On 1 January 2021 the new controversial Civil Procedure Regulations entered into force (for further details please see "New controversial Civil Procedure Regulations: faster, stronger, costlier?").

Impact on insurers

Insurers' claims departments must study and understand these new procedures, which may cause increased uncertainty during the first years of implementation. This may further lead to different interpretations of the regulations until precedential judgments are given by the Supreme Court, which would then bind all lower instances. This process may take up to two or three years.

In the meantime, plaintiffs – including insurers in subrogation claims or claims for contribution – must prepare their claims more thoroughly with all supporting documents and opinions. On the other hand, insurers as defendants must respond to court claims in an efficient and timely manner, in order to not be considered as delaying the process contrary to the spirit of the regulations.

What can be expected in the near future?

Litigation will be costlier and the courts' stringent attitude (which can already be observed in the courts awarding heavy costs for requests for extensions) may lead parties to mediate and settle claims instead of filing them in court. Mediation of insurance claims has proved effective when carried out by experienced lawyers or retired judges rather than handling expensive processes which may end in unexpected all-or-nothing resolutions.