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Operator of Marco Pierre White restaurants takes legal action against its own insurers

Rob Atkinson, legal director

Black and White Hospitality, the company which operates the Marco Pierre White group of franchised restaurants and manages a portfolio of hotels across the UK, has launched action against its own insurers, Tokio Marine Kiln, in its continuing fight to get the firm to honour its obligations under business interruption policies.

It follows the refusal by the company to cover costs incurred by the fast-growing hospitality business during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Rob Atkinson, legal director at Black and White (main image), said: “Our policy wording is very clear. If there is a closure by a statutory body, then the policy should provide coverage. Given that the government ordered us to close down, it’s hard to see how there can be any ambiguity around this.

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“Yet despite rulings from the Supreme Court and the FCA our insurers continue to play games. We are left with no other choice but to press on with legal action. We have grouped together with other policy holders across this UK and are ready to take this as far as we need to.”

Black and White Hospitality has now appointed specialist insurance solicitors, Fenchurch Law, to lead the fight.

Mr Atkinson added: “It’s not only surprising but also very disappointing that Tokio Marine Kiln are still prepared to take this stance despite the fact that businesses like Black and White Hospitality took out policies in good faith. A letter before action has been sent and court action will follow unless matters are resolved urgently.

“The response from Tokio Marine Kiln has come as a dreadful shock, but we will refuse to accept the unacceptable. We are aware of other groups of policy holders getting together to take similar action against other insurers. One thing is patently clear, the hospitality industry as a whole will not take this lying down and will continue to fight until the insurance companies honour the policies which they were happy to collect premiums under for all those years.”

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Andrew Seymour

The author Andrew Seymour

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