The Supreme Court is currently in recess and will sit again in early October. Its most recent list of decisions on permissions to appeal, published over the summer break, offers points of interest in the cases it will hear. These may not form as extensive a diet of tort and insurance issues as had been the case in the early part of 2016, with decisions such as: Knauer, Cox, Mohamud, Versloot, Hayward and Moreno. What we see as the key cases, are noted in this blog.
The Supreme Court will hear the solicitors’ professional indemnity insurance (PII) claim AIG Europe v Woodman, which examines aspects of claims aggregation. It was reported on appeal as AIG Europe Ltd v Oc320301 LLP. The next chapter in this aspect of interpretation of PII policy terms will be closely followed by insurers in this market sector.
Another solicitors’ PII case, Impact Funding v AIG Europe, was heard by the SC on 30 June 2016 and judgment is awaited. The case concerns liability for disbursement funding in the context of a now-insolvent firm, with PII cover with AIG, and which had obtained significant credit from Impact (over half a million pounds) in respect of funding of expert reports in noise-induced hearing loss claims.
How the pre-LASPO costs regime of recoverable additional liabilities might engage, if at all, rights under the European Convention on Human Rights is back before the SC. This time, the setting is in libel litigation. The points that remain to be argued in Miller v Associated Newspapers concern the recoverability of the ATE insurance premium (of nearly a quarter of a million pounds) and whether that might engage article 10 (right to freedom of expression). This, like Knauer and Moreno earlier in the year, is also a leapfrog appeal direct from the High Court.
Robinson v West Yorkshire Police has been given partial permission. The claim relates to an accident in 2008 when the elderly claimant was knocked over and injured by policemen who were running after a drug dealer in order to arrest him. Mrs Robinson claimed that the police had been negligent during the chase and arrest and caused her injury. Her argument would succeed only if the police owed her a duty of care in such instances. It was dismissed by the Court of Appeal. Interestingly, this re-examination of this area of the law in Robinson follows fairly quickly from the Michael v South Wales case last year in which a seven member SC split 5:2 against imposing liability in negligence on the police for actions or omissions.
The Court has refused to hear an appeal in Crooks v Hendricks Lovell, which turned on the use of the phrase “net of CRU” and deciding on whether a claimant had beaten the defendant’s part 36 offer to settle a personal injury claim.
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).