Rachel Butlin


Rachel’s practice focuses primarily on defendant personal injury litigation in which she is instructed by terminal operators, ship and super yacht owners and their liability insurers, as well as on behalf of brokers and underwriters.

She specialises in accidents on board and catastrophic injury claims, together with asbestos-related disease and other occupational illnesses.

Rachel’s experience includes:

  • Advising shipowners on a full range of personal injury claims brought by crew and passengers in the UK and abroad, and dealing with insurance and coverage issues.
  • Advising defendants and their P&I Club/Underwriters in catastrophic injury claims including brain and spinal, some worth between £1m to £6m; advising yacht owners on a multi-jurisdictional serious injury claim, advising on Damages Act security issues, liaising with Flag State, providing media management assistance, as well as identifying and liaising with key medical experts and specialist Counsel.
  • Successfully defending owners and their liability insurer interests in several cases involving claims by seriously injured stevedore claimants (often via charterers), deflecting the claims to employer/charterers and advising on potential recourse against the charterers.
  • Providing advice to owners and international terminal operators in cases involving fatalities.
  • Advising superyacht owners in accidents involving guests and crew, considering issues of policy coverage and crew medical cover.
  • Achieving successful outcomes in Joint Settlement Meetings and using experience to know when these should take place within the litigation. Recently advised ferry operators on a significant leg crush injury to a passenger where there was an element of functional overlay and chronic pain.
  • Advising on instances of traumatic amputation injuries involving offshore and seismic vessels in which advice was provided to owners on the defence of the crew claims for damages.
  • Regularly advising ferry and cruise operators on passenger claims for injury sustained in the UK and abroad, on the application of the Athens Convention, including food poisoning and norovirus claims.
  • Successfully defending a substantial claim in damages against a ferry operator arising from a case of Legionnaires Disease, recovering costs against the claimant for the Club / owners.
  • Acting for owners and their insurers in a case involving a serious injury to a child. Sensitively advising owners / Club on liability and limitation issues, liaising with the MAIB and providing initial media guidance. Use of specialist counsel, advising on complex medical evidence to assess quantum and establish rehabilitation requirements.
  • Regularly advising on claims for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as well as other anxiety and depressive disorders, including advising tug owners on their liabilities in a case involving crew injuries arising out of a capsize incident. Investigating and advising on circumstances leading to capsize, advising client on liability and quantum of potential PTSD claims and also on ‘rescuer’ issues of those involved in the aftermath. Advising clients on potential indemnities.
  • Advising on cases of all forms of occupational environmental disease litigation, in particular: asbestos-related conditions including mesothelioma; back injuries; dermatitis; noise induced hearing loss (NIHL); Legionnaires Disease; norovirus; asthma; upper limb disorders; hand arm vibration syndrome (HAVS); and chemical exposure claims (COSHH).
  • Advising on cases involving chronic pain syndrome, fibromyalgia, somatic disorders and other related conditions.
  • Joined Bentleys 2013, Partner 2018
  • University of Wales, College of Cardiff

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Bentleys, Stokes and Lowless, International House, 1 St Katharine's Way, London E1W 1YL - Tel: +44 (0)20 7782 0990

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