11 March 1994

Times Law Reports

Commercial Court of the Queen's Bench Division

Lloyd's Litigation: Case management


Lloyd's - litigation - possibility of insufficient funds

Possibility of insufficient funds


It was necessary to impress on the parties to the Lloyd's litigation that there was a distinct possibility, even if the claims were sound in law, that there might be insufficient money to satisfy them all.


Mr Justice Cresswell so stated in the Commercial Court of the Queen's Bench Division on March 4 when giving a statement in open court following the review of the Lloyd's litigation between February 21 and 24.


MR JUSTICE CRESSWELLsaid that the Commercial Court would continue to meet the considerable challenge of the Lloyd's litigation while maintaining an appropriate balance between the demands of that litigation and the demands of other litigants bringing domestic and international commercial disputes to the court.


The court wished, however, to emphasise the heavy responsibility on all solicitors and barristers concerned, to assist the court to ensure that cases were conducted efficiently in accordance with best Commercial Court practice, costs to the parties were contained and unnecessary delay was avoided.


The Lloyd's litigation could be divided into the following categories:


LMX cases; long tail cases (run-off contract cases and reinsurance to close cases); personal stop loss cases; portfolio selection cases; central fund litigation; and other cases.


Case management techniques would be addressed to the particular categories of case referred to above.


The court had already identified and decided a number of preliminary issues which would assist in resolving issues of principle common to one or more categories of case. The court would continue to look for further appropriate preliminary issues.


The court would continue to select from cases in a particular category, lead or pilot cases for trial as to liability and principles relating to quantum in the hope that decisions in those cases might provide broad guidance in relation to other cases in the same category. Quantum would generally be tried separately.


A liaison committee had been set up to facilitate distribution of information to parties involved in the Lloyd's litigation.