220 of the “Names” involved in litigation against Lloyd’s, known generally as the “Jaffray Case,” were given leave to appeal last November’s lower court judgment by Mr. Justice Cresswell that found in favor of Lloyd’s.
Cresswell’s decision found that Lloyd’s had not fraudulently misled thousands of Names when it enrolled them as individual investors in its insurance syndicates by failing to disclose the potentially huge liabilities it faced from asbestos and environmental claims. Although he severely criticized the conduct of a number of Lloyd’s executives, Cresswell ruled that there had been no fraud, and that Lloyd’s was entitled to recover the full amounts, around $ 75 million, it had been seeking from the dissident Names. He also urged that the litigation be settled by negotiations.
Lloyd’s reacted immediately to the ruling. In a written statement it said that The Court of Appeal had made the ruling due to the importance of the case, and the need to thoroughly review the evidence. It cautioned that the court had made no decision on the merits of the case, and had in fact praised Cresswell’s knowledge and thoroughness.
Lloyd’s Chief Executive Nick Prettejohn said in a written statement that, “After the appeal, no Name will be able to claim that they did not have the fullest possible opportunity to make their case. Our arguments won a conclusive victory in the original trial, and we’re confident they will do so again at appeal. Then this matter will be closed once and for all.”
Sir William Jaffray and a number of other Names were reportedly delighted at the ruling, and welcomed the chance to restate their case against Lloyd’s. They’ll get their chance next January, when the Court will begin hearing the appeal.