The Third Parties (Rights against Insurers) Act 2010 – why is this important? 25 Mar 2019

In 2010 the Third Parties (Rights Against Insurers) Act 2010 received royal assent a few weeks before the general election, but since then the new government has failed to bring it into force, citing the need for minor amendments, whilst doing nothing to actually make any changes.

Following pressure from the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers and others, the then Minister for Justice, Jonathan Djanogly, issued a written ministerial statement in March 2012 confirming that no date had been set to bring the Act into force; the Ministry of Justice was examining whether the Act should be amended to include (a) all forms of administration and (b) debt relief orders in Northern Ireland before it was commenced.  The Minister promised to make a further statement about commencement before the 2012 summer recess, but never did.

Eventually the new Minister for Justice, Helen Grant, released a written statement at the end of April 2013. It appears the government is still mulling over the idea of making a few minor amendments, and still cannot quite find the time to do them.

As a consequence claimants must still fall back on the 1930 Act of the same name, which is unhelpful chiefly because only under the new Act can a claimant sue an insured company (or rather their insurer), such as an employer, who has gone bust without having to go through the lengthy process of having the company itself restored to the register. The new Act permits the claimant to proceed directly against the insolvent company’s insurer instead of against the insolvent company itself, and thus avoid the need for expensive applications to the Chancery Division of the High Court for permission to issue proceedings, a process which usually takes four months or so.

This matters particularly in asbestos-related industrial disease cases, where there can be mere months between diagnosis and death, but also in any claim against an employer which winds up their company to avoid creditors or other problems.

The government is very keen to see an active reduction in the cost of litigation, and yet when it comes to bringing an Act into force which could challenge the interests of insurers and their political allies, delay seems to set in as a default position.

If you or someone you know has a claim against an employer or other organisation which is no longer trading contact us to find out whether you can make a no win no fee cycle accident claim for compensation. Once we have spoken to you and been given all the facts of your case we can advise you whether or not you can successfully bring a claim to be compensated for your injuries.

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