The commercial court trial of the Exxon Valdez oil spill reinsurance claims finished last week after nine days of submissions.

Mr Justice Coleman presided over DG King (Syndicate 745 and others) and Equitas V Brandywine Reinsurance Company UK (formerly CIGNA Reinsurance Company).

At the centre of the latest round of legal arguments over the March 1989 oil spill off the coast of Alaska is the recoverability of settlement sums from excess of loss reinsurers in the Lloyd's LMX spiral.

Law firm Holman Fenwick & Willan, which represented Brandywine Reinsurance in the case, said the reinsurance industry had suspended payment on Exxon Valdez losses on the basis that the $300m paid out under Section 1 (removal of debris) of the Exxon Valdez's insurance policy was unrecoverable and so should be stripped out of the composite claim of $800m.

It said the entire claim had been at a standstill since 1998, despite various attempts at resolving the impasse.

Holman Fenwick & Willan said the run-off industry was eagerly awaiting the judgment as closure on the issue.