To allow for much of its lower-value legal work to be performed in-house, Royal & SunAlliance has doubled the size of its legal department, bringing the staff total above 100 and nearing 50 lawyers.
Fusion, the online subsidiary of Lloyd’s managing agency SVB, plans to offer directors’ and officers’ insurance over the internet, claiming this as a first in this field.
Responding to new legislation and aimed more widely than..
A new syndicate, operating under the number 3210 and managed by Chaucer Syndicates and with active under-writer Allan Guest, will be the largest with Japanese financial backing of Mitsui Marine International. The syndicate will write..
As the main hearing gets under way, Lloyd’s appears to be mopping up the other legal challenges from Names. The Court of Appeal has reenforced the bankruptcy order (set aside at one stage) on Geoffrey..
The appointment of a chief analyst from outside, Douglas Morgan, is a first step to improved forecasting of Lloyd’s results. His remit will be to independently check the forecasts of syndicates underwriting at Lloyd’s which,..
Last month, in reporting Aon’s new range of products for solicitors, we suggested it was working on this with HSBC Insurance Brokers. This was incorrect, and we apologise for the error.
Aon has no relationship or..
German and US negotiators have agreed the distribution of DM10bn compensation to an estimated 870,000 surviving slave labourers under the Third Reich. Some DM8.25bn will be paid direct. Those who were held in concentration camps..
Last year 7,000 postmen were bitten by dogs, with around 10% needing time off work to recover. One postman retaliated, kicking the dog away (causing injury that led to its death). RSPCA action against Billy..
Echoing the ongoing questions regarding the Erika
, investigation into the loss of 18 lives and the sinking of bulk carrier Leader L
on 23 March 2000, the worst bulker loss since 1998, indicates that structural..
Full details of the report from Italian classification society Rina on the loss of the Erika
and subsequent serious pollution of the French coast, appears in Lloyd’s List
10 April 2000. The report was prepared..
A ruling by the Alaska Supreme Court requiring defence against a child molestation suit from a homeowners’ policy insurer follows hard on that of Oregon Supreme Court that smoke damage from the landlord’s illegal methamphetamine..
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Board
received 78,900 applications and made payments of £195mn to 46,000 victims of crime in 1999. Since it was set up in 1964, payments have totalled £2bn. These range, for example,..
16–18 May • Assembly Rooms, Bath • Covering the current state of knowledge on motor whiplash injuries and what is – or can be – done about this costly problem with detailed examination of..
Subject Damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity
Result This head of damages in personal injury cases is to be increased in order to produce fair, reasonable and just compensation. This is on a rising..
James Crabtree moves from Stephenson Harwood to join Pinsent Curtis
as partner. As part of expansion of its insurance and reinsurance practice, he will bring a wealth of international experience.
Elizabeth Bramwell, former editor of the..
Businesses in South Korea with four or less employees will, from 1 July, have to meet the same requirements as larger enterprises in providing industrial accident compensation. Additionally, suicides due to work-related stress will also..
Leading City law firm Linklaters is to set up a separate company to market internet-based legal services. Blueflag.com will be launched on 30 June of this year. This will initially sell Linklaters’ Blueflag range of..
The common position adopted by European ministers that those offering services via the internet need only comply with the rules of their country of origin has implications for cross-border legal services. In effect, UK solicitors..
The first merger to overcome the differences between English and Scottish law comes into being on 2 May 2000. Dibb Lupton Alsop merges with the Scottish-based practice of Bird Semple.
This is part of a long-term..
Following the High Court decision of Justice Neuberger in construction case Harrison v Bloom Camillan
, damages awarded for negligence by solicitors could drop by up to 20%. In this case, damages were awarded in respect..
New cases for the Office for the Supervision of Solicitors (OSS) rose in 1999 by 3% to 20,352, with complaints against solicitors only marginally up to 17,177.
Applications to the Solicitors Compensation Fund fell by 19%..
An inquiry by the Office of Fair Trading into anticompetitive practices within the professions could lead to an open market of competition in the provision of high street legal services between law firms and accountants.
Financially supported by six top City law firms, the International Dispute Resolution Centre – which has already hosted 20 mediations since February – has opened in London. Space and facilities are made to address the..
At the 10th anniversary of the formation of the Centre for Dispute Resolution, a survey shows that less than two-thirds of 200 companies with turnover in excess of £10mn have received advice from their lawyers..
The taking-effect of the Human Rights Act, in October of this year, is expected to lead to a spate of litigation: schools facing action over uniforms and other matters of personal behaviour; police challenged on..
From 3 April, legal aid funding was no longer available for virtually all personal injury claims or business disputes; it is estimated this will affect around 80,000 cases a year. Hand in hand with this..
A consultative document (comments by 15 June/28 July 2000), Modern Company Law for a Competitive Economy: Developing the Framework
addresses ‘an improved and modernised framework for all companies, with some significant proposals for reshaping the..
The Lord Chancellor’s Department has published a consultation paper, looking at the discount rate on lump sum awards for personal injury claims under the Damages Act 1996.
At present these are calculated by taking an estimate..
Despite widespread insurer fears, the Court of Appeal has, firmly and definitively until changed by legislation, set far lower guidelines for increased awards for general damages than recommended by the Law Commission.
No increase below £10,000,..
Australian insurance group QBE, which acquired UK Iron Trades earlier this year for A$445mn, plans to close the provincial division and sell the retail and healthcare divisions.
QBE will, however, retain the profitable national division, which..
The table includes companies with gross written premiums for general/third-party liability in excess of US$100mn. Ranked using the conversion rate current at the accounting year-end, it does not include those companies that do not provide..
A first such judicial review has found that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) acted unlawfully in refusing to bring manslaughter charges against a company and its director on grounds of there being no reasonable..
Experian, a leading information solutions provider, has published a guide – blessed by a foreword by Elizabeth France of the Data Protection Commission – on the new obligations on businesses that hold or process a..
Nine major cases have been launched in the US in which businesses claim recoupment of pre-millennial remediation work; GTE Corp seeks US$400mn from Allendale Mutual Insurance and others. Xerox, Mike, Unisys, ITT and K-Mart are..
Speculation on possible legal action from investors and brokers, following the London Stock Exchange eight-hour computer failure on budget-sensitive Wednesday 5 April, could focus the minds of IT providers.
At present, during FSA investigation, polite ‘discussions’..
Creditrust Corp, purchaser of consumer debt from lenders, has filed suit against its own insurer Asset Guarantee Insurance Co, Enhance Financial Services Group (EFS) and EFS former senior vice-president Charles Henneman seeking US$520mn in damages...
In the first cyberspace libel case to reach the High Court, internet service provider (ISP) Demon Internet admitted publishing libels – and will pay damages of £15,000 overshadowed by an estimated £480,000 in costs.
The Supreme Court of Japan has ordered advertising agency Dentsu to pay compensation to the family of Ichiro Oshima, who killed himself after becoming depressed because of overwork. Overturning an earlier ruling, the court held..
Involved firm of solicitors Jacksons reports that contractors being sued for vibration white finger injury have joined discussions with the DTI on the scheme of compensation for former employees of British Coal.
But, failing solution of..
New advice from the Faculty of Occupational Medicine and the British Occupational Health Research Foundation advise that the vast majority of those suffering from backache – 40% of the population – should return to work..
The head of legal affairs at the Engineering Employers Federation in northwest England, Sandra Howard, has warned employers that stress-related compensation claims are due to rocket. This comes both from greater awareness of employee rights..
With many others awaiting the outcome, former operating theatre nurse Fostina Brobbey has won a record £157,000 compensation for occupational asthma caused by the use of sterilising chemical Cidex.
Known to cause breathing difficulties and skin..
Settlement has prevented exploration at tribunal of what could become one of a number of claims. Supermarket manager Mark Hedley was given three months’ leave while undergoing treatment for HIV infection, but when he wanted..
Accountant Anthony Fernandes was dismissed from Netcom Consultants for gross misconduct. This, coincidentally, followed his complaint to the chairman of US sister company about his boss’s expense claims. He is now claiming unfair dismissal in..
The insurance industry has been awaiting with great interest the outcome of a number of test cases in the Court of Appeal. The test cases concerned whether non-pecuniary loss (‘pain and suffering’) damages should be..
At the opening of hearing on the loss of the ferry and 16 lives, it emerged that no single person was responsible for ‘safety culture’ at shipowner Hardanger Sunnhordlandske Dampskipsselskap. No one had the specific..
The first maritime inquiry to be opened by an attorney general since that on the Titanic
, the second inquiry into the loss of 90,000 ton ore/bulk/oil carrier Derbyshire
has opened. One of six ships of..
The European Commission has put forward tighter rules on prevention of oil pollution, single-hull tankers being banned from EU waters in three stages (on the same basis as from US coastal waters). Three key dates,..
Despite recent woes, British Nuclear Fuels, as part of a consortium of US Lockheed Martin and another British firm, Serco, will replace Hunting Brae to run the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston.
As AWE Management Ltd..
So said a cartoon in the Financial Times
, commenting on the growing woes of BNFL’s Sellafield operations. Does it matter to insurers?
Recent results for Cox Syndicate indicate that nuclear coverage doing well, yet the potential..
Dr Eric Betterton of the University of Arizona (reported in Science Briefing in The Times
5 April 2000) is concerned at spread and disposal of sodium azide (‘as powerful a poison as sodium cyanide’) from..
Despite claims by Australian mining company Dome Resources NL that a cyanide spill at its operations in Papua New Guinea (PNG) had been cleaned up, PNG emergency services are still warning that drinking water is..
A further spill of heavy metal-laden materials occurred at the Baia Borsa mine in Romania at the end of March, due, according to officials, to weather conditions and human error. The Environment Ministry, however, blamed..
From 1 April this year, local authorities in England (similar provisions apply to Scotland and Wales) have a duty to inspect their areas to discover contaminated land and ensure cleanup (in conjunction with the Environment..
Some 23 years ago a number of women in various media positions filed suit against Voice of America and former parent United States Information Agency, claiming to have been denied jobs and promotions because they..
BP Amoco has settled six suits on behalf of former employees at the Naperville research centre. The company acknowledged it was likely this rare form of brain cancer was the result of research work it..
The largest US health insurer has agreed broad regulatory power to the state of Texas. While it will have no direct impact on seven class actions outstanding against Aetna (or actions against other insurers) this..
A suit filed by the US Justice Department seeks to recover the cost to federal healthcare plans of the treatment of women suffering injuries from silicone breast implants. It further seeks recovery – from the..
‘Engle’ jury verdict
sets US$12.7mn compensatory damages for three sample smokers. This almost equals the US$13.2mn sought by lead lawyer Stanley Rosenblatt. Analysts, while expecting the result, had forecast considerably lower damages.
This is of great..
Mandatory cattle tests throughout Europe
agreed, with backing by the European Commission acting on advice from the EU Standing Veterinary Commission, to discover the extent of BSE infection.
From January 2001 at least 10% of the..
Claims are being launched in respect of some of at least 65 people in Japan, infected with CJD allegedly through the medical use of tissue collected from European corpses, many supplied by German company B..
Investigations into CJD infection of children in France, from unscreened growth hormone treatment (74 have so far died) indicate that a batch of hormone used in 1985, prior to safety checks, was found to be..
New research has produced a strong indication of a link between the triple vaccine (against measles, mumps and rubella) and chronic illness and autism in children.
Evidence was presented to the US Congress by Prof O’Leary,..
The Royal College of Pathologists has issued guidelines on information to, and consent from, relatives prior to organ removal and retention in postmortem examinations. This is in response to the revelations on widespread storage (2,000..
As part of a depressing report on the financial state of the National Health Service (NHS), the National Audit Office reported potential liabilities for clinical negligence of £2.4bn at March 1999. A £600mn increase over..
Consumer groups in Japan have forced a change in one of the world’s largest importers of genetically-modified (GM) foods, with government introduction of a compulsory labelling scheme from April 2001. An early response to this..
This is the heading of a report from NAC Re (Liability Bulletin
issue 2000–1) on potential liabilities from genetically-modified (GM) crops growing in the US.
Noting the multiple arms of regulation – US Department of Agriculture..
An interesting Australian decision is reported in law firm Phillips Fox’s insurance law Focus
, February 2000. A class action of 200 farmers sought to recover damages from canola seed manufacturer Cropmark New Zealand and Australian..
Despite compensation ranging from £300 to £7,000 for slaughter of BSE-suspect cattle, French farmers are seeking the cause of continued infection within their herds.
On the basis of an EC report showing almost 5% of animal..
Research by Prof John Hermon-Taylor of St George’s Hospital, London, suggests that MAP (mycobacterium avium, subspecies paratuberculosis) is responsible both for the wasting illness of cattle, Johne’s disease, and the incurable human bowel condition Crohn’s..
At the start of business, the new Food Standards Agency (FSA), funded by £110mn public money and £40mn from industry levies and headed by professor of zoology and chairman Sir John Krebs, has gone straight..
While emphasising there is no proven harm from radiation emissions from mobile phone kits, research for the Consumers’ Association magazine Which?
(April 2000) shows unexpectedly high levels from some models.
Tests on two handsfree kits showed..
The claim for damages under the Fatal Accidents Act by the widow and mistress of Matthew Harding, alleging pilot ‘recklessness’, has been rejected on appeal with the decision of the High Court upheld. This means..
A soldier, Sgt Walker, who lost a leg while on peacekeeping duties in Bosnia does not qualify for compensation under the Ministry of Defence scheme for troops injured while abroad by crimes of violence.
The parents of a seven-year-old girl are seeking judicial review on handling of allegations of physical and verbal abuse by her school, King’s Lodge in Chippenham. Mr and Mrs Stewart are taking this action to..
The third interim report from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), just prior to the opening of Lord Cullen’s inquiry into the 31-death disaster, suggests track fault as a possible factor. A track joint ‘with..
Road accidents are such a part of life that, except for the personal frisson as one passes an ambulance-attended wreck, they pass without notice. Motor insurance is a world of its own, and while safety..
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