Garnier probes Govt on Litigation Protection

TORY legal affairs spokesman Edward Garnier QC has asked the Government whether it has assessed the “viability and integrity” of high-profile legal expenses insurer Litigation Protection.

In a series of written questions answered by Geoff Hoon last week, Garnier probed the Government's relationship with the company, which has recently lost two underwriters, and asked Hoon “what assessment he has made of [its] viability and integrity”.

The Parliamentary Secretary at the Lord Chancellor's Department said “a continuing dialogue with the insurance industry” had “not involved [the LCD] undertaking an assessment of particular products or individual providers”.

He added that Brian Raincock, Litigation Protection's managing director, had: met with Lord Irvine in December; attended an LCD press briefing in March; and staged a conference addressed by Hoon last month.

Garnier told The Lawyer: “The LCD seems to be all over the place regarding CFA insurance.”

Raincock, a keen supporter of the Government's reforms, said Garnier was “looking for anything to give the Government a hard time”.

In May The Lawyer revealed that Litigation Protection had lost its after-the-event policy underwriter, Isle of Man Assurance. Last week we revealed that the company had also lost Templeton Assurance, the sole underwriter for its before-the-event intellectual property policy.

Both underwriters have since been replaced.