11 February 2000

Times Law Reports

Queen's Bench Division

Lloyd's Litigation: Note (No 2)


Lloyd's group action against the society - changes in procedure and dates


Changes in Lloyd's litigation


Individual wishing to reserve the right to advance certain allegations of fraud against Lloyd's had to be aware of changes in procedure and in dates since Lloyd's Litigation: Note (The Times November 4, 1999).


Mr Justice Cresswell said in the Commercial Court of the Queen's Bench Division on January 21, 2000 that in September 1996 about 95 per cent of Lloyd's names accepted the market settlement; 1,752 Lloyd's names did not accept. About 180 Lloyd's names had since reached individual settlement with the Society of Lloyd's.


Of the remaining names, as at October 28, 1999 about 148 were claimants in Jaffray v Society of Lloyd's and about 1,420 were not. A number of the remaining names had joined the Jaffray action since October 28, 1999.


The changes since Lloyd's Litigation: Note were:


The Commercial Court ordered that the trial of the threshold fraud issue in relation to three sample names would take place in the High Court in London starting on February 28, 2000.


Accordingly, any individuals who wished to reserve the right to advance such against allegations against Lloyd's before the High Court had to provide written notice to Lloyd's solicitors, Freshfields, at 65 Fleet Street, London (reference RDP/GN, fax number 0171-832 7001) by no later than February 21, 2000 confirming that they wished to become parties to the litigation.


An issue as to what contribution, if any, an individual joining the proceedings, who was not a member of the United Names Organisation, should make to the claimant's costs would be determined by a judge of the Commercial Court on January 25, 2000 or as soon as practical thereafter.


Any individual who had given notice of intention to become a party to the proceedings after October 28, 1999 could withdraw from the proceedings by written notice to Freshfields given within seven days after such determination.


All such individuals would, however, remain subject to the court's order of November 1, 1999, as amended, which included the provision that no further action could be brought in respect of this subject matter without further order, and imposed obligations of confidentiality.


Individuals who wished to obtain further information of the threshold fraud issue or as to the method of becoming a party to the action could contact the claimants' solicitors, More Fisher Brown of 1 Norton Folgate, London, E1 6DA (tel 0171-247 0438, fax 0171-422 0760, reference Jim Edwards, Alison McNair).


In order to become a party to the action, it would be necessary for each individual who gave notice to Freshfields as above either (a) to give instructions for that purpose to the United Names Organisation, 224-5 Temple Chambers, London EC4Y OPH, (tel 0171-353 2900, or More Fisher Brown on or before February 21, 2000; or (b) to make application to the court for directions on or before February 21, 2000.


Any name who might be affected by this statement should take independent legal advice as to his or her position.