Top Chambers-ranked barristers in crucial business interruption insurance test case

In this article, we investigate how Covid-19 has affected business interruption policies and review the verdict of the Supreme Court on this matter.

Published on 6 April 2021
Written by Eleanor Burt
Eleanor Burt

How Covid-19 has impacted business interruption policies

The recent Supreme Court decision in The Financial Conduct Authority v Arch Insurance (UK) Limited and Others has brought clarity for both insurers and policyholders following many months of uncertainty as to whether business interruption policies apply to the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The result of the appeal

Following a remote hearing in November last year, the Supreme Court gave its much anticipated judgment on 15th January 2021, substantially allowing an appeal brought by the FCA on behalf of business interruption insurance policyholders.

The insurers’ appeals were dismissed. The raft of policyholders forced to close businesses to comply with Covid-19 lockdown measures are now able to make valid claims for business interruption losses. The speed of this test case, which leapfrogged the Court of Appeal following a High Court trial in July, demonstrates just how significant this ruling is to SMEs and insurers.

Devereux’s Colin Edelman QC, a star-ranked silk in the Chambers Insurance rankings, acted for the FCA, alongside Peter Ratcliffe and Adam Kramer from 3 Verulam Buildings and Max Evans from Fountain Court Chambers. A number of top silks and juniors at 7 King’s Bench Walk were instructed on behalf of some of the insurers in the case, with ‘Star at the Bar’ Jonathan Gaisman QC among the counsel for Hiscox Insurance Company, and Gavin Kealey QC representing MS Amlin Underwriting. 

The full ranking tables for sets, silks and juniors in our London Insurance category for the Chambers UK Bar Guide 2021 is available online.

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