UK High Court Issues Restraining Order on Lloyd’s Former ‘Names’

September 11, 2008

The UK High Court has issued a civil restraining order, which enjoins former Lloyd’s Names from bringing further lawsuits against Lloyd’s without first seeking permission from the court to do so.

Lloyd’s described the judgment as “another significant step towards ending the long running saga of Names’ litigation against Lloyd’s.” In addition Lloyd’s said: it would “make it extremely difficult for Names to issue fresh claims against us. We now hope that their outstanding application to the Court of Appeal for permission to appeal the strike out of the Reinsurance to Close (RITC) claim will be dismissed in the next couple of months.”

The decision could mark the end of a series of lawsuits against Lloyd’s, which date back to the early 1990’s. Until 1994, when Lloyd’s admitted corporate capital to fund its Syndicates, wealthy individuals, or Names, did so. Following a huge number of asbestos and environmental claims, many of the Names lost their fortunes, as Lloyd’s came close to bankruptcy. The lawsuits have claimed that Lloyd’s failed to disclose the potential liabilities, when they pledged their assets to fund its underwriting activities.

Lloyd’s eventually established Equitas in 1996 to settle the claims. None of the actions, including those brought in the U.S., have validated their contentions.

Lloyd’s General Counsel Sean McGovern gave a description of the court’s ruling. He added that the court had made its decision following the “striking out of their [the Names] most recent action against Lloyd’s, the latest in a line of failed cases.

“The judge described the Names’ conduct as vexatious and bordering on harassment of Lloyd’s. Lloyd’s welcomes the decision which should prevent Lloyd’s and the court wasting further time and expense in dealing with these hopeless cases.”

Source: Lloyd’s –

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