Key agenda items for the membership organisation in the next year includes climate change, diversity and inclusion and business transition post-pandemic

Professional membership organisation the Forum of Insurance Lawyers (Foil) has elected BLM Law partner Stuart Hardy as its new president, succeeding Jennette Newman, partner at Clyde and Co.

Nicola Critchley, partner at DWF Law, has also been chosen as Foil’s vice-president, to work closely with Hardy over the course of the next year.

Hardy has nearly 25 years of industry experience, with a particular focus on motor, employment liability and public liability litigation. He typically deals in cases involving serious and complex injuries, technical claims and cross jurisdictional issues.

As president, Hardy plans to “focus on consolidation and evolution” rather than “ripping up the sheet”.

He said: “It is an honour to take up the position of Foil president. At a time of change and transition for the insurance industry and other sectors, there are challenges ahead but also great opportunities and I look forward to working with my colleagues to support our insurance clients and the wider industry through this change.

“My presidency will focus on consolidation and evolution rather than ‘ripping up the sheet’ and trying to do something completely new.

“My colleagues and predecessors in Foil have done an excellent job of laying the groundwork and identifying the critical areas for reform. My focus will be on continuing along that path and helping to support the Foil agenda through into 2022 and beyond.”

Foil chief executive Laurence Besemer added: “A proactive agenda for positive change has always been our priority.

“Stuart has been a key part of Foil for some time and understands our evolving focus very well. Under his leadership, I have no doubt that we will finish 2022 in an exceptionally strong position.”

Agenda items

Besemer noted a number of over-arching themes that will form part of Foil’s agenda over the next year, including climate change and diversity.

He explained: “Climate change, the post-pandemic transition for businesses and diversity in the workplace are all examples of highly complex issues which everybody is grappling with, perhaps not for the first time but certainly with a far greater sense of urgency now.

“This means that proper, well considered and effective reform is more important than ever before.

“Equally as important is the role that industry organisations like Foil play in bringing multiple firms and experts together to help solve these challenges.”

Hardy added: “Jennette has led Foil brilliantly in what was a particularly testing year for industry. I look forward to working closely with the national executive, Foil’s divisions across the UK and Ireland, and its SFTs to ensure that we continue to lead the way in driving the agenda and supporting Foil members and the wider insurance sector.”