PROPERTY DISPUTE

SOLUTIONS

IN THE EVENT

We are the only provider of in-the-event indemnities, designed to help redress the balance in potential disputes between developers and neighbouring property owners. We work with developers and their advisers to define pre-agreed risk management strategies intended to diffuse the impact of construction projects and corral potential disputes towards fair and reasonable outcomes for both sides. Our approach has had particular impact in relation to potential nuisance claims where the use of a clear and insured strategy has helped to unlock sites and maintain construction timetables.

 
CLS’s panel of carriers enables us to insure sums of up to GBP 270 million of AA- and A rated paper. Additional capacity is drawn upon for larger cases.
See ERGO, AEGIS and AMTRUST for their current financial standing.
Our products are a hybrid of a legal indemnity and a pure contingency product. In the context of property disputes, we provide a unique approach enabling clients and their advisers to price and insure against excess financial liability flowing from their litigation strategy. We work with our client’s lawyers and our own legal team to define the insured risk (e.g. loss of title) and point in time when the litigation burden risk passes from the insured to the insurer – typically the point in time when an appeal is lodged by the insured’s opponent. Our products are favoured by developers and funders alike because we specialise in property-related disputes and allow our insureds to retain control of settlement dialogue (within defined parameters detailed in the policy) so to protect brand and reputational risk.
Common heads of loss include adverse costs, appeal costs and loss in market value (upon a final order). We can also include additional cover for consequential losses (delay costs, loss of trading receipts and liability to tenants) in the event of an unsuccessful appeal.
Due to the fact-specific nature of most litigation risks we encourage clients to discuss matters and set out their risk in context. We will then engage with your professional team to ensure we appreciate the solution required before we undertake (and share) our own due diligence.
We appreciate the time-sensitive nature of most enquiries related to litigation risk and endeavour to provide an indicative view on these within 48 hours (depending on complexity). Subject to the nature and jurisdiction of the litigation risk we aim to provide an in principle response with 5 working days. However, within a large team of underwriters in London we are committed to providing ‘real time’ solutions.
Using CLS’s panel of insurers, we are able to insure in the UK & Europe. We focus on England and Wales, France, Germany and Benelux currently.
CASE CONTEXT
A developer's surveyor’s advice indicated a proposed scheme could create a level of interference to light which might entitle the owner of neighbouring commercial premises to obtain an injunction. Due to proximity, the developer would also need to discuss party wall matters and scaffold licences with the owner of a neighbouring property. Whilst the developer's intention was to pre-empt matters and request a deed of release in return for compensation, some litigation risk remained should the owner attempt to preserve their rights to light, whether as a negotiating position in return for higher compensation or for more legitimate reasons. The developer's primary concern was that a protracted negotiation might create uncertainty and delay, which might deter funders or potential incoming tenants.
SOLUTION
We created a solution which embraced the developer's intention to address the potential interference within the spirit of recent legal judgements and commentary. Using unique policy terms combined with an excess, the developer was able to price and control his own exposure (as well as manage neighbourly matters) safe in the knowledge that an insurance policy provided protection should the doomsday scenario of an injunction arise. Calling on our risk management expertise following the issue of the policy, the developer was able to progress a commercial dialogue whilst operating within agreed conduct policy conditions.