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Our speaker is Mark Cannon QC leading counsel for the successful appellant insurer in Impact Funding Solutions –v- AIG Europe in the Supreme Court.

Mark has practiced in the fields of insurance and professional liability since joining 4 New Square 30 years ago. He is co-author of Cannon & McGurk on Professional Indemnity Insurance (OUP, 2nd edition 2016).


While the issue before the Supreme Court in Impact Funding Solutions –v- AIG Europe [2016] UKSC 57 was narrow, the decision is of wider importance, both for the construction of insurance policies complying with the SRA Minimum Terms and Conditions for Solicitors and for insurance policies more generally. The majority rejected the insured’s argument that clauses excluding heads of liability from cover should be construed narrowly or contra proferentem and held that they should be given their natural meaning consistent with the purpose of the policy and its heading (“Solicitors Professional Liability”).

The talk will address the following questions, among others:

  • How do you distinguish between clauses defining cover and clauses which exclude liability?
  • Is a different approach to clauses which would have the effect that cover is less than an insured reasonably expected warranted?
  • To what extent can the purpose of a policy of insurance be a safe guide to the construction of the policy wording?
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