What are the big stories hitting the headlines this week?

Trial
The trial has begun of ex-Shakespeare Underwriting directors Jayson Hollier and Andrew Booth, both charged with fraudulent trading and perjury. Hollier, 39, and Booth, 59, both directors of the failed underwriting agency before it went into administration in 2006, are appearing at Warwick Crown Court.

Warning
UK insurers could find it increasingly difficult to obtain motor excess-of-loss reinsurance coverage because of concerns about escalating periodic payment orders, according to Guy Carpenter.

Leave
Former Heath Lambert chief executive Adrian Colosso has been placed on gardening leave until May 2013. Colosso went on sabbatical in September following Heath’s acquisition by Arthur J Gallagher.

Writ
UK General Insurance Group is suing AmTrust Europe for more than £3m in a dispute over a social housing contract. UK General claims that AmTrust only gave seven days’ notice that it was going to pull capacity, instead of the agreed 180 days.

Raid
Aon Risk Solutions has poached Chris Lee-Smith, previously Willis UK & Ireland chief operating officer, for its UK retail arm.