Former Besso staff member operated a concealed brokerage to fleece fees and extra commission, the suit alleges
Besso’s former special risks division managing director Charles O’Sullivan took a profit and commission at the expense of Jamaican resort company Superclubs, a lawsuit alleges.
Superclubs’ claims management provider, Trans Continental Intermediary Services (TCIS), is taking legal action against Besso to claw back $4.4m (£3.3m) compensation for the overpaid premium.
Superclubs was allegedly tricked into paying the money between 2004 and 2010.
Besso broker in trouble
O’Sullivan was first suspended from Lloyd’s in 2012, the court documents show, and in 2015 was found guilty of three charges of discreditable conduct.
The disgraced ex-broker was ordered to pay £138,687 (later reduced to £128,687) to Lloyd’s and banned from its underwriting room in 2015, a market bulletin following his appeal in 2017 shows.
The ex-broker was found guilty of “dishonest deception” and fleecing commission, it continues, though one charge of misconduct was abandoned by the Lloyd’s tribunal.
The Lloyd’s documents state O’Sullivan was operating a concealed brokerage and profited to the detriment of a Caribbean resort company, a Bermudan coverholder and a Canadian broker.
Besso fights back
Besso arranged reinsurance cover for Superclubs’ property damage and business interruption cover via its Jamaican broker Thwaites Finson Sharp.
Superclubs’ claims management company Trans Continental Intermediary Services (TCIS) first brought a suit against Besso in Jamaica.
However, Besso has argued that the businsess dealings of the insurance arrangements were based in the UK and it the case should be dealt with under English law.
And Besso believes the case should thrown out under English law because it is out of date.
According to the Limitations Act (1980), a claim of this type can only be made when an offence happened within the past six years - but O’Sullivan’s shady dealings took place between 2004 and 2010.
The Lloyd’s broker argues that due to this, the demands for repayment are null and void, its own court documents launched against TCIS show.
TCIS battles on
However, in this case TCIS has tried to turn the tables by saying it is exempt from this because it and Superclubs were unaware of O’Sullivan’s meddling until 2014, long after they had taken place.
Besso claims that TCIS’ attempts to recover the money it says Superclubs is owed smack of “maintenance and champerty”.
Maintenance means an unconnected third party stepping in to a litigation case, while champerty is a type of maintenance where a third-party will fund costs in return for a share of the final cut.
It is possible that Superclubs may have to step in to make its own claim, rather than TCIS.
TCIS declined to comment, while Besso has not responded.