Lloyd's claims Names victory

Lloyd's of London claimed a significant victory last week in the latest round of its battle against 450 Names who refused the settlement offer made under its 1996 reconstruction and renewal (R&R) plan.

High Court judge Mr Justice Tuckey entered Order 14 judgments against the Names, allowing Lloyd's to collect the £130m debts they owed under the Equitas contract which is part of the R&R plan.

Susan Dingwall of Dibb Lupton Alsop, acting for Lloyd's, said it was virtually the end of the Names' defence.

However, Michael Freeman, of Epstein Grower & Michael Freeman said that Lloyd's had been claiming victory since early 1996, and added: “It ain't over “till the fat lady sings.”

In making the order Mr Justice Tuckey refused the Names' application for leave to appeal to the Court of Appeal.

But he did give a limited stay of execution pending any application by the Names directly to the Court of Appeal for leave. Freeman said that his clients would be making such an application.

Lloyd's also hailed Mr Justice Tuckey's order giving Lloyd's a right as judgment creditors to claim any assets disposed of by the Names, saying that this would make the enforcement process much easier.

Lloyd's signalled its intentions to start enforcing the judgments. Philip Holden, head of financial recovery, said: “Lloyd's now has quantified judgments which will be pursued and those members who have paid should be reassured that all appropriate measures will be taken as soon as possible.”