MacGillivray on Insurance Law

By: Richmond Green Chambers  23/05/2009
Keywords: solicitors, lawyers

KEEPING UP YOUR INSURANCE WITH THE MACGILLIVRAYS   An appreciation by Phillip Taylor MBE     Those of you in insurance, or practitioners with insurance clients will welcome this latest edition of ‘MacGillivray on Insurance Law’.  Not for nothing has this classic work, so frequently cited in court, become known as ‘the  insurance law bible”, having been around  since the turn of the century—that’s the nineteenth, not the twentieth – and shortly coming up to its centenary in the Olympian year of  2012.  This apparently, is the last edition of this mighty and worthy work until that momentous date arrives.   It would be an interesting exercise to compare the content of, say the 1912 edition with this latest 11th edition in which naturally, there are chapters devoted to reinsurance, Lloyd’s and of course aviation insurance.  (Thought:  was the Wright Brothers’ flight on 17th December 1903 at Kitty Hawk insured?).  Certainly the evolution of MacGillivray reflects the progress, or lack of it, of our times.   Since the publication of the 10th edition in 2002, a number of important decisions have emerged in insurance law, which, as indicated in the book’s sub-title, relates to all risks except marine.  As stated in the Preface, new material in this edition includes: ‘areas of insurable interest, policy terms, good faith, waiver of the assured’s breaches of duty, contribution, liability insurance, reinsurance and the liabilities of agents’.   I believe it’s fair to say that every area of insurance is covered, from insurance and insurable interest and formation of the contract, to construction of policies, conflict of laws, illegality, misrepresentation and mistake. The different classes of insurance are dealt with in detail, as are the issues and problems which arise when claims are made and policies fail.  There is of course, much more, including clarification of the legal boundaries insurance practitioners must work within to ensure compliance.   And Scottish advocates will be pleased to note that, , thanks to the labours of Sarah P. L. Wolffe of the Scottish Bar,  space is given (as MacGillivray -- a Scot -- would have wanted) to Scots Law ‘where it differs from, or usefully supplements English law’.   As the world changes, insurance and insurance law changes with it and there are many new developments now taking place.  Insurance intermediaries, for example, have become subject to detailed regulation and can now be taken to the Financial Ombudsman Service.  Another example is the draft Bill likely to emerge in 2009 pertaining to the reform of disclosure and misrepresentation law affecting consumer assureds.  One of the benefits of buying MacGillivray is certainly the supplements to be published between editions, especially with the parlous state of legal aid and the possibility of ‘after-the-event’ insurance being extended to cope with the possible curtailing of conditional fees and the discredited success fee- we shall wait and see.   So, I think these are imperative benefits and will help keep you up to date with this complex and fast-changing area of law.   ISBN: 9781847030535  

Keywords: lawyers, solicitors