Our people

700 professionals at Knights service 10,000 clients across the full spectrum of legal & professional services.

Heitzman_Chris 450.jpg

Chris Heitzman

Partner
Heitzman_Chris 450.jpg

Chris Heitzman

Partner

Chris is a Partner in the Highway Claims team.

In the event of damage to property caused by a third party, Chris acts for the land or business owners and their insurers to recover the losses.  His clients include a number of leading UK insurance companies, large corporates with substantial property portfolios, the Crown estate, highways authorities and their construction and maintenance contractors.

The majority of cases handled by Chris relate to accidents on the public highways, ranging from diesel spills and damage to the central reservation through to the destruction of a bridge, when highways contractors are obliged to repair the highways swiftly and recoup these costs from the motorists' insurers.

Similarly, Chris acts for corporates whose property has been damaged by flood or fire caused by a faulty product or a negligent supplier.  Having claimed on their buildings and property insurance or financed the repairs via self-insurance, Chris recovers these costs from the insurer of the business which was ultimately at fault.  Chris gathers the evidence, pursues the claim and negotiates the quantum on behalf of clients, via an innovative no win no fee arrangement.

Recent examples of how Chris has helped clients include:

• recovering £350,000 in a claim caused by diesel breaking down the bitumen motorway surface;

• consolidating 60 highways claims against a motor insurer and obtaining settlement of 96 per cent of value;

• successfully recovering nearly £500,000 and all legal costs for the insurer of a residential property after a fire was caused by negligent plumbing installations;

• recovering around £1 million and legal costs for insurers in less than six months after a building contractor caused a fire which destroyed business premises; and

• recovering £1.2 million from the insurer of a novelty goods supplier, following a product recall of defective goods.

tamika-fuller-450.jpg

Tamika Fuller

Operations Manager
tamika-fuller-450.jpg

Tamika Fuller

Operations Manager

Tamika is the Operations Manager in the Highway Claims team.

john-aitken-450.jpg

John Aitken

Associate
john-aitken-450.jpg

John Aitken

Associate

John is an Associate in the Property and Highways Recovery Claims team.

John advises claimants on the recovery of losses arising from damage to property, ranging from harm to an individual homes through to complex multi-party loss and damage to the assets and infrastructure on public highways. He handles commercial litigation claims and subrogated recovery or property damage recovery claims covering breach of contract, product liability and claims arising from losses caused by vehicle impact, fire, escape of water or oil, flooding, and other perils.

John is both a qualified solicitor and is qualified with the Chartered Insurance Institute.  Having spent several years in-house with a leading insurer, John takes a technical lead on high value and complex property damage cases, planning the best strategy to deal with the Third Party insurer or appointed loss adjusters who have delegated authority.  John embraces the importance of the use of forensic reports to determine cause and understands the common causes of property damage, advising on whether to pursue a case in negligence, breach of contract or otherwise, identifying the best possible strategy to advance a claim to achieve an excellent commercial result within a sensible time frame.

Clients include a government agency with significant public real estate, construction companies, joint venture partnerships in relation to highway infrastructure projects, insurers and brokers.

Recent examples of how John has helped clients include:

  • recovering £45,000 from a county council whose negligent failure to clear a school storm drain caused a blockage, leading to an overflow and damage to our client's commercial property;
  • recovering £90,000 on behalf of a university following escape of water after a plumbing contractor had used a plastic coupling connection to attach an older section of pipework to a new steel pipe, eventually causing the pipes to separate;
  • recovering £200,000 on behalf of the landlord of a carpet factory after a fire was caused by a contractor who failed to remove flammable paint residue from a redundant paint-booth prior to dismantling the booth with an angle grinder and welding equipment;
  • recovering £80,000 from the operators of a restaurant occupying adjacent premises to that of the client, after fire damage to both properties caused by the ignition of residual fats within cooker extractor filters and a flue stack which required deep cleaning;
  • recovering £25,000 from the owner of an electric pallet truck which dropped off a trailer, impacting with expensive medical equipment, as a result of operator error; and
  • recovering £170,000 from insurers of a heating system contractor who negligently installed an outdoor oil heating system with a faulty valve from which thousands of litres of oil spilled, contaminating the client’s land which included a well and swimming pool.
harriet-miles-450.jpg

Harriet Miles

Associate
harriet-miles-450.jpg

Harriet Miles

Associate

Harriet is an Associate in the Highway Claims team.

Harriet acts for the owners of public highways and their insurers to recover the losses caused by road traffic accidents.  This involves settling claims to cover the costs of repairing the road surface, street furniture and safety barriers, through to the substantial costs incurred when the emergency services are involved. Highway contractors are obliged to repair the highways swiftly and it is necessary to recoup these costs from the motorists’ insurers.

Harriet gathers evidence, pursues the claim and negotiates the quantum on behalf of clients, via an innovative no win no fee arrangement.  As a team supervisor, she is always looking at opportunities for continuous improvement through finding efficiencies and quality control.

Her clients include leading large corporates with substantial property portfolios, the Crown estate, highways authorities and construction and maintenance contractors.

Recent examples of how Harriet has helped her clients include:

  • helping to consolidate numerous outstanding highways claims against a motor insurer in a strategic push to obtain settlement;
  • reviewing and improving the claims audit and peer review system for a major insurance company to ensure compliance with service level agreements; and
  • substantially increasing the amount of compensation paid to a motorcyclist who suffered vascular injury in a road traffic accident.
singh_sunil_450.jpg

Sunil Singh

Associate
singh_sunil_450.jpg

Sunil Singh

Associate

Sunil is an Associate in the Highway Claims team.

Clare Wainwright 450pxl.jpg

Clare-Lateefah Wainwright

Solicitor
Clare Wainwright 450pxl.jpg

Clare-Lateefah Wainwright

Solicitor

Clare is a Solicitor in the Highway Claims team.