We are advising on coverage (and disciplinary) issues in several cases arising from failed buyer-funded development schemes where the sums at stake are eye-watering and in many cases may exceed limits of cover, depending in part on the success or failure of insurers’ arguments that claims should be
aggregated and subject to a single policy limit. Many of these fall to be dealt with under arbitration clauses in the policies, and the outcomes may not therefore be widely known.
In some of these cases, other coverage issues are raised, particularly allegations that solicitors turned a blind eye to egregious activity by developers. (We shall put it no higher than that for present purposes.) Against that background, the decision of the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal in one recent case is of some interest. Despite the conviction rate of approximately 97 per cent (2018 figures), the Tribunal dismissed the SRA’s allegation that the respondent should have known that the schemes were ‘dubious’. Save for one discrete conflict issue on the facts, the prosecution failed.
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