Names given permission to raise new points in trial

Names have been given permission to launch fresh legal action against the Lloyd's insurance market.

Although the validity of some of the arguments depends on the court ruling, the UNO is considering launching fresh legal proceedings accusing Lloyd's of negligent misrepresentation.

It may also accuse Lloyd's of misfeasance in public office with the London Market Excess of Loss (LMX) spiral. It would argue Lloyd's was in breach of duty by allowing syndicates to reinsure each other.

Last month the United Names Organisation (UNO), which has 200 members, was involved in a three-week hearing at the Court of Appeal. It appealed against the ruling of the Jaffray Case, which dismissed Names' allegations that former senior members of the market had concealed escalating asbestos losses.

The three judges retired and are expected to return with a ruling in the next few months.

UNO chairman Catherine Mackenzie Smith said: "We are hoping we are going to win the fraud case and never need to clog up the courts. But we have already been told by the courts there is nothing to stop us raising new points in a separate trial."

A Lloyd's spokesman said: "Any further action is, in Lloyd's view, doomed to fail."

  • MEP Roy Perry has been appointed rapporteur of the European Parliament petitions committee to write a report on Lloyd's. Perry, who is also British Conservative vice president of the committee, is preparing an official document which will be presented in a plenary session of the European Parliament.

    It will determine whether the UK government or the EU is responsible for implementing regulations on Lloyd's and will make recommendations for the future of the market.