Jeremy qualified in 1998 and is a partner in London. He leads Kennedys’ UK professional liability and claims handling group and is a member of the firm’s Strategy Board.

Jeremy’s core focus is on policy coverage and construction claims. He regularly advises insurers and reinsurers on coverage issues and policy disputes, such as aggregation, scope of insuring clauses, breach of terms, non-disclosure, misrepresentation and fraud/dishonesty.

A large part of Jeremy’s practice relates to construction claims, including acting for professional project team members and also Design & Construct contractors. These cases cover issues arising in domestic contracts, but are predominantly associated with major commercial and public projects.

He has extensive experience managing claims against ‘traditional’ professionals, in particular solicitors, barristers, accountants, surveyors and brokers. Jeremy also deals with defence of D&O notifications, plus claims against IT professionals.

Jeremy has handled an impressive number of high-profile and complex construction claims, such as advising professional indemnity insurers following a hangar roof collapse at Heathrow Terminal 5, advising CAR contractors in relations to delays within a US$1.9bn project and also several cases involving failure of steel structures.

In terms of coverage, Jeremy has advised professional indemnity insurers on a series of aggregation and fraud/dishonesty issues arising from block notifications by firms of solicitors, and also financial institutions insurers on a block notice of many thousand Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) claims. Most coverage cases involve advising on scope of cover and policy response, particularly in construction claims. 

Finally, Jeremy has dealt with a number of claims against IT professionals, including claims involving software for gambling machines and a greyhound racing trackside product.

Jeremy is the Head of the FOIL (Forum of Insurance Lawyers) Sector Focus Team for Professional Indemnity, and a member of the Solicitors Association of Higher Court Advocates. In addition, he regularly lectures on key market issues such as brokers’ duties and writes for trade press.

Jeremy is a co-author of the latest edition of Kennedys’ Claims Handling Law and Practice Guide which was published in February 2021.

Jeremy Riley is first class. He is brilliant and at the top of the market.

Qualifications and admissions

  • Qualified in England and Wales in 1998

Market recognition

  • Notable practitioner (Band 1) for 'Professional Negligence (North West)'
    "Jeremy Riley is first class. He is brilliant and at the top of the market."
    Chambers UK 2023
  • Leading Individual and recommended lawyer for 'Professional negligence (North West)'
    "Jeremy Riley is right at the top of the professional liability and insurance market".
    The Legal 500 UK 2023
  • Recommended lawyer for 'Professional negligence (London)'
    "Jeremy Riley leads the team; he has a strong practice in defending construction claims and legal and financial professionals".
    The Legal 500 UK 2023
  • Notable practitioner (Band 1) for 'Professional Negligence (North West)'
    "Jeremy Riley is an excellent lawyer and a tremendous advocate. He takes the time to fully explain the basis of his advice."
    Chambers UK 2022
  • Leading individual and recommended lawyer for ‘Professional negligence (North West)’
    "Jeremy Riley is an excellent partner."
    The Legal 500 UK 2022
  • Notable practitioner (Band 1) for 'Professional Negligence (North West)'
    "He is dependable, knowledgeable and offers first-class representation."
    Chambers UK 2021
  • Leading Individual and recommended lawyer for 'Professional negligence (North West)'
    The Legal 500 UK 2021
  • Notable practitioner (Band 1) for 'Professional Negligence: (North West)'
    Jeremy Riley is recommended by sources for his "technical skills and ability to remain calm and reassuring in a storm," as well as his "second-to-none service and timely responses."
    Chambers UK 2019
  • Leading Individual and Recommended Lawyer for  'Professional Negligence (North West)'
    The Legal 500 UK 2019/20
  • Notable practitioner (Band 1) for 'Professional Negligence: (North West)'
    "Superb technical knowledge and savvy from a commercial perspective."
    "Part of his strength is his ease with people and how well he communicates."
    Chambers UK 2019
  • Recommended Lawyer for 'Professional negligence (London)'
    The Legal 500 UK 2018/19
  • Recommended Lawyer for 'Professional negligence (North West)'
    "…the ‘commercial’ Jeremy Riley, who is described as ‘one of the most highly experienced professional liability lawyers in the UK’."
    The Legal 500 UK 2018/19
  • Band 1 for professional negligence
    Clients recommend his "commerciality, expertise and competence in specialist areas."
    Chambers UK 2018
  • Band 1 for professional negligence
    He is described as "a superb leader and team player, very responsive, gets to grips with difficult matters extremely quickly, and instinctively understands what is needed". 
    Chambers UK 2017
  • "Jeremy Riley is well regarded for his expertise in the space. Clients say he is 'very good in negotiations and has got a way to get clients and insurers all reading from the same sheet'”.
    Chambers UK 2016
  • "Jeremy Riley… is ‘extremely knowledgeable and also exceptionally client-focused’."
    The Legal 500 UK 2017

Work highlights

  • Advising insurers and contractors/engineers following potential failure of steel reinforcement and concrete foundations to nine windfarms in England, Scotland, Ireland and Northern Ireland.
  • Acted for engineers in relation to design issues arising from defective air conditioning system in landmark 25 storey building in Manchester.
  • Advised PI insurers of a major construction company in relation to steel bolt and steel frame fatigue issues in affecting an aeronautics manufacturing unit, which involved safety and production line issues.
  • Acted for PI insurers and a firm of insurance brokers in successful defence to trial of a claim by motor insurers for alleged misrepresentation/negligence of a risk. This underlined a fundamental principle that, unless otherwise contracted for, a placing broker does not owe a duty to the underwriting insurer.
  • Investigation and then advising on coverage of a block notification of many thousand lender claims against a firm of solicitors, where there was suspected fraud/dishonest.