Rules threat

Rules threat
Solicitors Davies Arnold Cooper (DAC) has warned that an amendment to the Civil Procedure Rules could have far-reaching effects on the insurance industry. The 18th amendment to the rules, which came into force this week, introduced a pre-action procedure for all construction and engineering disputes, including claims for professional negligence. DAC said it expected the courts to extend the pre-action protocol to other types of case. It warned that failure to follow the protocol could lead to heavy cost penalties.

Brum on sea
The Birmingham Marine Underwriters' Association is holding its fifth annual marine dinner at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens on October 5. Speakers will include Birmingham Insurance Institute president Clair Hayward and Birmingham historian Dr Carl Chinn. The dinner is hosted by various marine insurers that operate in the Midlands and 160 guests are expected.

Miles away
An advert for Miles Smith in last week's Insurance Times carried the wrong telephone and fax numbers. The correct numbers are: Telephone 0207 283 0040; Fax 0207 220 0862.

Ecommerce workshop
A free workshop will be held on October 19 to help finance professionals get to grips with developments in ecommerce. The workshop, hosted by Ecenter UK with the Association of Payment & Clearing Services, will be held near Temple Tube at Maltravers St, London WC2. All enquiries on 020 7655 9000.

Webx raises £2.5m fund
Software firm Webx last week confirmed that it had raised £2.5m from venture capitalist company Quester. Webx is the technology provider for the Underwriter Café. The company specialises in developing JavaBean solutions – an internet programming language. Webx managing director Chris Brown said: "This round of funding will allow us to complete the roll out of Underwriter Café for the insurance sector and also to further develop other cafés for other markets."

Tory calls for private funds
At the Conservative party conference on Tuesday, Liam Fox, the party's health spokesman, was due to support an increase in private healthcare, arguing that unless the UK allows the expansion of the private medical sector, it would not offer a world-class health service. Fox was also expected to attack the Labour party for reducing tax concessions for companies offering private insurance.

Misys confirms
Misys has confirmed recent stories that it has appointed a bank to help look for a partner to expand its online insurance business. A company spokeswoman said talk about the issue first started in July but she could add nothing more despite recent interest. "It's true we've appointed a bank to look for a partner but we've not confirmed it's Goldman Sachs," she said. Misys's Screentrade website is a vitural intermediary offering quotes on a range of insurances.

Chiyoda run off
Chiyoda Europe has ceased underwriting of London market reinsurance business. The decision follows a strategic review of the firm's activities. The portfolio will be subject to an orderly run off. Chiyoda will focus on increasing links with Toyota and the expansion of its UK primary business.