There is a moratorium on legal actions. But some lawyers are still failing to submit their clients claims in the insolvency process, whilst simultaneously threatening court action, contrary to the moratorium. Failing to submit their client’s claim in the insolvency claims admission process, is a disservice to their clients.
The QuickSure moratorium was recently recognised in court action & the claimants action ‘stayed’, as contrary to the moratorium. This court ‘stay’ was made pending further directions concerning other parties & a possible adverse costs order against the solicitors, for failing to abide by the moratorium.
In order to assist claimant lawyers, the basis of the QuickSure moratorium’s UK applicability is noted below:
(a) The moratorium exists by virtue of the Gibraltar Insolvency Act 2011, more especially section 66.
(b) The moratorium is recognised in the UK, by virtue of (i) the UK Insolvency Act 1986, more especially section 426, as implemented in the UK, by the Co-operation of Insolvency Courts (Designation of Relevant Countries Territories) Order 1986; & (ii) the UK Insurers (Reorganisation & Winding Up) Regulations 2004 & the UK Cross-Border Insolvency Regulations 2006, which both note that within the UK, the home jurisdiction (Gibraltar) governs the applicability of the moratorium in the UK.
The Administrators look forward to receipt of claims from lawyers, through the insolvency process.
The majority of lawyers representing creditors are now adhering to the claims process & importantly the Moratorium. This will allow for a more efficient processing of claims. Hence the Administration is ‘settling down’.
Solicitors who fail to submit their clients claim in the insolvency process are failing their clients interests. Further, solicitors who fail to adhere to the Moratorium, will not have their ‘anti-Moratorium’ costs recognised in the protected claims process. Thus, such Solicitors are failing themselves. We are pleased to note that one law firm, ‘on-the-steps-of-the-court’, having finally it would appear researched the subject, withdrew an action. Failure to withdraw would have resulted in an application for a wasted costs order, personally against the Solicitors. The good news is that particular law firm will now submit client claims going forward, in the insolvency process; hopefully leading to a speedy payment to their clients. However it is doubtful that the solicitors will have their ‘wasted’ time costs to date recognised as a protected cost. To that extent the solicitors will have lost out.
Our agents & staff continue to monitor possible fraudulent claims, & will actively pursue those involved any such claims.
As people return to work, with lawyers & others adhering to the claims process, the Administrators hope the volume of agreed claims & payments will increase.
On the 23/7/20, the Administrators issued their 1st Report indicating that in all material matters, the QuickSure Administration was progressing in line with the original Proposal. However this was subject to one ‘future’ proviso, that of C19. Whilst all stakeholders have to date managed well, in adapting to C19 conditions, it is acknowledged that there maybe a future lag in claims processing. This lag could increase the length of the Administration, with a resultant knock on effect on Administration costs.
The QuickSure insurance Ltd (“QuickSure“) Joint Administrators, Grant Jones & James Oton (the “Administrators“) continue to process & make payments to protected policyholders in the WFH environment. This month, having co-ordinated with QuickSure‘s worldwide reinsurers, payments will be made to larger protected policyholders, via reinsurers. Understandably, given the QuickSure insolvency, reinsurers required trust accounts. Notwithstanding WFH constraints & how C19 was affecting different jurisdictions, in different working practices, all actors managed to agree a speedy transfer of monies. C19 has required of reinsurers, different methodologies. Insolvency only adds to the C19 induced difficulties. If QuickSure is anything to go by, the reinsurance industry should take a pat-on-the-back. It operated well in novel circumstances.
The Administrators biggest concern is the failure of lawyers to appraise themselves of insolvency: thereby doing their clients a disservice. There is a moratorium in force. That means that court action is generally barred. A moratorium is in force, as claims should be submitted via the insolvency process. Ultimately if claims are not submitted within the insolvency process, those claims will be forfeited. The Administrators take this press release opportunity to further remind lawyers, submit their full client claims in early course to the Administrators.
Working in tandem with IMS, Hassans, the FSCS & reinsurers, we the QuickSure Insurance Ltd (“QuickSure”) Joint Administrators, Grant Jones & James Oton (the “Administrators”) continue to process & make payments to protected policyholders; this is despite C19 & working-from-home (“WFH”) constraints. We are especially pleased to note that we recently agreed a medically & legally complicated, very large personal injury & protected policyholder claim. However, like others in the insurance industry, we are noting a perhaps C19-related uptake in fraudulent claims & dishonesty.
Like any company in administration, QuickSure is subject to a moratorium. The moratorium generally bars legal proceedings against QuickSure. In contravention of the moratorium, claims should not be initially submitted to a court; rather claims should be submitted to the Administrators, to be rejected or accepted by the Administrators & if so accepted, allocated a particular creditor priority. However, with medically & legally complicated, very large claims, there is merit in following a standard pre-litigation mediation process. This process can & did in this case result in a ‘pre-agreed insolvency claim’; rather than the standard ‘mediation settlement’. Once submitted to the Administrators, the ‘pre-agreed claim’ is admitted immediately as a protected policyholder claim. We are happy to note that like court processes, mediation appears to have morphed into a WFH-friendly process. Indeed, for the severely injured, a WFH environment suits. Insolvency, whilst very process-driven & thus perhaps hard to change to the WFH environment, has proven in this case to be amenable to C19 forced changes. Our biggest problem now, with such large claims, is to arrange WFH secure payments; but that’s a good problem to have.
Notwithstanding C19, the Administrators will continue to oppose all fraudulent claims. Wherever possible the Administrators will seek to recover damages from those involved in dishonest conduct. However small a claim the Administrators pursue against the dishonest, these dishonesty-based damages claims send the right message & enhance the QuickSure estate. The Administrators are happy to have worked with IMS & others, in a recent successful damages claim against a fraudulent claimant.
Recognising the needs of road accident victims to be paid on time, especially given Covid (“C19”) domestic cashflow difficulties, the QuickSure administrators are maintaining creditor dividend payments.
We pay tribute to all those, who have transferred their office-systems to home-working. For our part, making financial payments systems home-working-friendly has been intricate; office-based systems tend to have more built-in controls.
This difficulty is compounded in insurance insolvencies, were many of the creditors are vulnerable or poor. As educated professionals, we often forget the ‘unbanked’.
Lawyers for years have obtained instructions over the phone, but that’s not so easy when dealing with a brain-damaged paraplegic client. However, lawyers, like accountants, are finding solutions to such C19 difficulties. Whilst the world understandably moves to accommodate insolvency law to the C19 reality (i.e. introducing moratoriums) we should not forget how the existing regime, can be tailored to fit the new norm.