In this edition of Insurance focus, we look at how class actions impact insurers. We provide a guide to how class actions work in the United States and consider the reasons why such actions are so widely feared by jurisdictions without similar procedural mechanisms.

New legislation to protect UK consumers will provide recourse to collective action (for businesses and consumers) where companies have breached anti-trust laws. We review what is changing and consider what greater recourse to collective actions may mean for insurers both in terms of their own risks, but also for product development.

Our lead article reports on the findings of the Norton Rose Fulbright 2015 Litigation Trends Survey. Regulatory proceedings are the number one concern for corporate counsel, especially in highly regulated sectors such as insurance. Indeed, our Survey has found that financial institutions are most likely to be involved in regulatory disputes and are more likely than their peers to find cross-border regulatory actions common.

In our case notes update we report on the final resolution of the Australian Vioxx litigation and an English law case which considered whether payment into an account in escrow triggered liability under a professional indemnity policy.

We also provide brief updates on legal developments in the insurance sector from lawyers across our international offices.

View Insurance focus – July 2015