Home Information Cases The Society of Lloyd’s v Tropp (2004)

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The Society of Lloyd’s v Tropp (2004)


The defendant Lloyd's name was validly served by service on the underwriting agency appointed by contract to accept service of English proceedings in respect of names domiciled abroad.


The defendant (T) applied to set aside service of a claim form on his appointed underwriting agent (U). The claimant (L), made a claim against T for payment of the Equitas reinsurance premium due pursuant to the 1996 reinsurance and run-off contract entered into by Equitas and T. The benefit of that contract had been assigned to L. T was a US citizen who was not domiciled in the UK. The contract provided that a name not domiciled in the UK irrevocably appointed a substitute agent to accept service of English proceedings on his behalf. The substitute agent was U. L's claim was served on U but T contended that the service was not valid and that he had to be served out of the jurisdiction.


U plainly existed as a separate corporate entity and the fact that it had no significant assets or was controlled by L was irrelevant. U had authority to enter into the contract on T's behalf and that contract and the agreement as to service bound T. It did not matter that T had not personally appointed U as his agent for service. The service of process clause was not outside the scope of U's authority to agree to its inclusion in the contract. Further L was entitled to direct the inclusion of such a clause in the contract as an integral part of the Lloyd's reconstruction and renewal scheme. There was no good reason to conclude that U's authority to accept service did not apply to claims against names for unpaid reinsurance premium and good reason to conclude that it did. Although U was under the control and direction of L it was not prevented by conflict of interest from acting as T's agent to accept service ( Society of Lloyds v Lyons Leighs and Wilkinson (1997) CLC 1398 applied). In any event U was not affected by any relevant conflict of interest in its capacity as agent for accepting service.

Application refused.

Queen's Bench Division
Gross J
Judgment date
20 January 2004

LTL 16/2/2004 : [2004] EWHC 33 (Comm)