Robert is a Consultant based in our Manchester office and co-heads our growing commercial insurance practice there. He has been involved in high profile litigation for nearly twenty years across a wide range of commercial and insurance claims, both domestically and internationally. He has had a number of noteworthy cases reported.

His experience encompasses construction professional negligence, policy coverage across all suites of cover, property damage, construction and engineering, and product liability. His experience of injury and environmental law also provides valuable benefit to clients in events of significant complexity and diversity.

Robert's core focus is commercial insurance and his approach has yielded many successful results in mediation and other forms of settlement. Construction and engineering, major property damage and product liability, in conjunction with coverage and policy indemnity work, dominate his practice. 

In terms of construction and engineering, Robert has handled many complex claims that include renewable energy, heavy plant, oil rigs and major construction projects, across all suites of contracts.

As part of his property damage work, Robert has advised insurers in high profile disaster events including Buncefield, gas explosions, fire stopping and cable strikes, as well as major nuisance and environmental issues.

He regularly advises on coverage and policy indemnity as part of his construction and engineering and property damage practice areas. This has included joint insurance issues, warranties and condition precedent, design defect exclusions, financial loss extensions, as well as claims conditions and underwriting elements. Robert has advised and handled arbitral and declaratory proceedings across all suites of cover. His practice continues to widen and currently includes intellectual property cover work in the United States, as well as abuse coverage. He regularly advises on the implications of The Insurance Act and Third Party Rights Against Insurers Act.

Robert is a member of The Forum of Insurance Lawyers (FOIL) and the Law Society. He regularly lectures on key market issues and press blogs and articles.

Market recognition

  • Recommended Lawyer for 'Commercial litigation (North West)'
    "Andrew Davidson heads the team, which was boosted in 2018 by the hires of Nick Bond and consultant Robert Steele from BLM."
    The Legal 500 UK 2019/20

Work highlights

  • Advising public liability insurers on the impact of exclusion clause relating to roof failure at a racecourse.
  • Investigating and advising insurers on a major fire event, relating to work involving a motor vehicle.
  • Advising contractors and insurers over double insurance and cover under contractors all risks and public liability policies regarding alleged defective fire stopping.
  • Investigating and advising insurers on cover relating to major cable strike and effect of underground services condition.
  • Investigating and advising contractors and insurers on major oil explosion and settling at mediation.
  • Advising UK and US insurers under local and master policy on a major oil refinery defects claim.