Dibbs in £150m Lloyd's victory

Dibb Lupton Alsop is ready to recover £150m from 500 refusenik Lloyd's Names following a Court of Appeal victory last month.

The 500 Names had applied for leave to appeal an earlier High Court ruling that they owed Lloyd's £150m.

But the Appeal Court refused leave to appeal at the end of last month and Dibbs says its debt recovery team can now enforce the earlier judgment for recovery of over £150m.

The Lloyd's members who refused to pay the Equitas premium had grouped together under the title United Names Organisation and pleaded fraud as a direct defence in their dispute with Lloyd's, which started in the courts in October 1996.

Susan Dingwall, head of Dibb Lupton Alsop's reinsurance group, said: “The Court of Appeal has made it very clear that the Names' applications for leave to appeal failed, not on any technical ground, but because there was no merit in any of the various defences which they put forward.

“Coupled with the refusal of leave to appeal to the House of Lords, this will enable Lloyd's to start enforcement proceedings where appropriate.”

Dibbs instructed counsel Anthony Grabiner QC, Richard Jacobs and David Foxton. That legal team is also acting for Lloyd's in the continuing litigation against “defaulting acceptor” Names who have accepted the reconstruction and renewal deal, but for varying reasons are refusing to pay.

The United Names Organisation was represented by Michael Freeman of Epstein Grower & Michael Freeman, with Simon Goldblatt QC and Vincent Nelson.