October 23, 2018

Fenchurch Law awarded Investor In Customers “Gold” Award for client experience

Fenchurch Law, the UK’s leading firm of policyholder-focused insurance dispute lawyers, have achieved a ‘gold’ award from the independent Investor in Customers (IIC) assessment process for a second year running.

Comments from clients included:

“You receive a proactive, knowledgeable and professional service better than any competitor.”

“My dealings with the firm were extremely professional and the key contacts and partners were always approachable. These points are invaluable to me.”

“In all of my interaction with Fenchurch Law they make me believe that my concern / issue is right at the top of their pile. They listen and respond within a reasonable period of time (not too quick otherwise I’d fear they haven’t considered it properly!).”

“I feel this team is a true example of a modern law firm where client care and results are at the forefront of everything it does.”

“We brokers know how to deal with most claims, but we sometimes need expert help when the insurer is being difficult. We are comforted to know that Fenchurch Law are right behind us and our clients to provide the legal guidance and advice when required.”

IIC is an independent assessment organisation that conducts rigorous benchmarking exercises.  These exercises determine the quality of customer service and relationships across several dimensions, including how well a company understands its customers, how it meets their needs and how it engenders loyalty.  IIC also compares the views of staff and senior management to identify how embedded the customer is within the company’s thinking.

Sandy Bryson, Director at IIC, commented: “Fenchurch Law has recorded another exceptional assessment score of its client experience, resulting in our Gold award for the second consecutive year. Not only that, the individual results from all 4 audiences who completed the assessment questionnaires: their clients; their employees; senior managers and IIC, were also rated as a “Gold”. I am delighted for David and his team. These results are testimony to the absolute commitment from the whole Fenchurch Law team to put their clients first. Furthermore, they will be implementing the insights from this years’ assessment to continue improving their client experience.”

David Pryce, Managing Director at Fenchurch Law added: “Providing an exceptional service is extremely important to us, but we know that we can always do better. That’s why we use the IIC process. To understand what we can improve, and to make sure that these improvements do happen”.

October 5, 2018

Important decision for anyone involved in coverage disputes or Brokers’ E&O claims

Dalamd Ltd v Butterworth Spengler Commercial Ltd [2018] EWHC 2558 (Comm)

Judgement by Mr Justice Butcher was handed down on 12th October.

One of the key messages (see paras 133-134 of the judgment) is that, where an insurer declines indemnity, there is a very significant distinction between (i) the situation where the policyholder challenges the insurer’s stance and goes on to reach a reasonable settlement with it; and (ii) the situation where the policyholder simply accepts the declinature and sues the broker for the uninsured loss.

In the first scenario, the policyholder can sue the broker for the difference between the amount of the settlement and what it would have recovered under policy, without having to establish in the action against the broker that the insurer’s coverage defence was necessarily a good one.

By contrast, in the second scenario (where the policyholder does not settle with the insurer before suing the broker), it will be required in the action against the broker to establish as a matter of fact or law that the insurer’s coverage defence was correct. Butcher J rejected the claimant’s submission that it could instead simply establish the “loss of a chance” to have claimed on the insurance policy.

So this is the message for any policyholder whose insurer has declined indemnity – only regard a professional negligence claim against the broker as your first and exclusive mode of redress in the clearest of cases, where there is no real doubt that the insurer’s stance is well founded. In any other situation, the policyholder will be well advised first to challenge the insurer’s stance with a view to reaching a reasonable settlement with it, and only then to contemplate a claim against the broker for the shortfall.

Here’s the full judgement:

Jonathan Corman is a partner at Fenchurch Law