Court of Appeal overturns first instance judgment which held a contractual provision prohibiting assignment could prevent insurer’s subrogation rights

In Dassault Aviation SA v Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co Ltd [2024] EWCA Civ 5, the Court of Appeal has overturned a first instance judgment and found that a contractual prohibition on assignment in a sale contract did not prevent the transfer of subrogation rights to an insurer where that transfer arose by operation of law.

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Court considers whether contractual provision prohibiting assignment can prevent insurer’s subrogation rights

In Dassault Aviation SA v Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co Ltd [2022] EWHC 3287 (Comm) the court considered whether a contractual prohibition on assignment of a contract encompassed a transfer of subrogation rights to an insurer by operation of Japanese insurance law. The judge reached her conclusions with “an unusual degree of hesitation” and noted that the case gave rise to an “interesting point“. Ultimately the court found that the broadly drafted contractual prohibition in a sale contract did render ineffective the transfer of subrogation rights to an insurer.

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