Holmes were delighted to act for Arachas Corporate Brokers Limited in achieving a successful outcome in the settlement of the various business interruption claims brought by entities of the Press-Up Entertainment group, including Brushfield Limited t/a the Clarence Hotel and Premier Dale Limited t/a the Devlin Hotel. We are pleased to be able to say that the proceedings against Arachas were struck out, with no payment being made by either party and more significantly, all allegations of wrongdoing and professional negligence against Arachas have been withdrawn. This served to vindicate the legal strategy implemented by Holmes working in conjunction with Arachas and their insurers.
The business interruption cases taken against Arachas and the various insurers were conducted by way of modular trials; the first module of the trial was concerned exclusively with policy interpretation of the policies underwritten by the relevant insurers for the Press Up group entities. Brushfield was unsuccessful in their action against the insurer, with Mr Justice McDonald holding that cover was not available under the terms of the AXA policy. Judgment is currently awaited in respect of the Premier Dale case in which the RSA policy came under consideration. The cases were being treated as ‘test cases’ for future actions and emphasise the importance of policy wordings, and the intricate details of such policies, should they come under scrutiny. Following the extensive litigation which occurred as a result of Covid 19 and the various wordings of business interruption clauses, insurers will undoubtedly be undertaking an ongoing careful review of their policy wordings to ensure there is clarity as to precisely what the policy covers and precisely what is excluded.
Allegations of Professional Negligence
The second module of the trials (if they had proceeded) would have involved Arachas, as the insurance broker, and concerned allegations of professional negligence for failing to put in place adequate insurance cover. Had the outcome of the claims against Arachas been different and a finding of negligence against Arachas had occurred, this would inevitably have had a significant impact in the insurance broker sphere in terms of the duty of care owed by insurance brokers to their clients. This would have resulted in insurance brokers arguably facing more onerous obligations and responsibilities in terms of the extent of their duty of care in the procurement of insurance cover for their customers. It had been Arachas’ stated position throughout that they met the duty of care to the various entities of the Press Up group in relation to the placement of the insurance cover and the settlement confirms that this was indeed the case.
Negligence Claims Withdrawn
To that end, we are delighted for Arachas that all claims of wrongdoing and professional negligence have been withdrawn against them and their reputation in the insurance broker sphere remains as strong as ever in the context of being Ireland’s largest nationwide insurance broker. We were happy to have been able to play a part in bringing to an end the challenging time endured by the company as a result of these allegations. Arachas has also welcomed the outcome in terms of enabling it to continue to work as hard as possible in supporting its clients through the pandemic; we equally look forward to working with Arachas again in the future in meeting their customers’ insurance requirements, reflecting their status as Ireland’s fastest-growing nationwide insurance brokerage. Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any queries in relation to Covid 19 business interruption claims.