Antonia Pegden promoted to partnership in Insurance & Professional Risks team

We are delighted to announce that Antonia Pegden has been promoted in the latest round of firm partnership promotions and will join the partnership on 1 May. Antonia is part of the Insurance & Professional Risks team in London and is a commercial disputes lawyer focusing on insurance, pensions and professional negligence disputes. Antonia has … Read more

Spire and RSA contest aggregation again

In Spire Healthcare Limited v Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Limited [2022] EWCA Civ 17, the Court of Appeal overturned the High Court's decision and held that two groups of claims based on the negligent practice of the same surgeon should be aggregated. Irrespective of which group the claims fell into, the unifying factor between them was the surgeon's dishonest improper conduct. Read more

COP26 and insurance – a primer

As nations convene in Glasgow for COP26, we assess the progress of the insurance sector as the market adapts its approach to one of the biggest risks facing us all – climate change. Insurance has for decades been one of the key means for firms to manage and transfer risk. Recent developments in the sector … Read more

Court finds summary judgment not suitable for determining issue of inducement

The Commercial Court in Kjaergaard v MS Amlin Insurance SE [2021] EWHC 2096 (Comm) found that the insured was not entitled to summary judgment on its claim for an indemnity from the defendant insurer in respect of damage to a yacht, where the insurer had a real prospect of showing that it had been induced to enter into the insurance policy by alleged misrepresentation or non-disclosure by the insured of his claims history. Read more

Arbitrator dismisses Covid-19 business interruption claim on basis UK Government is not a “competent local authority” in the context of denial of access extension

In Certain Policyholders v China Taiping Insurance (UK) Co Ltd, Lord Mance, sitting as sole arbitrator in a public arbitration award, found in favour of an insurer, China Taiping Insurance (UK) Co Ltd (China Taiping), that a denial of access extension contained in business interruption insurance policies did not provide cover for business interruption losses caused by the UK Government's Covid-19 lockdown measures on the basis that the UK central government was not a "competent local authority". The award is not binding on UK courts, but may still be regarded as persuasive given Lord Mance's standing as a former Deputy President of the UK Supreme Court. It gives the phrase "competent local authority" a narrower meaning than the Divisional Court did at first instance in the FCA Business Interruption Test Case (FCA Test Case) when it considered similar wording used in an Ecclesiastical policy wording. However, aspects of Lord Mance's analysis may also be regarded as favourable to policyholders, particularly those with similar denial of access wordings if they are not confined to action by a local authority but may extend to central government action. Read more

Our new legal privilege client tool

Herbert Smith Freehills has developed a new web-based app to help in-house counsel quickly navigate the complexities in determining which documents are likely to be privileged, or not. Read more