10 August 1995
Times Law Reports
Queen's Bench Division
Lloyd's Litigation: Moratorium Application
Lloyd's litigation - single party cannot impose moratorium
Single party cannot impose moratorium
It was contrary to principle to impose on all parties to the Lloyd's litigation, irrespective of their wishes, a general moratorium on all names action group cases.
Mr Justice Cresswell so stated in the Commercial Court of the Queen's Bench Division in a judgment given in open court on July 21 following a hearing in chambers.
HIS LORDSHIP said that the solicitors acting for the Wellington names had written to the court saying that they thought it would be more equitable if there was a moratorium for a defined period on all names action group cases with fixed trial dates to allow names to consider any offer made.
In his Lordship's judgment, it would be contrary to principle to impose on all parties to the Lloyd's litigation, irrespective of their wishes, a general moratorium. The right of access to the courts was an important constitutional principle.
Where all the parties to a case with a hearing date this year or early next year wished to defer the start of their case, the court would seek to assist by revising the current timetable of such cases to the extent that it was practicable.
Where some of the parties wished to defer the start of their case and others did not, the court had to weigh the competing considerations.