PNAG fails in attempt to foil Lloyd's rescue plan

London law firm Warner Cranston represented the Paying Names Action Group (PNAG) which last week failed in the High Court to scupper a £3.2 billion rescue plan for the Lloyd's of London insurance market.

PNAG wanted the plan declared illegal on the grounds that it penalised those Names who continued to pay their debts during years when other investors were unable to meet their liabilities.

Warner Cranston senior associate John Abramson said the case was “always going to be very tight” and added that he was “obviously disappointed” with the result. “We were told by leading counsel that we had a case, otherwise we would be never have gone ahead.”

Abramson said there were “extreme time pressures” in preparing for the hearing. Only a week separated the time when leave for judicial review was granted and when the actual case came to the High Court.

In his judgment, Lord Justice Brooke dismissed the application on the grounds that the court had no jurisdiction to interfere in the reconstruction and renewal plan.

He added that even if the court had jurisdiction, PNAG had delayed too long in bringing the application.

The judge dismissed the application on its merits, saying that Lloyd's had acted within its powers and had not acted perversely or irrationally.