UK Defence Club Announces Positive Financial Results and Warns on Complexity and Cost of Litigation
, the leading provider of FD&D (legal costs) insurance to the maritime industry, announces its financial results for the year ended 20 February 2014.
- £18.8 million premium income, up 9% compared with 2012/13
- Total assets of £52.2 million
- Ratio of assets to liabilities is 188%
- Free reserves £24.5 million
- 127 million GRT (owned)
- Net claims incurred, including claims provision, fell to £10.2m from £16.9m in 2012/13
M.G. Pateras, Chairman of the UK Defence Club, says: "We are in a strong financial position with £52.2 million assets under management and with free reserves of £24.5 million. The past 12 months have seen the UK Defence Club entered owned tonnage reach an all time high at 127 million GRT, in addition to a sizeable book of chartered business.
"Litigation is, however, an increasingly expensive proposition and a sound financial basis is crucial to the Club's ability to support Members faced with litigation irrespective of the amounts involved. No two disputes are the same and I continue to be surprised by the legal issues that can arise. Claims have undoubtedly become more complex and expensive over the years while the cost of litigation should not be underestimated.
"London arbitration continues to be the forum where the majority of disputes are resolved. Concerns continue to exist about delays and the cost of litigation as highlighted in a number of debates we have held in 2013. The London Maritime Arbitration Association ('LMAA') continues to be held in high regard, however, to maintain its pre-eminence it does need to modernise and reflect modern practice, rather than reflect on the ideals of when it was set up in the 1960's.
"Most of all, it needs to deal with references in a firm and purposeful way. I do at this point question how many solicitors and barristers have the same trepidation when dealing with arbitrations, and indeed arbitrators, as they do when before the English High Court and the judges who hear cases there.
"This is my last year as Chairman and I feel privileged to been Chairman of the Club for the past three years and have seen the Club continue to evolve to meet the needs of its Members."
Daniel Evans, Chairman and Club Manager of the UK Defence Club, says: "As the industry continues to develop and change we play a pivotal part in that development for the benefit of Member. We remain focused on supporting our Members and maintaining our position as the leading provider of FD&D insurance to the maritime industry."