Insurance and professional risks review published by HSF

Published on Mon, 27/02/2023 - 21:01

An annual review by law firm Herbert Smith Freehills provides analysis of the key legal cases and developments affecting the insurance sector.

Legal firm Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) has published its Insurance & Professional Risks Annual Review of 2022.

The paper provides overview and analysis of the key cases and developments affecting those engaged in or with contentious matters in the insurance and reinsurance market.

The past year saw a number of important insurance cases heard in English courts, noted Paul Lewis, global head of insurance disputes, HSF, writing in the paper’s introduction.

“In particular, the first case to consider section 13A of the Insurance Act 2015 which gives policyholders the right to claim damages for late payment of an insurance claim,” Lewis said.

Cases arising from the Covid-19 pandemic also continued following the judgment of the Supreme Court in the Financial Conduct Authority’s business interruption test case in 2021, he noted.

The Covid-19 business interruption claims section of the paper provides an overview of these decisions as well as what is on the horizon for this space in 2023. There were also decisions on familiar topics such as aggregation, co-insurance and the Third Party (Rights Against Insurers) Act 2010, Lewis observed.

Beyond insurance, the review’s professional liability section looks at some key cases involving legal professionals, on topics including the duties owed to third party non-clients and conflicts of interest.

“2022 saw very significant changes in the law governing building safety in the UK – the Fire Safety Act 2021 which came into force in May 2022 and the much-anticipated Building Safety Act 2022, Lewis remarked.

“Both new statutes are the result of a comprehensive review of how building safety is regulated following the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017 and are explored in Health and Safety. We also consider the first Supreme Court judgment on the trigger for liability under the Consumer Protection Act 1987 in Product liability,” he said.

“Class actions remain a hot topic”, Lewis continued, noting that a general interest section looks at what 2022 had in store from the perspective of the commercial litigator including the Disclosure Pilot becoming a permanent new Practice Direction and the courts grappling with the new rules on witness statements.

Lastly, a regulatory section summaries UK government's plans for post-Brexit reform of the regulatory landscape including the Edinburgh Reforms, proposals in the Financial Services and Markets Bill and expected Solvency II reforms.

“It also looks at the FCA's new Consumer Duty which the FCA published the final rules for in July 2022 and comes into force on 31 July 2023. Unsurprisingly, ESG continues to be high on the agenda with ESG-related transparency set to be the theme for the next 12 months,” Lewis said.

Click here to read the full report.