Companies are being encouraged to push ahead with implementing the London Market Principles (LMP2001), despite worries about costs and underwriters' authority.

The plans to modernise the market and make it a more attractive place to do business were discussed at the International Underwriting Association's (IUA) conference in Gleneagles last week.

Tim Carroll, chairman of the IUA, said: “The process is moving reasonably well and the year end renewals will be the test. By

July 1, major broking houses have indicated they are hoping to place 20% of their business on LMP2001 slips.

“Underwriters are going to be looking at the new slips over the coming weeks. The proof of the pudding is going to be in the eating.”

Willis has indicated it is hoping to place 30% of certain classes of renewals on the slips, which encourage brokers to write down more details of risks before placing them in front of brokers.

But over the past few months, the LMP office has given briefings to hundreds of market participants to discuss the reforms and understand their worries.

“We recognise there are issues and would be amazed if people agreed with everything,” said Steven Haasz, programme manager for LMP2001.

“But I would urge everyone to come and speak to us about their concerns and how we can work together to move the reforms forward.

“Yes, it is about promoting a strong overall vision, but even if there are concerns, it is extremely important we move on with the renewals and get our feet wet so that we can identify what works and what needs further improvement.”

He said the main issues raised included the overall co-ordination of all the London Market reforms and communication.

Adrian Ballardie, head of the Technical Underwriting Executive Committee, also emphasised that the committee was working towards change, despite the issues raised.

“It is a kind of reality check,” he said. “Yes, there have been very wide diversions of opinion and we are trying to iron this out.”

Marie-Louise Rossi, chief executive of the IUA, said: “We do not underestimate the work. What we will be looking for within the project office is to develop some branch markets so that the programme leaders can set the pace for those that are following.”