Names plan more muscle for Lloyd's action group

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The Independent Online
DISTRESSED Lloyd's names are to beef up the umbrella body that represents the interests of action groups fighting for compensation from the insurance market, writes Peter Rodgers.

After criticism that the Lloyd's Names Associations Working Party has become too much of a one-man band, a delegation from the big action groups this week asked Christopher Stockwell, the chairman, to stand down.

They also presented a detailed plan for strengthening the working party so that it can present a tougher and more united front under a new non-executive chairman, a job that will rotate. The first chairman is expected to be John Mays, chairman of the Merrett 418 action group.

The delegation of chairmen of large action groups such as Gooda Walker, Feltrim and Merrett asked Mr Stockwell to become a consultant to the restructured organisation.

Senior action group figures say the motive is to prepare the umbrella body to negotiate over possible new settlement offers from Lloyd's this autumn if the Gooda Walker members win a compensation case they are now fighting in the High Court.

Lloyd's has hinted that it may make offers to individual action groups, rather than a global offer like the one members turned down earlier this year. The likeliest time for a fresh move, assuming the names win, is after the High Court verdict but before the subsequent hearings on the actual amount of compensation.

Some action groups believe Mr Stockwell has been taking too independent a line but there is also concern that the organisation itself needs strengthening.