Jurisdiction: United Kingdom

UK: Court of Appeal considers application of the doctrine of “fraudulent devices

In Versloot Dredging BV v HDI Gerling Industrie Versicherung AG (The DC Merwestone) ([2014] EWCA Civ 1349) the appellant shipowners appealed a decision made on the basis of the fraudulent devices principle discussed obiter in the case of Agapitos v Agnew (The Aegeon) (No.1) ([2002] EWCA Civ 247) that they could not recover losses from the respondent hull and machinery underwriters. The Court of Appeal chose to apply The Aegeon and dismissed the appeal.

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UK: Principal’s Remedies for Secret Commission

In its judgment delivered on 16 July 2014, the Supreme Court decided in FHR European Ventures v Cedar Capital [2104] UKSC 45 that a bribe or secret commission accepted by an agent is held on trust for his principal, rather than the principal merely having a claim for equitable compensation equal to the value of the bribe, thereby upholding the Court of Appeal decision which we blogged on 4 February 2013 (see here). 

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UK: Technology and Construction Court Interprets Policy in Favour of Insured

In Robin & Barbara Bache and others v Zurich Insurance Plc [2014] EWHC 2430 (TCC), the court was asked to determine a preliminary issue concerning interpretation of a property development policy. The claimants agreed to lease flats yet to be built from a developer, paying a 10% deposit under the agreement. The defendant provided a policy to the developer, for the benefit of the claimants, which stated that “the policy protects you if your developer goes into liquidation…against the loss of contract exchange deposit”.   

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UK: Commercial Court Grants Summary Judgment in Relation to a Follow the Settlements Clause

In Tokio Marine Europe Insurance Limited v Novae Corporate Underwriting Limited [2014] EWHC 2105 (Comm), Mr Justice Field granted an application by Tokio Marine Europe Insurance Limited (Tokio) for summary judgment, holding that a defence raised by Novae Corporate Underwriting Limited (Novae) that the underlying settlement was entered into without the insured having taken all proper and businesslike steps had no reasonable prospect of success. 

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