The ability of underwriters to demand the disclosure of documents held by a broker has been called into question by a recent court ruling.

In the case of Goshawk Dedicated v Tyser & Co the court ruled that the managing agent could not compel the broker to disclose placing documents as there was no contractual right or implied agreement to do so.

The placing and claims documents are not the property of the insurer, the court added.

CMC Cameron McKenna insurance group partner Stephen Netherway said: "There will be legal and commercial ramifications arising from the decision. Under-writers who cannot obtain access to brokers documents when they have organised their operating affairs on the assumption that they can, will not be happy to say the least."

He added: "Terms of business agreements may need to be reviewed to see if they need to be changed."