Fountain Court Chambers

London & Singapore

Test case concerning COVID-19 business interruption claims becomes the first case to proceed under the Financial Markets Test Case Scheme

On 9 June, the Financial Conduct Authority commenced a test case against eight defendant insurers and Lloyd’s managing agents. The claim addresses issues of legal principle raised by Covid-19 business interruption claims made under coverage clauses that do not require property damage.  At a case management conference held on 16 June,  Mr Justice Butcher decided that the case raises issues of general importance to the financial markets because the issues are relevant to widely used policy wordings.  The judge ordered that the Financial Markets Test Case Scheme shall apply to the claim and gave directions for an expedited trial before him and Flaux LJ to commence on 20 July.

As explained in the Guide to the Financial List, the Financial Markets Test Case Scheme (Practice Direction 51M) is intended to facilitate the resolution of market issues in the public interest in relation to which immediately relevant authoritative English law guidance is needed without the need for a present cause of action between the parties to the proceedings.  This is the first case to be admitted to the Test Case Scheme.

Leigh-Ann Mulcahy QC and Richard Coleman QC acted for the FCA, with Colin Edelman QC, on the application for the case to be admitted to the Test Case Scheme and expedited.  Deborah Horowitz and Max Evans are also part of the counsel team acting for the FCA.”