Fraud or finality? Supreme Court to decide

Is a compensator to be precluded from re-opening a settlement agreement relating to a personal injury claim in which it suspected the claimant was dishonestly exaggerating his symptoms for financial gain but nonetheless entered into the settlement?

This question is at the heart of Zurich Insurance v Hayward, which was heard by the Supreme Court today.

With judgment expected some time in the next few months, the court’s decision – whatever it might be – will certainly emerge into a claims environment in which fraud remains very much front and centre; whether in the work to take forward the recommendations of the Insurance Fraud Task Force or in respect of implementation of the reforms to whiplash and small claims proposed in the 2015 Autumn Statement.

Please feel free to contact me by email if you would like a more detailed account of the day-long hearing before the court.

About the Author

akAlistair 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).

All you need to know about whiplash fraud – in 90 minutes…

An hour and half of Parliamentary time on the afternoon of Wednesday 18 November was set aside to debate on personal injury fraud. As is the case when the topic arises, there was a good deal of hot air and disagreement over the detail of the statistics quoted in the market. That aside, greater consensus could be found around the need to tackle aggressive marketing tactics and cold calls and texts.

A possible increase in the small claims limit for whiplash claims to £5,000 and a reduction in the limitation period for these claims to a year were debated again and could well gain further currency and momentum with the imminent publication of the report of the Insurance Fraud Taskforce. These will be critical issues over the next few weeks and months.

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Fraud: keeping it in the family?

UK Supreme Court final

Members of the same family colluding in the presentation and pursuit of speculative and/or fraudulent personal injury claims is, regrettably, hardly an uncommon circumstance. This week, however, the Supreme Court is examining the impact of fraud by one spouse on another.

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