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Scotland Focus: February 2021

08 February 2021
A roundup of the key aspects relevant to the Insurance sector in Scotland and the work of our defendant insurance, counter fraud and professional indemnity teams.  

Defendant Insurance Team

Delays to the commencement of QOCS rules have been brought about by the introduction of group proceedings rules, Brexit, COVID and resourcing pressures. The rules are now under active consideration by the relevant Scottish Civil Justice Council (SCJC) members.

There seems to have been a "changes of substance" to the proposed rules details of which are unclear at present.   The rules have therefore been returned to SCJC members for further consideration.  Timescales are contingent on members’ views but, it is anticipated that the new rules will be approved by mid-March. 

Once approved, there is likely to be a three-month period before QOCS comes into force. We think it likely that claims litigated in or around Summer 2021 will have the benefit of QOCS protection, so be prepared for a significant spike in Scottish litigation in or around quarter two. 

Government activity

Abuse Claims
Redress for Survivors (Historical Child Abuse in Care) (Scotland) Bill

What does this mean for insurers?
The Bill as introduced sets up a scheme to make financial payments (‘redress payments’) to survivors of historical child abuse in care in Scotland. In circumstances where the survivor has died, these can be paid to the deceased's partner or children. The Bill sets up a new independent public body, Redress Scotland, to make decisions about payments. The scheme replaces an interim scheme called the advance payment scheme.

The Bill allows organisations involved with residential care of children in the past to pay financial contributions to the scheme. In return, survivors who accept a redress payment will have to agree not to take legal action against these organisations or the Scottish Government.

The Bill is now going forward to Stage 2 consideration and amendments at the Scottish Parliament.

Professional Indemnity Team

The winter edition of On Point is attached below where our specialised team provide some commentary on issues affecting the Professional Indemnity market in Scotland.

December On Point 
Read our previous edition here >

Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry

Lady Smith, chair of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry (SCAI), has reluctantly postponed hearings to examine the abuse of children in boarding schools because of new COVID-19 restrictions. These “phase 6” hearings, concerning seven boarding schools, had been scheduled to start in the second half of January 2021. This phase of evidence will be rescheduled “as soon as possible.”

It is likely that SCAI will consider foster care during a seventh evidential phase either later in 2021 or in 2022, depending on the current pandemic. 

If you wish to discuss training for your teams please contact Andrew Lothian or Julia McDonald who lead our Scottish abuse team.  

What are we doing?

16 March - Disrupt to Progress
QOCS roadshow – dates to be confirmed
Scottish Virtual Conference  - Spring 2021
Virtual Client Training Sessions – dates being organised directly

For further information, please contact:

Andrew Lothian, Partner
Head of General Insurance (Scotland)
DD 0131 474 2305

Alison Grant, Partner
Professional Indemnity Scotland
DD 0141 228 8127

Jill Sinclair, Partner
Head of Counter Fraud (Scotland) 
DD 0141 228 8196

Lynne Macfarlane, Director
DD 0141 228 8006

Caroline Coyle, Senior Associate & Professional Support Lawyer
DD 0141 228 8132

Further Reading