Clark v Ardington Electrical Services, Court of Appeal - Civil Division, April 04, 2001, [2001] EWCA Civ 585

Issuing Organization:Civil Division
Actores:Clark v Ardington Electrical Services
Resolution Date:April 04, 2001
 
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No B2/2000/3210

Neutral Citation Number: [2001] EWCA Civ 585

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF JUDICATURE

IN THE COURT OF APPEAL (CIVIL DIVISION)

ON APPEAL FROM ORDER OF HIS HONOUR JUDGE HARRIS QC

(Oxford County Court)

Royal Courts of Justice

Strand

London WC2

Wednesday, 4th April 2001

B e f o r e:

LORD JUSTICE THORPE

LORD JUSTICE TUCKEY

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CLARK

- v -

ARDINGTON ELECTRICAL SERVICES

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(Computer Aided Transcript of the Palantype Notes of

Smith Bernal Reporting Limited, 180 Fleet Street,

London EC4A 2HD

Tel: 0171 421 4040

Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)

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MR IAIN MILLIGAN QC and MR BEN WILLIAMS (Instructed by Herbert Smith of London) appeared on behalf of the Appellant

MR MARTIN GRANT and MR JONATHAN HOUGH (Instructed by Morgan Cole of Reading) appeared on behalf of the Respondent

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J U D G M E N TSMITH BERNAL

1. LORD JUSTICE TUCKEY: This is the claimant's appeal with the judge's permission from an order for discovery made by Judge Harris QC in the Oxford County Court on 19th September 2000.

2. The background to the appeal must first be explained. The Helphire Group which consists of Helphire Group Plc and a number of subsidiary and associated companies run accident car hire and repair schemes, the object of which is to provide motorists who are not to blame for collisions with repairs and replacement cars while they are being carried out without recourse to their own insurers. For this the Helphire customers pay a modest fee. The schemes involve providing credit for the cost of car hire and repair until such costs are recovered from the insurers of the negligent defendant motorist.

3. Such schemes have already been considered by the House of Lords in Giles v Thompson [1994] 1 AC 142 and Dimond v Lovell [2000] 2 WLR 1121. These cases show that motor insurers have determinedly resisted paying claims the subject of such schemes. The Helphire scheme has met with similar resistance. Last year there were thousands of disputed claims in the county courts throughout the country.

4. On 25th August 2000 Judge Harris decided a number of test cases with a view to this court hearing any appeal from his decision as quickly as possible. Shortly before the appeal was due to be heard last November, the insurers involved settled with Helphire. The present appeal involved other insurers, Allianz/Cornhill, who have joined forces with Provident. Between them these insurers who have not settled with Helphire are involved, we are told....

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