Hermès Marangos and Adriano Stagni contribute to Lexology’s Panoramic Guide on Insurance Litigation: United Kingdom

By Hermes Marangos & Adriano Stagni

Partner Hermès Marangos and Associate Adriano Stagni contribute to Lexology’s Panoramic Guide on Insurance Litigation, with a particular focus on the United Kingdom, and they provide an overview of how insurance disputes are litigated in England & Wales.

Read Hermès and Adriano’s full Insurance Litigation 2024 chapter, published in Lexology, here.

In England and Wales, insurance disputes are litigated in the following fora of the civil courts:

  • county courts;
  • the High Court;
  • the Court of Appeal; and
  • the UK Supreme Court (although only on appeal from either the High Court or the Court of Appeal).

Claims with a value of more than £100,000 can generally be issued in the High Court in the first instance, otherwise appeals may be heard here from the relevant county court. If the dispute in question involves particularly complex insurance or reinsurance issues, then it may be heard in the Commercial Court (a specialist part of the King’s Bench Division). Judges in the Commercial Court have extensive experience specific to the disputes over which they preside. Disputes that require financial market expertise will likely be heard in the Financial List of the Commercial Court.

It is commonplace for a reinsurance contract to contain an arbitration clause. If correctly drafted (and therefore enforceable), the parties will have to resolve their dispute via arbitration, which may be conducted under ad hoc rules or those of a particular arbitral institution.

It is important to note that a reinsurance contract may also require the parties to submit their dispute to another dispute resolution mechanism before litigation or arbitration, for example, submission to a reinsurance mediator. The English court will also encourage parties to attempt alternative dispute resolution (most often mediation) before litigating; failure to do so may result in costs penalties.

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