By: 12 November 2015
FOIL elects DAC Beachcroft partner, Duncan Rutter, as its new President

The Forum of Insurance Lawyers (FOIL) has chosen Duncan Rutter, a partner at DAC Beachcroft, to be its new President.

Rutter becomes the 20th President of the defendant group and succeeds Nick Parsons in the top honorary role at FOIL. He has made it his mission during his year of office to maintain access to justice, while at the same time improving the claims process, removing excessive costs from the system, and tackling fraud.

Rutter heads up DAC’s Catastrophic Injury Group and specialises in advising on brain and spinal injury cases. His breadth of experience includes advising insurers in RTA, EL and PL claims, clinical negligence, disease and complex, high value claims.

With ongoing changes in professional development, Rutter also intends to use his year in office to advance FOIL’s education and training agenda for members, with the introduction of a statement of competence and specialist statements of legal knowledge designed to enhance the skills of insurance lawyers.

Commenting on his appointment, Rutter said: “I intend to carry on the fight against further rises in court fees which Nick Parsons has championed so effectively in the past year.

“These planned rises hit at the heart of access to justice and come at time when court users are experiencing delays and poor service because of cost-saving cuts.

“We support initiatives to contain costs and continue positive reforms of the claims process which help to combat fraud effectively and keep insurance premiums in check. We’re in the process of surveying FOIL’s full membership on these issues aiming to use their feedback from the coalface to give us the strongest possible platform from which to advise and lobby Government.”

Laurence Besemer, the CEO of FOIL, said that Rutter’s varied background in the legal and insurance sectors would be very important in our next steps at FOIL.

“FOIL continues to pursue its strategy of training up the next generation of leading defendant insurance lawyers, as well as collaborating with members of the claimant community to achieve success in our common interests. Nick has been hugely effective in promoting these aims in his Presidential year and I’m certain Duncan can bring further success.”