Court confirms Lloyd's payout

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The Independent Online
A RULING yesterday confirmed awards made in April to two names - investors in the Lloyd's of London insurance market - who won their case against the members' agents who had put them on high-risk syndicates.

Mr Justice Gatehouse awarded Michael Sword-Daniel, a dentist, damages for his entire losses from membership of high-risk syndicates, including Gooda Walker and Feltrim syndicates. Mr Sword-Daniel had asked to be placed on low-risk ones.

Richard Brown, who initially expected to recover 70 per cent of his losses, has seen his award scaled back to reflect his less cautious approach to syndicate choice.

However, both men will receive the damages in cash. The defending members' agents argued that since they had not yet had to pay all their known losses, they should get only a promise to indemnify them against future cash calls. Yesterday's judgment said: 'Deferred calls are present liabilities of the plaintiffs and should be included in the judgment sum, and not related to the indemnity against future losses.'

Mr Sword-Daniel has declared losses of pounds 542,000 to 31 December 1992, of which the payment of pounds 200,000 has been deferred. Mr Brown's known losses are pounds 1m.

The syndicates on which the two were placed are likely to record additional losses for their open years. Although the members' agents have to indemnify the two names against unknown demands, it is far from certain their future resources will be adequate.

The commercial court is hearing a case for damages brought by 3,500 Gooda Walker names, while a case brought by Feltrim names is due in the autumn.