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A cross-practice team of lawyers and technologists from across Herbert Smith Freehills have teamed up with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to design and build a digital solution to help businesses impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic check to see if they’re potentially eligible to make a claim under their insurance policies.

In January this year, The UK Supreme Court handed down judgment in the COVID-19 Business Interruption insurance test case of The Financial Conduct Authority v Arch and Others. Herbert Smith Freehills acted for the FCA who advanced the claim for policyholders, acting in the public interest.

The Supreme Court unanimously dismissed Insurers’ appeals and allowed all four of the FCA’s appeals (in two cases on a qualified basis), bringing positive news to policyholders across the country that hold policies in scope of the test case and have suffered business interruption losses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since the decision, Herbert Smith Freehills has worked together with the FCA to design a product in-house that will help insurers and business owners identify the presence of Covid-19 within a specified radius from their business. This information will support policyholders in making a claim on insurance policies that have a  “disease clause” where this is a condition. 

Commenting on the new product, Global Head of Insurance Disputes Paul Lewis said: "The judgment brought guidance to how certain business interruption insurance wordings should operate in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has had such a devastating effect on businesses across the country. This new calculator will help a significant number of policyholders gain some clarity around if the disease clause applies to them and their insurance policy."

Head of Legal Operation’s John O’Donoghue said: “This project was a collaborative effort and a great example of the wider services we are now able to offer as a firm. The needs of our clients are changing and the success of this project is a testament to the firms growing investment in the Digital Transformation space.”

The project was a collaboration between the FCA and a team at Herbert Smith Freehills, which included: Partners Paul Lewis, Sarah McNally and Andrew Moir; Head of Legal Operations John O'Donoghue; Legal Operations Manager Jacob Capleton;  Technical Consultant Liam Marshall;  IT Delivery Lead Marc Pinder; and Associate Joanna Giza.

The link to the tool can be found here

Key contacts

Paul Lewis photo

Paul Lewis

Managing Partner, Disputes, London

Paul Lewis
Sarah McNally photo

Sarah McNally

Partner, London

Sarah McNally
Andrew Moir photo

Andrew Moir

Partner, Intellectual Property and Global Head of Cyber & Data Security, London

Andrew Moir