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Darren Thompson
19 Great Winchester Street
2nd Floor
London, EC2N 2JA
TEL: 020 3805 6292
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Practice Areas
Bar and Court Admissions
Past Professional Experience

Darren O. Thompson

Darren is a partner in Zelle’s London office.  An English solicitor with a background in biochemical engineering, he represents (re)insurers and self-insureds, concentrating on (re)insurance coverage and defence often with a multiparty, multi-jurisdiction and multi-law angle (typically England & Wales, the United States, various African and Asian).

Darren is frequently instructed on third-party disputes involving product liability, recall liability, public liability, energy liability and environmental liability.  He frequently instructed on monitoring, policy wordings and subrogations.

Representative Matters


Acting for insurers of manufacturer of components for an undersea gas interconnector on contractual dispute, applicable law and jurisdiction and contribution. (English, German, Belgian law)  

Advising insurers of manufacturer of power module manufacturer after losses arising by failure of wind turbines affecting several U.S. wind farms. (English and German law) 

Advising insurers and acting for insured manufacturer of electronic components following fire at a factory.  

Defending manufacturers of anti-corrosion coating for use in undersea hydrocarbon pipelines. (Mulheim Pipe Coatings GmbH v Chemetall plc [2007] All ER (D) 418 (May))

Advising insurers of manufacturer of satellite receiver box component in a claim relating to radiation of electromagnetic waves allegedly associated with disturbances to nearby ADSL lines. 

Representing insurer in a cross-border product liability claim involving parties in Central Asia and Europe. (English, German and Kazakh law) 

Defending claim by automotive manufacturer against German maker of specialist tooling used in the production of carbon fibre sections of cars and other high-value vehicles.

Advising Japanese pharmaceuticals company in a dispute under a world-wide patent licence following the unilateral and wrongful withdrawal of a product containing the patented substance.  (ICC arbitration) 

Advising insurer and, in a separate but related claim/inquest, manufacturer of a medical product derived from human cadavers used in neurosurgery.  


Advising insurers in relation to loss following bacterial contamination of foodstuff precursors in central Europe.

Instructed by reinsurers on coverage and quantum following recall of allegedly faulty sports equipment.

Advising insurers of French hip prosthesis manufacturer in relation to batch defects in ceramic hips. 

Advising insurers in relation to US 097recall of foods allegedly contaminated with nut protein.

Environmental liability

Advising insurers on coverage following fire at residential tower block;

Instructed by insurers in the defence of a claim in regarding an energy saving contract.  Successfully mediated the claim.

Instructed by insurers to advise on coverage following claims of disruption by local blue-chip company to local property owners’ land use (English and the law of a South American country)

Advising insurers in relation to flooding allegedly associated with climate change and unprecedented rainfall affecting hydroelectric generation and communities downstream of a hydroelectric facility.

Transport liability

Instructed to advise insurers, monitor and coordinate with local counsel in relation to various trucking accidents.


Advising insurers and defending insured following corrosion loss.

Acting for insurers of defendant contractor who subcontracted the installation of an allegedly faulty busbar.  

Advising insurers on issues of liability arising from a flood emanating from the insured’s premises that spread to and damaged neighbouring commercial property. 

Advising insurers on smoke damage claim.

Acting for insurers in subrogated recovery following sewage ingress into several retail units at a landmark Central London location. 


Representing insurer in a complex outwards reinsurance dispute.

Acting for insurers and reinsurers in defending supplier of particular critical engine components for commercial airliners.

Advising insurers of manufacturer of silicone-based medical devices in claims by multiple companies and individuals.  (English, Austrian law)

Acting for insurers in coverage dispute following a series of alleged late notifications.

Cited cases

Mulheim Pipe Coatings GmbH v Chemetall plc [2007] All ER (D) 418 (May)

Stowers v G A Bonus Plc Helm Insurance Brokers Ltd [2003] Lloyd’s Rep IR 402

Articles & Presentations

Quoted extensively in the article "Valencia Fire Renews Concerns Over Materials, Insurance," Law360, February 29, 2024

"Defective Cladding (Liability Update)," Afternoon with Zelle in London, February 24, 2024, presenter

"The Financial Conduct Authority v. Arch and Others [2021] UKSC 1 (“the FCA Test Case”)," January 26, 2021, co-author

"Lessons in Liability Litigation: A Case Study," Lloyd's Market Association Masterclass, June 4, 2019, co-presenter

"E-discovery masterclass," Lloyd's Market Association Masterclass, September 5, 2018, co-presenter

"Reservations of Rights Around the World," Insurance Law360, April 20, 2016, co-author

"Liability actually: lessons to be learned from the Court of Appeal decision in AstraZeneca Insurance Company v XL Insurance (Bermuda) and Ace Bermuda on the meaning of ‘liability’ in English law liability policies," London, 2014, co-presenter

Professional Affiliations

Community Service

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