Excludes Hong Kong

Escapes of Water, Gas & Fluid


Leaks from pipework, tanks and other containers can result in the release of mains or foul water, gas explosions or contamination by oil or chemicals. Typical causes are:

  • Poorly or incorrectly made connections
  • Inadequate support for pipes
  • Poor design of the installation
  • Leaks in high-rise buildings
  • Excessive pressure, including transient effects such as "water hammer"
  • Corrosion, possibly caused by the use of inappropriate materials or innappropriate treatment regimes
  • Manufacturing faults, including metallurgical defects
  • Movement or expansion caused by frost
  • Mechanical damage or overloading of pipework
  • The use of temporary supplies or connections

Hawkins has the expertise to investigate them all.


We have a good knowledge of typical policy cover and the information we provide assists clients with decisions on:

  • Policy liability
  • Breach of warranties
  • Breach of Policy conditions
  • Recovery

This applies to commercial, domestic and marine losses anywhere in the world. We find that clients are especially interested in causation when establishing liability and considering subrogation opportunities given, for example, the damage caused by spread of water from a leak and the consequential loss.


In most investigations we start by obtaining witness evidence, usually in the form of statements. Consideration of such evidence is the first step in establishing a narrative of events and often important in determining policy liability.

The forensic investigator will collect and evaluate all the available physical evidence and this often leads to analysis of failed parts in our laboratories. On occasion we are sent sections of pipe or fittings to analyse in the laboratory.

Liaison with official agencies is often an important part of investigations and Hawkins is well versed in handling losses involving the Fire Brigade and HSE, and obtaining and interpreting CCTV footage if available.

We are sometimes able to find evidence of fraud. For example, by sampling items allegedly damaged by rainwater, we might be able to determine whether the items have been damaged by rainwater or mains water introduced after the incident.


Finally, when handling the claim for the cleaning of buildings or contents do not forget our Contamination Assessment Service. It should play a central role in your response to major losses involving water, chemicals, oil or mould damage to buildings, stock and contents. Hawkins' highly qualified chemists will tell you with certainty whether cleaning is required as a direct result of the leak or of the flood or simply from the build-up of dirt over the years; something not covered by the policy. For more details see the contamination web page.

The forensic investigator will collect and evaluate all the available physical evidence and this often leads to analysis of failed parts in our laboratories

Contact Us

If you are seeking a career in forensic consultancy, email us at [email protected] and attach your CV together with a summary of your area of experise, experience, and what you can bring to the team.

Submitting this contact form will enter your details into our contacts database and we will reply to your request as soon as possible. We will also retain your details so we may contact you from time to time. You can ask us to remove your details at any time. For details, see our Privacy Notice.