What are the big stories hitting the headlines this week?

Appointment

Former Thistle Underwriting chief executive James Gerry has been appointed chairman of Essex-based GB Underwriting.

Appeal

England footballer Darren Bent is making a last-ditch bid in the Court of Appeal to get Allianz to pay £63,000 for a credit hire bill. Christopher Butcher QC is arguing that Bent was entitled to hire an “equivalent” car while his Aston Martin coupé was repaired, and that the original judge had carried out “fundamentally flawed” comparisons involving “different and lesser cars”. Judgment on the appeal has been reserved for a later date.

Shortage

The government has relaxed its visa rules for actuaries due to a shortage of the experts that insurance firms need to comply with Solvency II. Demand for actuaries has risen by 30%-40% because of the EU directive, according to evidence given to the Migration Advisory Committee.

Shake-up

The ownership of legal firms has been deregulated as a result of the last government’s Legal Services Act. The new rules, known as ‘Tesco law’, could allow insurance companies to buy a majority stake in law firms.