STORY FROM: Reinsurance & Arbitration

House of Lords Orders Transfer of HIH Reinsurance Assets to Australia

LONDON - England's highest court has ruled that reinsurance assets held in England for the insolvent HIH group of Australian insurance companies should be transferred to Australia for distribution. McGrath v. Riddel ([2008] UKHL 21).

In an April 9 opinion, the House of Lords held that English courts have the power to transfer assets from a provisional liquidation to the principal liquidators and, in this case, such a transfer is required under the "principle of universalism."

HIH, which went under in 2001 with estimated debts of up to $5.3 billion, is being liquidated in the New South Wales Supreme Court ...

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