30 May 2014

LMA gives managing agents unique insight into US litigation in action

When US resident Jane Smith suffered a brain aneurysm just three weeks after riding thrill ride Fright Fall at Family Fun Amusement Park in Delaware, she was devastated...but not too devastated to file a claim for massive damages and bring 18 representatives of the Lloyd’s insurance market hurrying to New York to defend the claim.

Thankfully for the Lloyd’s team, Jane Smith and Fright Fall are both works of fiction created by the Lloyd’s Market Association’s LMA Academy as the latest instalment in its Living with US Litigation training programme. However, the New York courtroom the Lloyd’s team found themselves inhabiting and the legal cut and thrust enacted around them were all based on the harsh reality of such a dispute.

Working with US law firm Wilson Elser, the LMA Academy staged a realistic five-day programme climaxing with a court case with 18 delegates from Lloyd’s managing agents playing the roles of jury members. Representatives of Wilson Elser played the roles of judge, lawyers, plaintiff, witness and expert witnesses.

The case adhered strictly to US legal process. During the week in New York, the Lloyd’s delegates – claims mangers and legal counsel – experienced depositions first-hand and went through each stage of the litigation process, including electronic discovery of documents. In court, the delegates acted as jurors and were required to reach a verdict.

Ben Baker, head of the LMA Academy, said: “We’ve had some tremendous feedback from the delegates who took part in our US mock trial.

“We run this programme because the US legal system can be an unknown for London market insurers. The legislation is extremely complex and subject to frequent change. For London-based claims and legal staff, to truly get a grip on it, they really have to live and breathe it, hence this very realistic role play. I think we were also gave delegates a taste of just how stressful it can be in a US court.”

Delegate Andrew Cattell, Senior Claims Adjuster at ACE Europe, said: “The course was a great success. In all my years in the Lloyd’s market, I have never learned so much over such a short period of time.”

The LMA Academy’s Living with US Litigation took place 15–19 May in New York.

And the verdict? The jury found in favour of Family Fun Amusement.

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Notes to Editors

For further information please contact:

James Milne, Communications Manager
Lloyd’s Market Association
T 0207 327 8405

About the Lloyd’s Market Association (LMA)

Formed in 2001 and located in the heart of the Lloyd’s Building in the City of London, the Lloyd's Market Association represents the interests of the Lloyd’s underwriting community. All underwriting businesses at Lloyd’s are members, together managing gross premium income of around £26 billion per annum.