In The Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime v Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co (Europe) Ltd & Ord [2016] UKSC 18, the Supreme Court ruled on the quantification of compensation available to insurers under the Riot Act 1886, following insured losses caused by the London riots in 2011.

The principal issue in dispute on appeal related to whether persons (in this case the respondent insurers) could claim compensation for consequential losses (such as loss of profits) under s2 of the Riot Act 1886, where damage has been caused to property by rioters. The issue therefore related only to the quantification of the claims against The Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPC), the liability to pay such claims no longer being in issue before the court.

At first instance, it had been held that the Riot Act provided compensation only for physical damage and not consequential loss. The Court of Appeal reversed that decision. The MOPC appealed to the Supreme Court. Lord Hodge, delivering the judgment of the court, allowed the appeal, agreeing with Flaux J at first instance that the Riot Act, on its proper construction, and interpreted against the backdrop of the prior legislative history, did not extend to provide compensation for consequential losses.