ECJ endorses insured’s freedom of choice

Back in 2011, Walker Morris reported on the High Court cases of Brown-Quinn v Equity and Pine v DAS, which recognised the right of a holder of before-the-event legal expenses insurance to choose its own legal adviser, in accordance with Regulation 6 of the Insurance Companies (Legal Expenses Insurance) Regulations 1990.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) considered the same point in November 2013 in the Dutch case of Sneller v DAS and ruled that insurers cannot restrict the freedom of choice of insured persons by insisting on their using panel law firms or the insurer’s in-house staff.

In Sneller, the question arose as to the correct interpretation of article 4 (1) of Council Directive 87/344/EEC of 22 June 1987 (which is implemented into the law of England and Wales by Regulation 6)…

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