West P&I launches new specialist claims teams

Role changes and promotions announced

West P&I launches new specialist claims teams


By Kenneth Araullo

The West of England P&I Club (West) has unveiled two specialised claims units, executing several promotions and role changes at its London headquarters.

The club’s two-pronged initiative first aims to augment claims capabilities in areas concerning crew, passengers, and third-party personal injury and death claims. To that end, the club has introduced a people claims team, with Chris Edwards (pictured above, third from left) elevated to the role of head of claims (people team).

Bringing expertise in crew personal injury, death, and stowaway claims to the role, Edwards is supported by Helen Chittenden, Kay Matthews, and Saskia Claydon-Richards, completing the new division.

In addition, West has also launched a charterers comprehensive cover (CCC) claims team, aimed at delivering specialised services for claims related to this sector. Kalliopi Dalakleidi (pictured above, fourth from left) has been appointed as head of claims (CCC team), bringing over 14 years of experience on charterers’ claims.

She is joined by Cameron Shepherd, Keeley Edmondson, and Alex Crossley, all of whom are qualified English lawyers with backgrounds in private practice, in-house positions, or other International Group (IG) Clubs.

Meanwhile, Gary Beale (pictured above, first from left) has also been promoted to deputy head of claims (defence), where he will work alongside Nicola Cox, the club’s head of defence claims, to oversee defence-related claims.

Suzanne Byrne (pictured above, second from left), group head of claims at West, underscored the significance of these new teams for the maritime sector.

“In an era of transition, crew members play an increasingly pivotal role in the shipping industry, and seafarer health and wellbeing is a priority for the club, ensuring a healthy and safe workforce for our members. Our people claims team has been created to offer a dedicated hub of expertise and support for our members in this evolving field,” Byrne said.

Byrne also elaborated on the challenges faced by charterers, noting the increased liability exposures faced by those in the sector.

“West’s comprehensive cover has been enhanced to meet the demands of those operators entered with the club and our new CCC claims team will ensure we continue to offer a dedicated and targeted service across all our regional offices,” Byrne said.

This announcement also follows West’s enhancement of its claims services in other regions, including Piraeus, Hong Kong, Singapore, and New York.

In February, the club also celebrated positive outcomes for its 2024 renewal period across all business lines, with an expected combined ratio of under 100%.

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