Vnuk: legislative change to the scope of motor insurance moves forward again

This first blog of the New Year reports further progress this afternoon in the Commons for Peter Bone MP’s presentation Bill seeking to remove the effects of the Vnuk v Zararovalnica and Lewis v Tindale decisions from English motor insurance law.

The brief debate at today’s Committee Stage ran to around only 30 minutes, following which it was approved without objection or amendment. The points made in today’s debate were, in broad terms, summaries of those aired during a debate in September in Westminster Hall on the effects of these two cases (the transcript of the Westminster Hall debate can be read in full here)

The Motor Vehicles (Compulsory Insurance) Bill now passes to Report Stage before the whole House. We expect that is also likely to be a fairly short discussion and it could take place in the next few weeks.

In closing today, Mr Bone pointed out that his Bill, if it succeeds – which looks increasingly likely – would be the first piece of primary legislation, after the UK’s exit from the EU, to alter an aspect of ‘retained EU law’.

Stakeholders in the motor insurance and motor sports sectors will really not be too interested in whether it is the first, second or third to do that but will simply want to see it take effect ASAP. As the Bill is drafted to commence two months after its Royal Assent, there might be a fair prospect of it taking effect late in the second quarter of this year. In the meantime, please feel free to get in touch if you’d like to discuss the detail of the proposed changes.


Written by Alistair Kinley, Director of Policy and Government Affairs at BLM (alistair.kinley@blmlaw.com)

Concussion in sport: The government response and what the next round might look like

We recently passed the first anniversary of the letter of claim on behalf of former international rugby union players alleging that negligence of the sport’s authorities (World Rugby, the RFU and Wales Rugby) caused or contributed to their neurodegenerative symptoms and diagnoses. I expect unwittingly, it coincided with the government’s publication of its formal response to the Digital Culture Media and Sport Select Committee’s (DCMSSC) July 2021 report ‘Concussion in Sport’. In the body of this blog I’ll examine the response and look at possible future developments related to head injuries in professional and amateur sport.

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Accidents abroad, pre-Brexit: just sue the insurer here and join the policyholder? CJEU says no, unwinding English decision in Keefe

It’s been four years since conflict lawyers were left with the ‘Keefe question’ echoing in their ears. But now comes the time to launch those seashells back into the ocean because today, thank you to the CJEU’s ruling, we finally have an answer!

For those of you who are not familiar with the ‘Keefe question’ perhaps you were washed away by the incoming tide and missed the excitement. But here is a quick summary… The case of Keefe arose out of a claim brought by a Claimant domiciled in England. He suffered severe personal injuries while staying at a hotel in Spain.  A direct action was brought against the hotel’s liability insurer, with jurisdiction established under the special rules relating to insurance under Council Regulation (EC) 44/2001 (Brussels I, latterly amended to the Brussels I recast regulations).  However, it was later discovered that there was a limit of indemnity under the insurance policy which was significantly less than the estimated £5 million of damages claimed.  In order to recover any uninsured amount, the Claimant joined the hotel as a second defendant, citing art.11(3) (which is now art.13(3) in the recast regulations) in respect of jurisdiction.  The Court of Appeal held that the joinder was allowed and jurisdiction of the English court over the claim against the hotel was established.

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