By: 28 November 2013

The Forum of Insurance Lawyers (FOIL) has elected David Johnson, a partner at Weightmans, as its new President.


The large loss litigation specialist, at 38, is one of the youngest FOIL presidents to have been elevated to the role in the organisation's history. He takes over from Rod Evans, a partner at Greenwoods.


Johnson has been a member of FOIL since his early days as a trainee solicitor in 1999 at A.E Wyeth & Co, where he worked alongside Maurice Nicholls, one of the founding fathers of FOIL. He has been a lobby officer for FOIL and has served on the national committee for four years.


“In career terms I’ve grown up with FOIL and worked with others to develop an organisation which is increasingly successful in ensuring that our members influence major debates, " said Johnson.


"FOIL’s views are now actively sought to the extent that this year we were asked to give evidence in person to a Government Select Committee for the first time.


“This underlines the quality and commitment of members who participate in our sector focus teams and national committee. I’m humbled and proud to be spearheading those efforts in the coming year.”


Johnson said that the body would be resting on its laurels however, and said that FOIL had a very busy year ahead.


"Lawyers and the judiciary are still feeling their way around the Jackson reforms encountering issues with elements such as costs budgeting and relief from sanctions. Justice Ramsey’s Review will touch on some issues. Hopefully, as there is more case law we can iron out the inconsistencies and uncertainty there has seen so far," he said.


Johnson said that FOIL would be forthright in presenting the interests of defendant insurer lawyers and that it would also be trying to collaborate as much as possible with organisations such as APIL and MASS to achieve effective reform.