The Court of Appeal has today allowed an appeal from Mr Justice Snowden’s refusal to approve the transfer of some 370,000 annuities from The Prudential Assurance Company Limited to Rothesay Life plc. The court has confirmed that there were errors in Mr Justice Snowden’s approach to the exercise of the court’s discretion on insurance business transfers and has delivered some much needed clarity to the Part VII process.
The judgment does not change the law. Rather, it clarifies both the principles that a judge should apply in deciding whether to approve a transfer and the circumstances in which those principles should be applied. The transfer will now return to the High Court for a second sanction hearing, with the benefit of up to date financial and actuarial evidence.
Both the outcome of this appeal and the content of the judgment will be welcomed by the insurance industry and its advisers.
Our summary of the Court of Appeal’s judgment and its implications for Part VII transfers can be found here.
Herbert Smith Freehills acted for the Association of British Insurers as intervener in the appeal.