Commercial Court – e-filing of documents at the Commercial Court (known as phase 2 of CC IT) has slipped back a year. The pilot planned for next year will not go ahead until 2009. The live system is not expected to be in action until the new Business Court building is finished in 2010.
Pleural plaques appeal – the appeal in Rothwell v Chemical & Insulating will be heard by the House of Lords from 25 June to 2 July. If the appeal is successful it is estimated that at least 10,000 claims for damages could be made by those suffering from pleural plaques.
Woollard agreement – following mediation, an agreement has been reached over the recoverability of medical agents’ fees in fixed recoverable costs cases where damages do not exceed £15,000. The agreement covers orthopaedic, A&E and GP reports only. The insurers have withdrawn their appeal against the decision in Woollard v Fowler in which Costs Judge Hurst found against them. The agency fees which have been agreed are expected to become recognised as reasonable by parties and the courts.
Personal injury proposals – there are fears that plans to streamline the personal injury claims process would restrict the recovery of after the event (ATE) premiums in low value or uncontested claims. Without the existing spread of risks, some ATE insurers claim that this could lead to the withdrawal of many, if not all, ATE providers. The consultation period ends on 13 July 2007 and the consultation paper is available on the MoJ website.
Solvency II – the European Commission will publish the draft Solvency II framework directive on 10 July 2007. It will radically overhaul the prudential regulation of insurance companies when it comes into force, probably in 2010 or 2011. The FSA’s regime to some degree anticipates the Solvency II standards. For further information, see the May 2007 FSA general insurance newsletter.
Exaggerated claims – where a road traffic accident claim was settled for £10,000, £1m less than its pleaded value, the court held that the costs should be assessed as though the claim had been a fast track case with a one day trial even though the trial had taken three days (Finster v Arriva ).
Review of insurance contract law - following the publication of three issues papers, the Law Commission’s working paper is expected later this month. For details of progress towards the related project to implement the Principles of European Insurance Contract Law being undertaken by the Restatement of European Insurance Law Project Group, see www.bila.org.uk.