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Published 20 January 2016
The high profile London 2011 riots damages case, (1) Mitsui Sumitomo (2)Tokio Marine and Others v The Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime, reaches the Supreme Court tomorrow, Thursday 21 January 2016, where five judges will consider whether property owners (or their insurers) can recover consequential losses under the Riot (Damages) Act 1886.
The insurance team at international law firm DAC Beachcroft, led by partner Chris Wilkes, is instructed by Mitsui Sumitomo and Tokio Marine, insurers of Sony DADC.
In a landmark ruling in May 2014, the Court of Appeal unanimously concluded that insurers of Sony DADC's Distribution Centre in Enfield were entitled to recover consequential losses from the Police. The Distribution Centre was razed to the ground during the London 2011 riots in one of Europe's largest arson attacks, resulting in a loss of over £50 million.
DAC Beachcroft partner, Chris Wilkes, commented: "This is the first case in the history of this longstanding Act and the predating legislation to question whether property owners and their insurers are entitled to compensation for consequential losses, including loss of rent and loss of profit.
"If the Supreme Court follows the Court of Appeal decision and allows recovery of consequential losses then the overall cost implications for the Police will be significant."
The impact of the Court of Appeal decision, coupled with the high number and value of riot-related claims, prompted the Government to commission an independent review of the Act which concluded that the legislation urgently needed a major overhaul. The new draft Riot Compensation Bill had its second reading in the House of Commons in December 2015.
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