We recently reported1 on the progress of the Third Parties (Rights against Insurers) Act 2010 (the Act) and our understanding that it would come into force in the “summer”; October at the latest.
On 25 February 2016, the draft Third Parties (Rights against Insurers) Regulations2 (the Regulations) were laid before both Houses of Parliament. If approved, the Regulations will correct omissions from the Act so that it can, after much delay, be brought into force. The Regulations will extend the circumstances in which the Act applies to include corporate and other bodies which are subject to administration under specified sectoral insolvency regimes or which have been dissolved.
The Minister of State for Civil Justice, Lord Faulks QC, has stated3 that the Regulations need to be approved by a resolution of each of the House of Commons and the House of Lords and that, following receipt of this approval, the Regulations will be made without delay. Although new regulations can be made at any time during the year, the Government has agreed that new regulations that affect businesses can come into force on only two dates each year, either 6 April or 1 October, known as “common commencement dates”4. Common commencement dates prevent businesses being bombarded by new regulations coming into force on numerous dates throughout the year.
Although Lord Faulks QC did not give a commencement date for the Act, he did state that it would not be earlier than three months after the Regulations are made. As Article 1 of the Regulations states that they will come into force immediately after the Act comes into force, it will not be possible for the Regulations to come into force on 6 April 2016. On this basis, it seems that both the Regulations and the Act will come into force on 1 October 2016 ,assuming that the Regulations are approved and made at least three months before 1 October 2016, i.e. no later than 1 July 2016.
We will provide an update when the Regulations are made and when the date on which the Act will come into force has been confirmed.