Some of England’s biggest football clubs – including Arsenal FC, Aston Villa FC, Tottenham Hotspur FC and West Ham FC, have instructed City law firm Clifford Chance to launch a multi-party action against some of the biggest insurance players in London.
The group of 20 claimants, which also includes Liverpool FC and Leicester City FC, is pursuing a claim against Allianz, MSAmlin, Aviva Insurance, CNA Insurance, Zurich Insurance and Liberty, according to public court documents.
The insurance claim is reportedly related to Covid business disruption. Filed at the Commercial Court, the clubs seek damages for as a result of the pandemic, The Lawyer reported.
The legal basis for their claim is a test case at the Supreme Court, at the beginning of last year, which dealt with Covid-related business losses. The ruling meant that businesses are able to file claims to insurance providers for losses that are a direct result of the pandemic and any lockdown restrictions.
Discussing the case this morning with City A.M., Samantha Holland, head of insurance at law firm Gowling WLG, said that “whilst details of the claims being brought by the football clubs are yet to emerge, this would appear to be the latest in a series of claims against insurers where policyholders are seeking to recover Covid related losses incurred as a result of the lockdown measures introduced in the pandemic.”
Holland explained that “it is clear that the decision of the Supreme Court in the FCA test case last year was only the beginning rather than the end of the story, and there are many other issues, including most recently under non-denial of access clauses and issues of causation and loss, yet to be resolved which should see further claims coming to court.”
She added that “there will be many other policyholders waiting behind the scenes to see how these claims are resolved and insurers may find that new life is breathed into claims that they thought had been put to bed.”
Full list of claimants
The full list of claimants represented by Clifford Chance are: The Arsenal Football Club; Arsenal Stadium Management Company; ArsenalWomen Football Club; Highbury Holdings; Aston Villa Football Club; Aston VillaFC; Aston Villa Foundation (a private limited company incorporated by guarantee);The Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club; Albion In The Community (a privatelimited company incorporated by guarantee); CPFC; Leicester City Football Club;The Liverpool Football Club and Athletic Grounds; Liverpool FC Foundation (aprivate limited company incorporated by guarantee); Liverpool Women’s FC;Tottenham Hotspur Football & Athletic Co; Tottenham Hotspur Football Co;Tottenham Hotspur Women Football Club; Tottenham Hotspur; TottenhamHotspur Stadium; and West Ham United Football Club.
Slaughter and May will act for Aviva Insurance, while DAC Beachcroft is representing Allianz, MSAmlin and Liberty. RPC is hired by CNA Insurance and Zurich Insurance has turned to Clyde & Co.