Names told to expect prompt payment

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The Independent Online
Litigating Lloyd's of London names were yesterday told they could expect prompt payment of part of the estimated £504m damages they are to receive after a High Court judge ruled in October that they had been the victims of negligence by their age nts.

Doubt had been cast over the payments by the agents' insurers and other litigating Lloyd's names, whose cases are expected to come to court over the next few years.

In a hearing last year, the agents insurers had argued they should not be forced to meet any interim payment the judge decided to award. Yesterday, however, the judge said the insurers would have to meet any interim payment.

Also, the judge decided not to support demands, from other litigating names, that Gooda Walker names should not receive payment until all the legal actions between names and their agents had been resolved.

The other names had claimed that if the Gooda Walker names were paid now, on a first come first served basis, the pot of insurance cover available to meet subsequent court awards would be exhausted.

Michael Deeny, Chairman of the Gooda Walker Action Group, said: "It was suggested that first come first served was unfair. The alternative would have been for our names to wait until perhaps the next century before receiving any damages."

The names will hear how much they are to be awarded as an interim payment in early February.