With the key judgement in the BNM v MGN case not expected until the end of the year, and decisions in the fixed recoverable costs arena not due until 2019, the after-the-event (ATE) insurance sector – already burdened by ever-changing regulation – is playing something of a waiting game. But this could be a golden opportunity for the ATE sector – the chance to take advantage of what might otherwise be a relative lull in activity period to set in motion a time of self-analysis and transformation, to develop plans for what the future of ATE insurance will look like.
This article could have been headed ‘The implications of the Barton v Wright Hassall case for LEI’ – and that case is certainly my inspiration. However, the subject has a broader reach than that individual case, thanks to the government’s proposed increase in the small claims court threshold from £1,000 to £5,000 for road traffic accident claims and £2,000 for all other personal injury claims.
I am delighted have been asked to sit on the core group of industry experts called together by the Civil Justice Council to develop a bespoke process for clinical negligence claims where legal costs can be fixed, for damages claims up to a value of £25,000. It is, of course, not going to be an easy process, but is certainly more achievable than the previous suggestion of Lord Justice Jackson that fixed costs could be applied to all claims up to a value of £250,000.
After 22 years, Mr and Mrs Akhmedov’s marriage came to an end in 2015. This was a marriage like few others, resulting in two children and building up vast wealth, including a plane, a helicopter and a 115m-long super yacht called Luna. Regrettably, the divorce was bitter. Mr Akhmedov fought hard and dirty to avoid having to share any of the family wealth with his wife. The English High Court found that he hid assets in a Bermuda trust with the intention of evading his legal obligations to his wife and even went so far as to invent stories that they had already divorced in Russia, producing forged documents to the court as ‘evidence’.
As you settle down to watch the action on the field during the World Cup, bear in mind that you will be watching players who, together, are valued at billions of pounds. And whose professional careers are matters of hugely valuable commercial interest to the intermediaries supposed to look after them. Brown bags of money might not change hands at motorway service stations anymore, but transfer disputes involving agents are often the subject of litigation in the courts or, more frequently, in arbitrations. We know because we often insure them.