Scottish Government commits to establish Scotland-only COVID-19 public inquiry and seek views on draft aims and principles

On 24 August 2021 the First Minister of Scotland committed the Scottish Government to establish a judge-led, Scotland-only, independent public inquiry on COVID-19 by the end of this year. This marks a significant development in the Scottish Government’s position on COVID-19 inquiry matters. Previously, the First Minister had “broadly welcomed” the UK Prime Minister’s commitment to hold a UK-wide, or “four nations” inquiry, although she expected that to begin before the end of 2021 rather than spring 2022 as initially proposed by the Prime Minister.  

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COVID-19 injury claims – emerging trends?

As the number of infections within the UK population continues to rise, it may come as no surprise that claims for compensation for COVID appear to be gathering some momentum.  From statistics obtained from the Department of Work and Pensions, we can see that the number of claims registered with the Compensation Recovery Unit (CRU) – most of which relate to employer’s liability (EL) – look to be trending upwards since September, albeit that monthly levels are extremely low. The CRU data are broken down by a range of factors in the remainder of this post.

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Business interruption insurance – test case update – judgment expected in December or January

This is a very brief overview of very recent developments and is most definitely not an analysis of the arguments raised earlier this month before the Supreme Court, other than by way of a reminder that:

  1. the competing arguments of the parties – the FCA and the interested insurers – focus on the question of whether or not the range of representative business interruption (BI) wordings provide indemnity for operating losses sustained by policyholders during the first ‘lockdown’ of 2020, and
  2. the decision at first instance examined this by grouping the relevant clauses into three broad types – disease clauses, prevention of access clauses and hybrid clauses – interpreting each in its context, dealing with causation, prevalence of Covid-19, counterfactuals and with the effect on claims adjustment of so-called ‘trends’ clauses.
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