Rhys Clift

+44 (0)20 7280 9199
+44 (0)7785 356 994

Rhys is a partner in the marine trade and energy team. His particular expertise is in insurance and reinsurance disputes (marine and non-marine), policy wordings and drafting. He is an active commercial mediator and member of SeaMediation Chambers.

Rhys has over 30 years’ experience in insurance and reinsurance on a wide range of policies and covers, in maritime casualties, offshore construction, policy drafting and the co-ordination and supervision of multi-jurisdictional disputes.

Rhys has particular expertise in hull, increased value, liability, loss of hire, mortgagees' interest, war, kidnap and ransom and political violence covers. Work in maritime casualties covers a wide range, for example groundings, fires, explosions, structural failures.

Rhys read law in Aberystwyth University, graduating in 1979 (LLB Hons 2:1). He passed solicitors finals in 1980 with honours and was awarded the Alfred Syrett Prize in 1981. He obtained a post graduate degree from the University of Aix-en-Provence in 1980.

  • "BRILLANTE VIRTUOSO" (2015) - acted for successful owners in constructive total loss claim by explosion and fire (quantum)
  • Limit (No 3 Ltd) -v-PDVIC (2005) - acted for the Venezuelan State Oil Company's captive in a jurisdiction dispute on an energy/liability retrocession
  • "ALIZA GLACIAL" (2002) - acted for mortgagees' interest insurers on the detainment of the vessel by the Australian Navy for illegal fishing
  • S&W Beresford Plc/NGI -v-New Hampshire Insurance Co (1989) - acted for underwriters on an alleged theft of approximately US $50 million in gold in New York
  • Aneco Reinsurance -v-Johnson & Higgins (2001) - acted for successful Lloyd's underwriters in avoiding XOL reinsurance contracts
  • "SUPERFERRY 14" - acted for successful hull underwriters in respect of the terrorist attack on the ferry (total loss by explosion and fire)
  • Acted variously for owners, war insurers and kidnap and ransom insurers in respect of a whole series of Somali piracy detentions
  • Acted for kidnap and ransom insurers in respect of kidnappings on land
  • Acted on casualties, death and personal injury claims on luxury and superyachts
  • Acted variously for owners and underwriters in a catalogue of actual total losses and constructive total losses of bluewater hulls.

Chartered Insurance Institute
British Insurance Law Association
British Maritime Law Association (Executive Committee)
Member of the Oil & Petrochemicals Risks Association
Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (MCIArb)
Civil Mediation Council


French = Fluent

Rhys Clift is a key figure in the insurance and reinsurance team

Rhys Clift has a 'remarkable depth of expertise'; he is one of those who can 'truly be considered leaders in the field'

'Rhys Clift qualified as a mediator in 1998, and he has now built up a formidable reputation in the mediation marketplace' - Sir Henry Brooke

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