News

September 7, 2011

Claims for compensation under the Riot (Damages) Act 1886

The Riot (Damages) Act 1886 is designed to compensate people and businesses which suffer losses following riots. It also enables insurance companies which have paid out claims under policies to recover the cost of such claims from the relevant police authority in charge at the place of the riots. (more…)

August 24, 2011

When does time begin to run when an insurer refuses indemnity under a third party liability policy?

William McIlroy Swindon Ltd, Rannoch Investments Ltd v Quinn Insurance Ltd
[2011] EWCA Civ 825

Quinn Insurance Limited (“the Insurer”) provided public liability insurance to one of the Claimants’ sub-contractors (“the Policyholder”). The Policyholder was sued by the Claimants in relation to a fire which occurred in 2006, and the Insurer refused indemnity under the public liability cover in February 2009 alleging that the Policyholder had been in breach of certain policy conditions.

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July 12, 2011

ECJ ruling on legal expenses; Austrian law

The recent ruling in Stark v DAS Osterreichische Allgemeine Rechtsschutversicerung AG by the ECJ, whilst addressing a question of Austrian law, is relevant to all involved in legal expenses insurance.

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May 13, 2011

Court of Appeal decision on CFA success fees

Sousa v London Borough of Waltham Forest [2010] EWCA Civ 194

The Claimant suffered subsidence damage to his property caused by the roots of a tree which was owned by the Defendant. The Claimant claimed on his house insurance policy for the damage, and his insurer provided him with a full indemnity. The insurer then proceeded to exercise its right of subrogation and instructed a firm of solicitors who were to work under a collective conditional fee agreement.

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High Court decision on solicitors’ undertakings

Halliwells LLP v NES Solicitors and Quinn Insurance [2011] EWHC 947

NES was approached by a new, apparently wealthy, client and asked to provide an undertaking to pay Halliwells £1.5 million as part of a share purchase agreement. The client provided a “gold delivery certificate” purported to be worth £10 million. The partners of NES, in reliance on the certificate, but knowing the funds had not cleared, provided the undertaking. The certificate was later found to be worthless.

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April 15, 2011

Immunity of expert witnesses

In Stanton v Callaghan [1998] EWCA Civ 1176, it was held that the immunity of an expert witness extended to protect him from liability for negligence in preparing a joint statement for use in legal proceedings. This rule was designed to ensure that witnesses were not deterred from giving evidence in court due the risk of later allegations of negligence.

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February 10, 2011

ECHR decision on Conditional Fee Agreements

In February 2001, the publisher of the Daily Mirror newspaper (‘MGN’) was sued by Naomi Campbell for breach of confidence and misuse of private information. At first instance, Ms Campbell was successful. The Court of Appeal overturned the decision in 2004 and subsequently, the House of Lords (as it then was) reinstated the first instance decision and Ms Campbell was awarded £3,500 in damages.

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January 4, 2011

Court of Appeal decision on the “date of knowledge” under s14A Limitation Act 1980

In personal injury cases proceedings must be issued at court within 3 years of the date on which the injury occurred or, if later (for instance, where the injury is latent), within 3 years of the date that the injured person had the knowledge required in order to bring the claim (s.14A Limitation Act 1980).

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