Insurance and Reinsurance Review of 2013

Our Annual Insurance and Reinsurance Review summarises the key case law developments in insurance and reinsurance throughout the year. Please note that some cases covered in this review may be subject to further appeal.

In our 2013 review, we look at the following cases:

Case Judgment dates Atlantic Casualty Insurance Company v Value Waterproofing, Inc., a/k/a Value Contracting Inc., a/k/a Value Water Proofing, Inc., Greenwich Insurance Company, Bullard Purchasing and Sales, Inc., and Kansas Fried Chicken, Inc. 15 January 2013 Versloot Dredging BV v HDI Gerling Vesicherung AG 4 February 2013 International Energy Group Limited v Zurich Insurance PLC UK 6 February 2013 United States Fidelity & Guaranty Company et al. v American Re-Insurance Company et al. 7 February 2013 Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance Co Ltd v Heraldglen Ltd and Advent Capital (No. 3) Ltd 8 February 2013 Digital Satellite Warranty Cover Ltd, Re 13 February 2013 Astrazeneca Insurance Company Limited v XL Insurance (Berumda) Limited & Another 28 February 2013, 20 December 2013 AJ Building and Plastering Ltd v Turner & Others 11 March 2013 AIU Insurance Company v TIG Insurance Company 25 March 2013 Beazley Underwriting Ltd v Al Ahleia Insurance Co 27 March 2013 Mutual Holdings (Bermuda) Ltd v Hendricks 7 May 2013 MJ Gleeson Group PLC v AXA Corporate Solutions Assurance S.A. 4 June 2013 Versloot Dredging BV v HDI Gerling Industrie Versicherung AG 14 June 2013 Alan Bate v Aviva Insurance UK Ltd 17 June 2013 Aspen Insurance UK Ltd v Adana Construction Ltd 20 June 2013 Sea Glory Maritime Co v Al Sagr National Insurance Co (The Nancy) 17 July 2013 Teal Assurance Co Ltd v Berkley & Aspen 31 July 2013 Amlin Corporate Member Ltd v Oriental Assurance Corp 31 July 2013 BGH v 11/9/2013 - IV ZR 303/12 11 September 2013 London Steam Ship Owners Mutual Insurance Association Ltd v Spain 20 September 2013, 22 October 2013 Genesis Housing Association Ltd v Liberty Syndicate Management Ltd 4 October 2013 Equitas Ltd v Walsham Bros & Co Ltd 28 October 2013 British American Insurance (Kenya) Ltd v (1) Matelec Sal and (2) Thika Power Ltd 29 October 2013 New Hampshire Insurance Company v Clearwater Insurance Company 31 October 2013 Tokio Marine Europe Insurance Ltd v Novae Corporate Underwriting Ltd 6 November 2013 Starlight Shipping Co v Allianz Marine 6 November 2013 LAW AND JURISDICTION

Starlight Shipping: Supreme Court considers Articles 27 and 28 of the Judgments Regulation (EC Regulation 44/2001) in deciding whether to stay English court proceedings

Starlight Shipping co v Allianz Marina & Aviation Versicherungs AG1

The Supreme Court has lifted the stay imposed by the Court of Appeal in proceedings instituted to enforce a settlement agreement containing an English court exclusive jurisdiction clause on the basis that, contrary to the Court of Appeal ruling, those proceedings did not fall within Article 27 of the Judgments Regulation. Article 27 obliges a court in a Member State to stay proceedings involving the same parties and the same cause of action already pending in another Member State, in this case, Greece. The Supreme Court noted the purpose of Articles 27 and 28 of the Judgments Regulation to avoid, as far as possible, inconsistent judgments. However, regarding Article 27, it was necessary to consider the object and cause of action of the claims rather than the end result sought by the parties in each jurisdiction. In doing so, the defences to the claims raised by the parties must be ignored. As such, it found that the object and causes of action in the two jurisdictions were different.

The Supreme Court declined to stay the English proceedings under Article 28, where the court second seised has a discretion to stay "related" actions as it held that, in this case, the court was first seised. Regarding Article 28, it was necessary to consider the 'proceedings' and not the 'issues' to determine the court first seised. Had the English court been second seised, it would, in any event, have declined to exercise its discretion to stay for a number of reasons, including the existence of the clause in the settlement agreement conferring jurisdiction on the English courts.

Background

Starlight was the former owner of the vessel Alexandros T, which sunk off the coast of South Africa in May 2006, with the loss of many lives. In August of that year, Starlight (and others) commenced proceedings (the "2006 Proceedings") for the loss against their Lloyd's and company market insurers (described in the case as the "LMI" and the "CMI"...

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