February was an eventful month for seeing numerous Bills receiving Royal Assent.
The Insurance Act 2015 received Royal Assent on 12 February. BLM has done a large amount of work around the Act over the past 18 months and it was satisfying to see it come to fruition. You will remember that former Law Commissioner David Hertzell became a consultant at BLM in January 2015.
The Insurance Act 2015 received Royal Assent on 12 February and comes into effect on 12 August 2016 following an 18 month lead period.
The BLM Time for Change guides are up to date and take into account the Royal Assent – they are available here. The new Act is the most significant insurance-related legislation in over a century and is covered only very briefly here, given that we have a great deal of material available on line and various articles.
The Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 received Royal Assent on the same date (12 February). As noted previously, Section 57 of the Act requires courts to dismiss all elements of a claim for damages for personal injuries in which the claimant is found to be “fundamentally dishonest”. This new duty applies in any case in which proceedings are issued on or after 12 February.
The SARAH Act 2015 also received Royal Assent on 12 February. To give the Act it’s full working title – the Social Action, Responsibility and Heroism Act. It is not entirely clear when it will come into effect, as requires a commencement order. It purports, to set out “matters to which a court must have regard in determining a claim in negligence or breach of statutory duty”. Those matters – acting for the benefit of society … [demonstrating] a predominantly responsible approach [and] acting heroically by intervening in an emergency” – are already part of the balancing exercise carried out by the courts and typified by cases such as Tomlinson v Congleton BC.
About the Author
Alistair Kinley is BLM’s Director of Policy & Government Affairs.
Alistair is responsible for BLM’s engagement with government departments and regulators on policy and public affairs issues and consultations affecting the firm and its customers. He coordinated BLM’s market-facing activities in connection with the Insurance Act 2015 and the consultations which preceded its publication and introduction in Parliament.
He is a member of the Civil Justice Council (CJC), a regular speaker and experienced commentator on legal and procedural reforms and was a contributing editor to the Law Society’s Litigation Funding Handbook (September 2014).