...but lawyer threatens to head back to court

A solicitor representing Jaffray Names has threatened further legal action, following Lloyd's victory in the Court of Appeal last week.

Grower Freeman Solicitors partner Michael Freeman said: "After 11 years,

I am absolutely delighted with the judgment which I think was very, very fair. It made it quite clear that Lloyd's had been negligent."

"We will have to go back to court unless the new chairman, Lord Levene, chooses to compromise and sweep away the debris of the past when he comes into office," he said.

Sir William Jaffray leads a group of Names who claim they were misled into investing in the market by Lloyd's failing to disclose the extent of the asbestos problem.

The Court of Appeal decision on Friday found Lloyd's not guilty of fraud, upholding a decision in November 2000 by Mr Justice Cresswell.

A Lloyd's spokesman said the decision was welcome and urged the former Names - who owe around £50m - to settle.

"The Jaffray Names have now had two lengthy and fair hearings and it is time for them to draw a line under this litigation and settle with Lloyd's," he said.

But while the court ruled there was insufficient evidence to find Lloyd's guilty of fraud, it was found to have made misrepresentations in its brochures over a ten-year period from 1978.

The Jaffray Names are upbeat after this decision as they may now have grounds to claim substantial damages for negligent misrepresentation.

United Names Organisation (UNO) co-chairman Catherine Mackenzie Smith branded the decision "as much a victory for Names as for Lloyd's".

She said the former Names were now very hopeful of being awarded compensation and said the liability for negligent misrepresentation is the same as for fraud.They are now consulting their lawyers about how to proceed and decide on what action to take at the September EGM.