Latest Round in the COVID-BI Litigation

29 January, 2024

On Friday 26 January, Mr Justice Jacobs handed down judgment in the latest round of the COVID-19 BI insurance test cases, this time on Prevention of Access clauses, in Gatwick Investment Ltd v Liberty Mutual Insurance [2024] EWHC 124 (Comm).

The Court addressed a host of preliminary issues in a lengthy judgment, concluding, among other things, that: (i) government action was that of a ‘statutory authority’; (ii) there was cover in respect of Regulations imposed in response to a nationwide pandemic (that point not having been argued and with permission to appeal granted to insurers on this issue); and (iii) furlough payments fell to be deducted from any sums otherwise due to policyholders (with permission to appeal granted to policyholders on this issue).

Various other issues connected with policy limits were also considered, including the impact of the policy being composite.

Jeffrey Gruder KC, together with Josephine Higgs of 7KBW, acted for the Gatwick, Starboard and Fuller Claimants instructed by Edwin Coe LLP and for the Hollywood Bowl and IEH Claimants, instructed by Fenchurch Law (UK) Limited.

David Scorey KC and David Walsh acted for Liberty Mutual Insurance SE, Allianz Insurance PLC and Aviva Insurance Limited, instructed by DAC Beachcroft LLP.

Read the full judgment here.