Russell Butland

Russell Butland


Russell advises major international corporations, financial institutions and funds on a wide range of commercial disputes in the English Courts and international arbitration proceedings. 

He has particular expertise in insurance disputes, regularly acting for policyholders in high value, complex claims under professional indemnity, directors and officers, property damage and business interruption, warranty & indemnity, aviation, cyber, and trade credit and political risk policies. In addition to advising on insurance litigation, Russell also has particular expertise acting for defendants in competition damages claims.

Russell is ranked “Up and Coming” for Insurance: Policyholders in Chambers, and his directory quotes from clients include: "Russell explains complex subjects in a straightforward and easy to understand way. He understands our goals and is very commercial.", "He made us feel we were in good hands every step of the process." (Chambers UK 2023) and "Russell Butland - Strikingly able and tests every angle of an issue, with great results." (Legal 500 UK 2022).

Russell has been awarded Higher Rights of Audience (Civil), and he also sits as a Recorder (a part-time judge) in the Family courts, having previously sat as a Legally Qualified Chair of Medical Practitioner Tribunals.


Representative matters

Hiscox Insurance Company Limited in the business interruption insurance COVID-19 test case bought by the FCA. This was the first case to use the new Financial Markets Test Case Practice Direction, and was expedited to proceed from issuance on 2 June 2020 to a four-day Supreme Court hearing in mid-November 2020 (The Financial Conduct Authority v Arch Insurance (UK) Ltd & Ors [2021] UKSC 1).

The Scania group in relation to private damages claims and potential collective action proceedings arising out of the European Commission’s decision in relation to the market for medium and heavy trucks.

A financial institution in relation to claims under its comprehensive crime insurance arising out of exposures to the Madoff fraud, in the Commercial Court.

Prudential, in the successful appeal of the High Court’s refusal to sanction a transfer of a pensions portfolio to Rothesay Life under Part VII of FSMA 2000. This was the first occasion in 150 years in which the relevant legislation was considered by the Court of Appeal, setting the leading precedent in this area (In the matter of Prudential Assurance Company Ltd and Rothesay Life Plc.

441 Trust Company Limited, in relation to the suite of competition damages claims across Europe against Visa Inc. and Visa Europe.

A number of funds and distressed investors in relation to the acquisition of insurance claims in respect of aircraft lost as a consequence of the conflict in Ukraine. 

A global financial institution on claims under its professional indemnity and directors and officers’ insurance policies arising out of regulatory and criminal investigations and third party claims in relation to cum/ex dividend arbitrage trading strategies.

A financial institution on claims under its professional indemnity insurance in relation to claims by Italian local authorities for alleged breach of duty relating to selling interest rate swaps and including complex conflicts of laws issues.

Operators of power stations, LNG terminals, and chemicals and fertilizer plants on recoveries under property damage and business interruption insurances following damage to infrastructure.

A major pensions provider in connection with claims under its insurance cover relating to potential liability for annuity sales practices.

A major supermarket in relation to adjudication proceedings under the Groceries Code.

Pro bono

Participating in the scheme set up by Lord Justice Jackson to provide pro-bono representation to litigants-in-person applying for permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal.

Acting for Bail for Immigration Detainees as an intervener in in BA & Ors v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2012] EWCA Civ 944.

Volunteering as a school governor of Brentford School for Girls in West London for a number of years, and more recently to sit on Education Appeals Panels for Harrow Local Education Authority.

Volunteering at the Royal Courts of Justice Citizens’ Advice Bureau, on Liberty’s public advice line, and running the 2013 London Marathon to raise funds for Liberty.




Published Work

  • Co-editor with Joanna Page, and author of England & Wales Chapter of The Insurance Disputes Review, First to Sixth Editions (2018 to 2023).  
  • Author of United Kingdom chapter of Insurance Litigation 2017 and 2018, published by Getting The Deal Through. 
  • “Brexit: Corporate Communications And UK Election Laws,” Law360 (Feb. 18, 2016), with Charles Borden and Samuel Brown.

Leadership Positions And Professional Affiliations

  • Member of the City of London Law Society Insurance Law Committee
  • British Insurance Law Association (BILA)
  • Law Society of England and Wales
Russell explains complex subjects in a straightforward and easy to understand way. He understands our goals and is very commercial.
Chambers 2023
He made us feel we were in good hands every step of the process.
Chambers 2023



Appointed as a Recorder to the London and South Eastern Circuit, 2019

Appointed as a Legally Qualified Chair of Medical Practitioner Tribunals, 2017

Awarded Higher Rights of Audience (Civil), 2014

Admitted as solicitor, England and Wales, 2010


BA, PPE, Oxford University, 2006
A&O Shearman was formed on May 1, 2024 by the combination of Shearman & Sterling LLP and Allen & Overy LLP and their respective affiliates (the legacy firms). Any matters referred to above may include matters undertaken by one or more of the legacy firms rather than A&O Shearman.