David is effective at resolving liability issues in product liability claims. He is also experienced in handling product recalls, recoveries, regulatory investigations, policy coverage issues, group litigation, and jurisdiction disputes. He is ranked in both Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 ("Next Generation Partner") for Product Liability: Defendant work.
David has handled claims involving products of various types, such as medical devices, automobiles, toys, and electrical goods. He has represented manufacturers, own-branders, distributors and retailers, and effectively pursued subrogated recoveries along supply chains.
David represented the lead defendant in the PIP Breast Implant Group Litigation, constructing its liability defence. He also acted for one of the main defendants in the Linkwise group litigation, which involved thousands of claims involving defective sofas and dermatitis. In that matter he part-drafted a claims handling agreement which was applied to approximately 1,500 to 2,000 claims, and which led to predictable and cost-effective resolution of those claims.
David has a particular expertise in the food and drink sector, having advised clients in relation to fatal allergen claims, the European E.coli outbreak, illnesses at the Fat Duck restaurant, alleged pork DNA contamination of Halal products following the horsemeat scandal, food poisoning outbreaks involving hundreds of claimants, and food prosecutions, including a successful and newsworthy appeal relating to rare burgers which resulted in Food Standards Agency guidance.
He also has strong expertise in the life sciences sector, having led the defence in the PIP Breast Implant Group Litigation, and advising clients in relation to spinal disc implants, surgical knives, stem cell treatment for cerebral palsy, and pathology reporting for cancer treatment.
In addition to product liability, he handles a range of property damage claims, typically involving fire or escape of water, with a total caseload value of more than £250M. He also frequently advises clients on coverage issues, under a range of insurance policy types.
David is on the executive committee for DWF's retail, food and hospitality sectors, which enables him to draw on the expertise of teams across both the insurance and commercial parts of DWF, particularly on the regulatory side. It also means he can work with the firm to provide a multi-disciplinary response to a product liability crisis, and provide the right expertise at the right time.
David has experience in constructing complex liability and causation defences based on expert engineering, scientific and epidemiological evidence, and has successfully defended complex disease claims involving exposure to hazardous substances and difficult illnesses such as bladder cancer.
David is head of FOIL's product liability sector focus team, working on behalf of the insurance industry to develop and share ideas on hot topics such as autonomous vehicles, the changing nature of product liability insurance, and legislative/regulatory changes.
He regularly speak at events for leading insurers, policyholders and brokers, on emerging risks issues such as nanotechnology, autonomous vehicles, EMF/mobile phones, 3D printing and e-cigarettes; as well as food industry risks such as complex supply chains and endocrine disruptors in food contact materials.
David is ranked as a "Next Generation Partner" in Legal 500. A testimonial from Legal 500 2021 states "David Kidman is a Product Liability Specialist. Has great knowledge of product liability claims and works on claims often involving high value, complex and multi-jurisdictional issues. David is always approachable, helpful and extremely good with our customers".
David is also ranked in Chambers & Partners 2021, referred to as a "go-to lawyer for insurers, and their insured clients, for liability and coverage disputes. He offers further strength advising on product recall matters". Testimonials include that he is "An excellent partner in product liability with a very strong market following and a highly regarded commercial approach", and "He is always approachable, helpful and extremely good with clients".
A testimonial from Legal 500 2020 stated "David Kidman handles sensitive, often high-profile cases with rare skill. He combines his exceptional legal knowledge with good judgement and commercial sense". Legal 500 has also previously referred to David as "a go-to lawyer for food safety prosecutions" and described him as "bright" and as someone who "thinks ahead."
David has previously been recognised in Chambers and Partners as being "an emerging force in product liability work who is measured and thinks a couple of steps ahead", "very efficient, very straightforward to deal with" and having "considerable experience defending large-scale, group litigation".