In our November 2011 Update we discussed the decision of the Steigrad and Ors v Bridgecorp (Bridgecorp) and foreshadowed some concerning ramifications for Insurers and Insureds alike if it was followed in Australia. The decision was subsequently overturned on appeal. However, in December 2013 the decision made on appeal was set aside by the Supreme Court of New Zealand.

The Supreme Court of New Zealand’s decision in Bridgecorp was delivered while there was a pending application for special leave to the High Court of Australia in respect of the New South Wales Court of Appeal’s decision in Chubb Insurance Company of Australia Limited v Moore [2013] NSWCA 212 (Chubb v Moore) regarding the corresponding legislation in Australia.

The Court of Appeal decision in Chubb v Moore (delivered in July 2013) held that statutory charges did not extend to insurance money payable in respect of defence costs contrary to the recent Supreme Court of New Zealand decision.

There will now be much interest in the Chubb v Moore application for special leave which, we understand, is set down to be heard in February 2014 with a decision not expected until mid 2014.