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Alice Carse is a highly regarded commercial barrister.
Ranked by the directories for her work in Insurance where she has been described as “hugely collaborative, which is very helpful, and clients really feel that their views are listened to and taken into account” and recognised for “her expertise in acting for insurers in high-stakes disputes” (Chambers & Partners 2022 – Insurance).
She is instructed by businesses to advise on employment issues relating to large scale changes to workforces and has a particular specialism in handling Industrial Relations for which she has been noted as being “tactically and commercially astute… and she is able to present the legal and factual issues in clear, simple and pragmatic forms” (Chambers & Partners 2022 – Employment).
Alice’s practice has led to a complementary profile in professional negligence matters involving a wide range of professionals, including solicitors, surveyors and architects, often drawing on coverage issues. Through her insurance coverage work, she has experience of construction disputes, particularly those involving cladding. She also has a wealth of experience in making and defending applications for injunctive relief.
Notable for her expertise in acting for insurers in high-stakes disputes. She has a wealth of advocacy experience. “Alice is incredibly thorough in her advice. She is hugely collaborative, which is very helpful, and clients really feel that their views are listened to and taken into account.” Acted for Chubb to defend a claim brought by the widow of an insured for an indemnity following a fire at the insured property and the death of her husband. – Insurance, Chambers UK Bar 2022.
Is a respected barrister notable for her expertise across a range of employment matters, and a particular specialism in industrial relations matters. “She is tactically and commercially astute, she provides an invaluable contribution to extremely sensitive matters, she is always available when needed and she is able to present the legal and factual issues in clear, simple and pragmatic forms.” “She gets to grips with very nasty claims very quickly, she is very commercial, and she is not too caught up in historic case law but she is across all the technical points.” Successfully represented the Co-operative Group in the Court of Appeal in a case concerning the application of the material factor defence in equal pay claims. – Employment, Chambers UK Bar 2022.
“She is a source of clear, considered and well-structured advice, and always happy to discuss content and conclusions reached. Loved by insurer and insured clients for being accessible and empathetic.” – Insurance and Reinsurance, Legal 500 2022.
“An effective team member with an eye for detail and a wealth of experience from previous industrial relations cases.” – Employment, Legal 500 2022.
“She’s very smart, tenacious in cross-examination and always on top of her brief.” “She’s calm, measured, sharp and insightful.” Represented Birmingham City Council in a High Court application for interim injunction against two trade unions to stop a city-wide bin collection strike. – Employment, Chambers UK Bar 2021
“An unshakeable, levelled and precise advocate. She is excellent with clients and translates complex legal matters into commercially focused solutions, enabling decisions to be made.” – Employment, Legal 500 2021
She offers experience acting in the Employment Tribunal and High Court. “Her advocacy is a delight to watch: intelligent, robust and thorough.” “She has incredible gravitas.” Defended a claim brought by the British Airline Pilots Association, alleging that British Airways was in breach of collective agreements by requiring pilots to take on various non-flying duties in excess of agreed hours. – Employment, Chambers UK 2020
“She has a confident manner which instils confidence in clients.” – Employment, Legal 500 2020
“A brilliant advocate for industrial relations work.” – Employment, Legal 500 2019
Alice is recognised as a leading insurance junior by Chambers UK 2022 and Legal 500 2022.
Alice has a busy insurance practice, both as sole and junior counsel to market leading silks. This includes experience of coverage disputes, aggregation, claims under the Third Parties (Rights Against Insurers) Act 2010, non-payment of premium, defence costs, fire claims (particularly those relating to hot works conditions precedent) and claims under the Consumer Insurance (Disclosure and Representations) Act 2012. She has been involved in insurance disputes arising from a range of industries including construction, cladding, roofing and from professional negligence claims. She is also instructed to represent insurers in substantive disputes including sale of goods and breach of contract claims.
Alice is a member of BILA and was a member of the BILA Young Professionals Committee. From 2016 to 2019 she was a member of the COMBAR Executive Committee. Earlier in her career she spent time working in-house at an insurer client in order to gain first-hand experience of the market. Also, she completed a four month secondment at a solicitors’ firm in the professional negligence and London markets insurance team.
Alice assisted lead counsel with updating the reinsurance chapter of MacGillivray on Insurance Law (Centenary edition). Alice was a co-contributor of an article to the British Insurance Law Association Journal (125th edition) entitled “Consumer Insurance: the risks of contracting on unfair terms”.
Alice has been recognised for her Industrial Relations work by both Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners. She is experienced at representing employers in a full range of workplace disputes, including bonus claims, enforcement of restrictive covenants and protection of confidential information. Alice also works with employers implementing large-scale changes to their workforces, such as “dismissal and re-engagement” exercises, enabling businesses to develop successful industrial relations strategy.
Alice has been instructed in some of the most high profile industrial disputes of recent years. She is experienced in making applications for injunctive relief to prevent strike action and in advising on coping strategies to manage industrial action. In recent years Alice has been instructed to advise on and/or act in injunctive relief proceedings for clients in a range of industries (both as ranked Silks and as sole counsel): In late 2020 she advised an energy company; in 2019 she acted for Birmingham City Council in its industrial dispute with its bin collection service workers; in 2019 she advised a government department; in 2017 for Royal Mail in obtaining an injunction to stop a postal strike over the Christmas period; in 2016 she was instructed by British Airways in respect of industrial action over the pre-Christmas period.
Alice advises on the full range of industrial relations matters including blacklisting, collective bargaining, operation of collective agreements, s145B TULRCA, cross-border disputes (Viking and Laval type cases). She also provides strategic advice on industrial disputes, such as managing industrial action or dealing with protests designed to disrupt the smooth running of a business without resorting to industrial action. She is experienced at working with clients in a variety of industries, including construction as she was instructed to assist with industrial relations matters arising in the Construction Industry Blacklisting litigation.
Alice is experienced in making applications for injunctive relief. She represents both claimants and defendants in High Court restrictive covenant disputes, involving issues of employee competition and confidential information. In 2020 she acted for a defendant employee and obtained an order that the claimant employer be required to fortify its cross-undertaking of damages. Alice is currently instructed by an employer in High Court proceedings defending a bonus claim in excess of £1m.
Alice has represented employers in complex dismissal, pay and equality disputes, including. redundancy claims, bonus disputes and pay claims which have arisen in an industrial relations context. In 2020 she was Junior for the successful Respondent in Walker v Co-operative Bank  EWCA Civ 1075, on the material factor in equal pay claims.
Recent highlights include:
In addition to her insurance work, Alice accepts instructions in professional negligence claims. She is currently acting in a high value dispute relating to construction works and involving difficult issues of quantum and based on allegations of negligence by architects. She has acted in claims against solicitors, valuers and surveyors, including conveyancing, in addition to dealing with associated insurance coverage matters.
Earlier in her career, Alice undertook a secondment at a firm of City solicitors undertaking defendant professional negligence work. She has a great deal of experience working with insurers and defendants to defend claims.
Alice has represented clients in a wide range of commercial disputes, both in litigation and arbitration. She has been recognised by Chambers & Partners 2022 for her “wealth of advocacy experience” and has appeared as sole counsel against QCs on numerous occasions.
She has a great deal of experience in making and defending applications for injunctive relief, including interim applications, particularly in cases involving the protection of business interests against competitors, protection of confidential information and the enforcement of non-competition restrictions on departing employees.
Alice’s recent work includes defending a claim under the Sale of Goods Act in the TCC, relating to alleged defects in materials supplied for a construction project; representing a reinsurer in very high value arbitration proceedings relating to the correct construction of a premium rebate clause and acting for a construction company in contractual dispute with a cladding contractor. She is experienced at handling alleged fraudulent claims, having recently been instructed in Commercial Court proceedings to defend a claim in excess of £30m on the basis of fraud and misrepresentation.
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