Aggregation, under which multiple claims from (broadly) similar causes may be subject to a single policy limit, is a significant
issue on many claims on which we are presently advising. In Baines v Dixon Coles and Gill [2020] EWHC 2809 (Ch) the judge
held that multiple thefts of money by a solicitor from the accounts of different clients did not fall to be aggregated.

Many solicitors’ firms had difficulty renewing their insurance on 1 October 2020 and these were not only those with particularly bad claims histories. A few firms failed to obtain cover, but many faced dramatic increases in premiums and excesses (sevenfold for both premium and excess in one case we saw).

The large increase in premium carried with it a commensurate increase in the cost of run off cover should the firm succumb to
the pressures of the pandemic. Issues then arise over the provision in many policies which purport to make individual members of Limited Liability Partnerships and limited companies personally liable for excesses and run off premiums; we have advised several firms on this, including contentious cases.

We have also seen some insurers become more aggressive on coverage issues and are advising several firms on claims where
this arises, including many multimillion pound disputes (over £100m in one case).

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