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Category Archives: Case reports

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Posted in Case reports, UK

“Of Ransoms, Bitcoin, and Injunctions”: English High Court grants subrogee insurer proprietary injunction over ransomed Bitcoin

In a gripping tale sure to excite die-hard Potter fans everywhere, the English High Court has granted a so-called ‘Harry Potter injunction‘ (i.e. a protective injunction against persons unknown[1]) restraining the dissipation of Bitcoin from a specified Bitcoin exchange. Aside from tenuous/clickbait-worthy links to children’s literature, the case is of interest for two main reasons:

Posted in Case reports, UK

UK: Reinsurers entitled to reject “spiking” of mesothelioma losses

In the first judgment to provide guidance on the allocation of mesothelioma liabilities at a reinsurance level, the Court of Appeal in Equitas Insurance Limited v Municipal Mutual Insurance Limited [2019] EWCA Civ 718 has ruled that insurers cannot choose to allocate their full loss to whichever reinsurance policy would produce the maximum recovery, ie

Posted in Case reports, UK

UK: We didn’t start the fire: Motor insurer not liable for property damage caused by car repair fire on private premises

In R&S Pilling t/a Phoenix Engineering v UK Insurance Limited [2019] UKSC 16, the Supreme Court addressed the question of whether or not a motor insurer should be liable for property damage caused by a fire which was started whilst a vehicle insured by it was being repaired on private land. The Facts Mr Holden,

Posted in Case reports, Market developments, Regulatory and legislative updates, South Africa

South Africa: Purpose and simple language take precedence

On 14 March 2019, the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) dismissed an appeal by Centriq Insurance Company Ltd (Centriq) against a ruling of the Free State High Court holding liable a financial advisor under a professional indemnity insurance policy. The SCA held that Centriq could not rely on an exclusion in the policy that was

Posted in Case reports, UK

UK: Make him a costs order he can’t refuse: Indemnity insurer must pay costs of negligently advised purchasers in Mafia-linked property development

On 11 January 2019, the High Court handed down its judgment in Various Claimants v Giambrone & Law (A Firm) & Others, AIG (Europe) Limited [2019] EWHC 34 (QB)), finding that AIG is liable for claimants’ costs pursuant to a non-party costs order under section 51 of the Senior Courts Act 1981. Background Giambrone concerns

Posted in Case reports, UK

UK: Sanctions exclusion clauses: What can we learn from Mamancochet Mining Limited v Aegis Managing Agency Limited and Others [2018] EWHC 2643 (Comm)?

On 12 October 2018 the High Court handed down judgment in a case that concerned a claim brought against insurers for payment under a marine cargo policy relating to the theft of steel billets from an Iranian port in late 2012. The 11 defendant underwriters sought to rely on a London standard insurance market sanctions

Posted in Case reports, South Africa

South Africa: What’s yours is mine and what’s mine is mine

In Naidoo v Discovery Life Limited & others (202/20170) ZASCA 88 (31 May 2018) the Supreme Court of Appeal was faced with the main task of determining whether a risk-only policy with a beneficiary clause constitutes an asset in the joint-estate as envisaged by section 15(2)(c) of the Matrimonial Property Act,1984 (MPA). This case deals

Posted in Case reports, UK

“Come one, come all”: the Court of Appeal opens the floodgates and expands the scope of the jurisdictional gateways

Eurasia v Aguad [2018] EWCA Civ 1742 The Court of Appeal (“CoA“) has held that two of the “general grounds” jurisdictional gateways (as opposed to those gateways which operate only in relation to a specific type of claim) are complementary to each other, such that additional foreign defendants can be brought within English jurisdiction despite

Posted in Case reports, Italy

Latest developments of Italian case law for index-linked and unit-linked policies

The classification of index and unit linked policies as insurance or financial products continues to be debated in Italy, notwithstanding the Supreme Court’s decision no. 6061 of 18 April 2012. The issue arises from the enactment of Law no. 262/2005 – entered into force on 25 January 2007 -, which extended the application of the

Posted in Case reports, UK

UK: Wood v Capita Insurance Services Limited

Be aware of drafting (or seeking to interpret) a contractual indemnity provision in isolation.  Appreciating the wider contractual context will avoid surprises. The Supreme Court has held that the indemnity clause in an SPA did not operate to indemnify the buyer of an insurance broker against compensation paid to customers as a result of mis-selling.

Posted in Case reports, UK

UK: AIG Europe Limited v Woodman and others

Earlier this week, the Supreme Court overturned the Court of Appeal’s judgment in AIG Europe Limited v Woodman and others UKSC 2016/0100, ruling on how claims arising from similar acts or omissions in a series of related matters or transactions should be aggregated for the purposes of a per claim limit.  The court held that whilst

Posted in Case reports, UK

UK: What level of dishonesty counts as fraud? An analysis of recent Supreme Court judgments

The Supreme Court published two judgments on how dishonesty affects insurance claims before the end of the most recent Trinity term: Hayward (Respondent) v Zurich Insurance Company plc (Appellant) [2016] UKSC 48 and Versloot Dredging BV and another (Appellants) v HDI Gerling Industrie Versicherung AG and others (Respondents) UKSC 2014/0252 (The Merwestone). The factual background

Posted in Case reports, UK

UK: “Read them the Riot Act”: Supreme Court holds that insurers cannot recover consequential losses from the police

Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co (Europe) Ltd v Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime [2016] UKSC 18 In the culmination of a test case on the extent of local police authorities’ statutory liability to compensate victims of riot (“Victims“), the Supreme Court (the “UKSC“) has held, unanimously, that consequential losses are not recoverable from the police.

Posted in Case reports, Spain

Spain: D&O policies and bails asked by Criminal Courts

Last 11 January 2016 Central Examining Court no. 3 (“Juzgado Central de Instrucción nº 3”) decided that in case of crimes that can only be committed intentionally, the D&O policy could guarantee the indemnities to be paid to third parties, but it will never guarantee the damages suffered by the own policyholder due to the

Posted in Case reports, European Union

EU: Where in the world?

2015 saw some interesting judgments dealing with jurisdictional questions of relevance to the insurance market. In this article we look at two of these. Where will we be sued? Jurisdictional uncertainty for insurers and insureds In Mapfre and another v Keefe, the Court of Appeal considered whether the English court had jurisdiction over a direct

Posted in Case reports, USA

US: Turning The Tables – Hogan Lovells Recovers More Than $625,000 In Attorneys’ Fees From Plaintiff’s Counsel for Frivolous Bad Faith Suit

It happens all too often, or at least it feels like it does.  Your client is named as a defendant in a case that you know has no merit.  You tell the plaintiff that they have no case and, after they ignore you, you move to dismiss.  But low pleading thresholds, broad allegations and some

Posted in Case reports, USA

U.S. Court of Appeals Affirms Decision by Lower Court That Retrocessions with Underlying U.S. Risks Between Two Non-U.S. Reinsurers Are Not Subject to U.S. Federal Excise Tax

The U.S. District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit recently affirmed the U.S. District Court’s decision in Validus Reinsurance, Ltd. v. United States of America, that the U.S. federal excise tax (“FET”), sometimes referred to as the “cascading” FET, does not apply to retrocessions between two non-U.S. reinsurers even if the underlying

Posted in Case reports, UK

UK: Zurich Insurance PLC UK Branch (Appellant) v International Energy Group Limited (Respondent)

The Supreme Court yesterday overturned the Court of Appeal‘s judgment in Zurich Insurance PLC UK Branch v International Energy Group Limited [2015] UKSC 33.  This case dealt with the law in Guernsey on exposure to asbestos where there is no equivalent to the Compensation Act 2006.  The case concerned whether an insurer is liable to

Posted in Case reports, USA

USA: Washington Law Bars Reevaluating Regulator Approved Rates Invoking the Filed Rate Doctrine

The Washington State Supreme Court today issued its en banc opinion in McCarthy Finance, Inc. et al. v. Premera et al., WA S. Ct. Case No. 90533-9.  The Court held that Washington law does apply the filed rate doctrine in the insurance context, and that the doctrine bars actions that would require a court to