Following its inclusion in The Lawyer’s Top 20 Cases of 2023, the At the Premises Covid-19 business interruption test case has now been included in the Top 10 Appeals of 2024 (subscription required to read full list).

Aaron Le Marquer and James Breese represent the London International Exhibition Centre Plc (the ExCeL), the claimant policyholder in the lead of six expedited test cases. In June 2023 the Commercial Court found emphatically for policyholders, rejecting various alternative causation arguments pursued by the 13 insurers involved in the cases.

The key disputed issue is the Supreme Court’s ruling in the 2021 FCA Test Case that each and every occurrence of Covid-19 in the UK was an equal and effective cause of government action that led to loss, and whether that also applies to ‘at the premises’ clauses.

This year also saw recognition in The Lawyer for our Tax Litigation and Resolution team in the Top 20 Cases of 2024, which included the Eclipse litigation.


The Lawyer on the ATP Test Case

One of The Lawyer’s top 20 cases of 2023 is coming back to the Court of Appeal for a second round, after its first hearing determined that insurers were liable to pay out business interruption (BI) costs linked to venues’ use for emergency medical services during the Covid-19 pandemic. After the London International Exhibition (ExCel) Centre was temporarily converted into a Nightingale Hospital in 2020, the centre invoked an insurance claim for disease on the premises, which eventually evolved into a £16m legal claim. The insurers contended the claim was invalid, as the premises had not been closed, but repurposed.

ExCel was joined by several other claimants, including bars and restaurants, to eventually win a ruling in their favour on the 16 June 2023, with considerable consequences for insurance companies in the aftermath of the pandemic. ExCel’s victory in the Commercial Court unlocked access for potentially hundreds of thousands of policyholders across the UK whose “on the premises” disease clauses remained unpaid. Consequently, the insurance companies in the ExCel case quickly launched an appeal to reverse the ruling, with June’s hearing set to finally determine the insurers liability.


Covid Claims Service

The Covid Claims Service, launched by our Policyholder Disputes team, will help businesses that were heavily impacted by Covid-19 recover payment from their insurers. The service enables businesses across the hospitality, retail, entertainment, sport and leisure sectors with a valid Covid-19 BI claim to pursue payment.

Of 370,000 UK business interruption insurance policyholders, only 43,027 claims have been paid out by insurers according to data published by the FCA in March 2023. Following our team’s success in the At the Premises Test Case, Covid-19 BI claims which were previously declined by insurers, or have been put on hold, may now be valid.

In January 2024, the Commercial Court handed down judgment in the LMIE Test Cases, concluding that a Liberty Mutual Insurance Europe wording would provide cover for BI losses caused by Covid-19. This latest ruling means that a further large cohort of businesses may now be entitled to pursue hitherto unpaid business interruption clams.



You can find further information regarding our expertise, experience and team on our Policyholder Disputes page.

If you require assistance from our team, please contact us.



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