Transactional risk insurance and contingent risks and known risks
Mobile: +44 (0)7799 228 806
LinkedIn: James Williamson
Location: London, United Kingdom
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James Williamson

Head of Contingent

James is a Director and Head of Contingent at HWF.  He has spent over a decade devising bespoke solutions to help mitigate the risks arising from litigation and other contingent matters.

James began his career at Freshfields, working in both the UK and US.  He became a Senior Associate at the firm and acted on a broad range of commercial disputes that were typically high-value and multijurisdictional in nature.

Immediately prior to joining HWF James worked in litigation funding, structuring finance and insurance solutions for some of the largest claims currently on foot in the UK and Europe.

Recent Experience
A selection of James’s recent experience includes:
Legal Assets

  • Structuring and negotiating a capital protection policy for a global alternative asset manager in connection with its investment into a major European litigation fund.
  • Advising a global private markets investment firm on a capital protection policy relating to its senior secured investment in UK and US legal assets.
  • Advising a European litigation fund on hybrid capital protection policy tailored to provide coverage for both existing and future investments.
  • Arranging a diverse range of adverse costs insurance policies for both litigation funds and claimants in connection with a diverse range of commercial, competition, insolvency and other disputes (litigation and arbitration) in the UK and Europe.
  • Advising a global litigation fund on a judgment preservation policy that provided coverage for both liability and enforcement risk.


  • Sourcing coverage in respect of a right of first refusal ( “ROFR”) which a Buyer wanted protection against in the event the beneficiary of the ROFR brought a challenge against the seller and/or third party buyer of the shares.
  • Advising an equity investor in a toll road who was concerned that the local authority was going to exercise a right to terminate the concession agreement which would have resulted in a loss to the investor.
  • Arranging cover for a large PE firm in connection with exposures it faced under a bridging facility provided between signing and closing – underlying deal mechanics made a default inherently unlikely and cover was sourced on that basis.
  • Arranging cover that would respond in the event that a target company unsuccessfully defended litigation proceedings brought either in Europe or the UK – allowed the seller to achieve a clean exit and the buyer to have recourse against an A-rated insurer.
  • Advising a seller on bespoke contingent policy tailored to back-off its risk under an uncapped indemnity relating to potential (but highly theoretical) claims that could be brought by a former contractual counterparty.

Restructuring & insolvency

  • Advising a leading firm of insolvency practitioners in connection with large western European bankruptcy proceedings and the utilisation of insurance to allow the return or assets to creditors.
  • Advising administrators on the structuring of insurance coverage to mitigate the risk posed by the residual liabilities of a large UK financial institution.
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HWF’s ability to drive the process forward de-risks the M&A processes we are involved with. We count on their reliability and expertise, even where there are complex issues or challenging timetables

James Renahan, Travers Smith

We use HWF wherever the opportunity arises because they advise, structure and execute W&I insurance policies with great efficiency. Our trust in their service and process allows us to focus on our job resulting in positive client outcomes on their M&A deals

Helen Croke, Ropes & Gray

I am always happy to recommend HWF on deals; their in-depth experience of both M&A and the insurance market, combined with a pragmatic approach, leads to smoother processes, better coverage positions and ultimately happier clients

Aaron Fairhurst, CMS