Opportunities, unlocked.

About us

CLS Risk Solutions is an MGA steeped in innovation providing bespoke risk solutions for real estate development projects and transactions. We specialise in renewables, M&A, property development and environmental markets.

With deep and established legal, data and insurance expertise, our underwriters have created a unique suite of financial indemnity tools to cover each stage of a property’s development. They allow funders and developers to mitigate risk across the property lifecycle and see more projects through to completion more quickly.

A story of innovation

CLS was started when a couple from Warwickshire got caught out by a 16th century law and had to pay hundreds of thousands of pounds for a chancel repair bill.

Matt Le Breton, a property solicitor, saw the need to protect property owners around the country from parochial claims against them.

After painstakingly digitising property microfiches, CLS enabled homeowners to determine if their property carried any liability for chancel repairs.

CLS extended their offering to legal indemnity cover, creating the first ChancelSure® Insurance policy.

CLS grew from that one innovation, but did not stop there, going on to form the specialised insurance MGA, CLS Risk Solutions. CLS Risk Solutions was borne from a small group of exception individuals applying their legal and insurance experience to design fit-for-purpose solutions not yet available in the development and funder market. Products like Right of Light, a suite of planning products, and most recently our Ownership and Use policy covering multiple risks, were first-to-market and provide solutions to the challenges and roadblocks experienced in a property transaction.

Today CLS Risk Solutions continues to listen to the market and formulate financial tools designed to enable property development projects to overcome obstacles from property speculation to completion.

Key contacts

Rob Best
Rob Best UK Managing Director Email Rob

Rob joined the UK team as Managing Director in December 2019. By engaging with our capacity providers and partnering brokers, he’ll be responsible for leading our UK team through its next phase of growth and success.

He’s worked in the insurance market for over 35 years, leading the Casualty and Environmental businesses of JLT, AJ Gallagher and WTW.

Outside of work, Rob spends time with the family and obsesses over Rugby. Sadly, for him (but luckily for us), he never quite had the ability to go pro.

Dean Bedford
Dean Bedford Underwriting Director Email Dean

Dean leads our innovative team of underwriters across five of our key product areas, solving complex property development problems for our clients.

He started his career as a Licensed Conveyancer and then found his calling three years later in insurance. He’s now got over 13 years of experience in the industry.

When Dean isn’t spending time entertaining his four children, you’ll probably find him on the golf course. He’s even captained the CLS Ryder Cup European Team.

Pam Tierney
Pam Tierney Operations Director Email Pam

Pam keeps the business running smoothly with efficient organisational processes, putting in place strategies and technology solutions within business guidelines and compliance to achieve growth and profitability.

Pam loves long walks, either with her dog JackJack, or carrying a bunch of sticks in a bag chasing a white ball.

Phil Jarvis
Phil Jarvis Underwriting Manager Email Phil

Phil guides our underwriting team with his highly technical knowledge.

He helps clients cover risks during the development and transaction of real estate, renewable energy and infrastructure projects.

He began his career with us 7 years ago and rapidly progressed through our senior underwriting roles.

Phil loves to travel. So if he isn’t watching his beloved West Ham, he’ll be planning his next trip away to a far-off, exotic land.

Jim Connolly
Jim Connolly Strategic Development Director Email Jim

Jim Connolly leads the near and long-term strategic planning and execution for the CLS Risk Solutions business.

Jim is an insurance specialist in the property sector having held broking, underwriting and risk management roles. He has managed the two largest property company portfolios in the UK – Land Securities and Canary Wharf Group – and also played a key role in establishing two niche construction-led MGAs.

He used to play cricket to quite a good standard. While travelling in India, he terrified some locals with his fast bowling. Nowadays he finds his speed kicks skiing in the Alps.

Michael Grimwood
Michael Grimwood Business Development Manager Email Michael

Michael engages with brokers, property developers and funders to promote our suite of solutions and grow the business in the UK. He’s previously worked for Zurich, AXA, and LV, and has over 10 years of experience in the real estate insurance market.

Property’s long been a professional passion of his and joining CLSRS has given him a renewed inspiration for learning.

Michael is car fanatic – anything with an engine has got his attention. However, he’s proudly welcomed his first child, so the classic collection might have to go on hold for now.

Michael Turland
Michael Turland Lead Underwriter Email Michael

Michael joined the team in 2014 and worked on building and managing the legal indemnity product for a number of years. More recently, Michael has focused on leading the Ownership and Use tool – as well as providing bespoke solutions for complex risks across the key product areas and overseeing our team.

He’s a book lover, keen runner and traveller, but most importantly, a proud northerner.

Vicky Sweeney
Vicky Sweeney Lead Underwriter Email Vicky

Vicky specialises in the rights of light space, but having been with us since leaving university, her expertise span across a number of our insurance tools. As well as being one of our lead underwriters, she’s now playing a key role in the operational side of the business, both in the UK and in Europe.

Although famously efficient, Vicky needs a coffee in the morning to fully function. She also loves anything to do with design and is currently putting that passion into a never-ending list of home improvements.

Chris Gwynn
Chris Gwynn Lead Underwriter Email Chris

Chris underwrites some of our most complex projects, while also supporting our product and business development.

He joined the CLS Group not long after graduating university and, several years on, he’s now using his highly technical knowledge to guide and mentor our most junior members.

Chris says he enjoys cycling. And we tend to agree. In 2018, Chris cycled the width of Canada – a mere 7000km from Vancouver to St Johns, Newfoundland.

Liam Gilhooly
Liam Gilhooly Lead Underwriter Email Liam

Liam is a specialist in the structural defects space with over 16 years’ experience in the insurance market

Before joining the team in 2019, he worked for Aviva as a Latent Defects Trading Underwriter, having previously spent 12 years with NHBC as a specialist in the home warranty market.

When Liam’s out of office, he likes to be underwater. A keen scuba diver, he once took a career break to become a Divemaster in the Seychelles’ coral reef. He couldn’t tell you a thing about fish, though.

Jordan Jones
Jordan Jones Underwriter Email Jordan

Jordan’s expertise stretches across our entire suite of products, but his main focus lies in Transactional Risk and Legal Indemnities.

He joined us straight from university and has played a key role in developing our products and making sure we stay ahead of an ever-changing market.

Outside office hours, he’s either on the tennis court or watching every theatre production London’s West End has to offer. That’s plays, musicals, opera, dance – if there’s a ticket, chances are he’s in attendance.

Simon White
Simon White Lead Underwriter Email Simon

Simon is head of our ESG unit. An expert in the environmental sector, both internationally and in the UK, Simon and his team bring innovative solutions to market that help clients navigate the changing ESG landscape.

Before joining us, Simon was a Director at Street Farm Consultancy Limited. He was also Head of International Environmental Underwriting at XL and has held environmental underwriting roles at both Zurich and AIG Europe.

Simon is also a passionate environmental volunteer, helping out on anything from great white shark conservation projects to working with South Africa National Parks. When he’s not saving the world, you’ll likely find him chipping in at his local rugby club.

Discover more tools.

We have seven creative property tools designed to help you make more of your property investments from planning to sale.

Latest Insights from the team.

Biodiversity net gain: hurdle or opportunity?

In this blog we look into an important factor developers and landowners need to start paying attention to - biodiversity net gain....

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Biodiversity net gain: hurdle or opportunity?

In this blog we look into an important factor developers and landowners need to start paying attention to - biodiversity net gain....

CLS Risk Solutions launches ESG unit headed by Simon White

CLS Risk Solutions launches ESG unit appointing Simon White as Lead Underwriter....

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CLS Risk Solutions launches ESG unit headed by Simon White

CLS Risk Solutions launches ESG unit appointing Simon White as Lead Underwriter....

Simon White at the Construction insurance and risk conference

Hear CLS RS Director Simon White, at the Construction insurance and risk conference, co-hosted with Built Environment Networking....

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Simon White at the Construction insurance and risk conference

Hear CLS RS Director Simon White, at the Construction insurance and risk conference, co-hosted with Built Environment Networking....

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