Derek Adamson

Partner - Head of Occupational Health and Casualty

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

Tel: +44 (0)121 200 0437 Mob: +44 (0)7824 814 631



DWF LLP One Snowhill Snow Hill Queensway Birmingham B4 6GA View office Tel: +44 (0)333 320 2220 Fax: +44 (0)333 320 4440 DX: 13051 Birmingham Email:


DWF LLP 110 Queen Street Glasgow G1 3HD View office Tel: +44 (0)141 228 8000 Fax: +44 (0)141 228 8310 DX: GW9 LP-1 Glasgow 12


DWF LLP Bridgewater Place Water Lane Leeds LS11 5DY View office Tel: +44 (0)333 320 2220 Fax: +44 (0)333 320 4440 DX: 728240 Leeds - BWP Email:


DWF LLP 1 Scott Place 2 Hardman Street Manchester M3 3AA View office Tel: +44 (0)333 320 2220 Fax: +44 (0)333 320 4440 DX: 14313 Manchester Email:


DWF LLP Great North House Sandyford Road Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 8ND View office Tel: +44 (0)333 320 2220 Fax: +44 (0)333 320 4440 DX: 62553 Newcastle Email:

My Expertise

In recent times, my work has focused on policy interpretation especially in connection with the still developing mesothelioma jurisprudence.

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In my 36 years’ plus experience of insurance litigation I have won many major cases and worked on landmark decisions. In the past three years I have acted successfully for Zurich Insurance PLC in two cases in the UK Supreme Court; the landmark EL Policy Trigger Litigation (2012)  [“The Trigger Litigation”] and Zurich v International Energy Group Limited (2015) [“IEGL”]. The latter introduced brand new equitable rights of contribution.

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

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

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

In recognition of the ground-breaking nature of the IEGL judgment, DWF has been shortlisted in the dispute resolution category of the Europe-wide FT Innovative Lawyers’ Awards 2015.