurance Lawyers: Property Damage Sector. 

Recent examples of how Johanna has helped clients include:

  • acting for a retailer in a multi-million electrical fire damage case to recover cost of repair of the store where the fire had spread from a neighbouring retail outlet;
  • settling on favourable terms a multi-party claim brought against a utilities company and their insurers following a landslip which resulted in a number of privately owned properties having to be demolished; 
  • identifying and defeating a fraudulent fire insurance claim for property damage and business interruption, worth in excess of £250,000, brought by the owner of a car lot who was proved to have deliberately started the fire himself; and
  • successfully recovering, at no cost to the client, £50,000 in a tarmac resurfacing claim that involved complex arguments about labour rates and the application of a range of regulations and codes of practice.