Charles Béar QC and James McClelland appear in successful judicial review of the FOS

On 20 October 2014 the Administrative Court (Wilkie J.) gave judgment in the case of R (Bluefin Insurance  Services Ltd) v Financial Ombudsman Service Ltd [2014] EWHC 3413 (Admin).

The case is a rare example of a successful challenge brought against a decision of the FOS. Charles Béar QC and James McClelland acted for the claimant, an insurance broker, challenging FOS’s decision to assume jurisdiction over a complaint concerning the broking of Directors & Officers’ (D&O) Liability Insurance. The case establishes two points of principle:

1. First, the question as to whether a complaint satisfies the eligibility criteria for the FOS regime is a matter of precedent fact to be decided by the Courts and is not (as FOS maintained) a question for FOS to determine, subject only to standard Wednesbury review.

2. Second, a natural person complaining in connection with a D&O policy arranged to protect him from personal liabilities is not a “consumer” for the purposes of DISP and falls outside the FOS regime.

Charles Béar QC and James McClelland were instructed by DAC Beachcroft (Paul Davison, Mathew Rutter and Gill Burnett).