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“Ikarian Reefer” National Justice Compania Naviera S.A. –v- Prudential Assurance Co. Ltd.

25th Feb 1993

[1993] 2 Lloyd’s Rep. 68

Stephen Kenny acted for the defendant underwriters. This well-known case concerned a claim on a policy of marine insurance, which the underwriters met by alleging scuttling and fraud. The Court of Appeal (after one of the longest appeals in English legal history) reversed the trial judge, finding that the vessel had indeed been scuttled with the privity or connivance of her owners. The case is primarily of interest for its facts, although it also contains valuable dicta about the role of expert witnesses.

Insurance (Marine) – Constructive loss of vessel – Fire broke out on vessel – Shipowner claimed under policy – Underwriters alleged vessel deliberately set on fire with shipowners’ connivance – Whether allegation proved to relevant standard – Responsibilities of expert witnesses – Whether underwriter liable

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