Judge Nicholas Phillips will announce today whether a group of investors will receive up to UK630 million ($1 billion) in compensation from agents at Lloyd's of London.
The decision in the case brought by the Feltrim Names Association against the agents who invested their money in underwriting syndicates, which lost hundreds of million of pounds, will affect the ongoing relationship between Lloyd's investors and the society of Lloyd's itself.Relations have been soured recently by changes to the rules governing investors' access to money, pushed through by Chairman David Rowland in order to divert compensation payments won by litigating investors, or Names.
Names roundly rejected a settlement offer, made by the council of Lloyd's in late 1993, in favor of litigation. Peter Middleton, Lloyd's deputy chairman, announced at a meeting of the Society of Lloyd's Names Thursday that a second settlement offer would be made by the end of May (see related story).
Lloyd's spokesman Nick Doak said a decision in favor of the Names would have no impact on the settlement offer. "The Gooda Walker judgment came out in October. They're still in court, bogged down by claims, counter-claims, God knows what. It's been six months and they still have no money. I don't think it will make any difference at all."
Mark Connely, lawyer for the Feltrim Names, said Thursday, "We were reasonably confident at the time the hearing finished and nothing's happened to change that." He said a positive outcome would be "an enormous relief for Names."