In the recent Supreme Court decision AIG Europe Ltd v Woodman & Ors  UKSC 18 the court considered the meaning of the words “a series of related matters or transactions” within an aggregation clause in order to determine whether various claims under a professional indemnity insurance policy could be aggregated. The appeal was unanimously allowed, and the Supreme Court stated that the relevant wording must mean that the transactions must be interconnected in order to be aggregated.
Author Archives: James Crabtree
The Supreme Court considers meaning of the words “a series of related matters or transactions” within an aggregation clause
Court of appeal considers interpretation of aggregation clause in solicitors’ professional indemnity insurance
In AIG Europe Limited (Appellant) v OC320201 LLP (formerly The International Law Partnership LLP) & 5 others (Respondents) & The Law Society of England and Wales (acting in its regulatory capacity as the Solicitors Regulatory Authority) (Intervener)  EWCA Civ 367, the Court of Appeal determined the true construction of the phrase “a series of related … transactions” in the aggregation clause in the standard minimum terms and conditions of solicitors’ compulsory liability insurance.
Technology and Construction Court considers the meaning of “deliberate … non-disclosure” in an insurance policy exclusion clause
In Mutual Energy Ltd v Starr Underwriting Agents Ltd & Anor  EWHC 590 (TCC), the Technology and Construction Court has held that the words “deliberate … non-disclosure” must involve dishonesty. A company’s honest but mistaken belief that something need not be disclosed was not enough to allow insurers to avoid the policy for non-disclosure.
In XL Insurance Company SE v AXA Corporate Solutions Assurance  EWHC 3431 (Comm), the Commercial Court has held that, pursuant to Article 4 of EU Regulation 1215/2012, it had no jurisdiction to hear a dispute between a French insurance company, AXA Corporate Solutions Assurance (“AXA”) and its UK based co-insurer, XL Insurance Company SE (“XL”). The decision was made on the basis that a defendant who is resident in an EU Member State should be sued under the jurisdiction of that state.
An insurer’s attempt to aggregate £10 million in claims, and thereby cap its pay-out to £3 million, has been rejected by the Commercial Court in the case of AIG Europe v OC320301 LLP  EWHC 2398 (Comm).
The decision turned on the interpretation of the aggregation clause and, more specifically, the court asked: did the claims in question arise out of “similar acts or omissions in a series of related matters or transactions”? If so, the claims would be aggregated and the insurer’s liability capped to £3 million; if not, the insured would be able to make separate claims with the result that the insurer would be liable to pay up to £10 million.
It was ultimately decided that whilst the claims did arise out of “similar acts or omissions”, the acts or omissions in question did not occur in a way that constituted a “series of related matters or transactions” and, as such, the losses could be claimed separately by the insured.