BILA is a domestic organisation that is also part of the British Chapter of Association Internationale de Droit des Assurances (AIDA) and is an active participant in all the activities of AIDA including its quadrennial world congress. They hold accredited (CPD) talks on conferences on insurance law topics, drawing an international crowd of speakers and attendees.
The BILA Book prize is awarded annually to authors who have published notable contributions to the area of insurance law. This year author Baris Soyer was awarded the prize for Marine Insurance Law, for it's relevancy, poignancy and accessibility to insurance law. This is the second time Baris has won the prize, with his monograph Warranties in Marine Insurance winning the prize in 2006.
Swansea University (where Baris Soyer teaches) gives a detailed account of the award ceremony, explaining why they think the book was so worthy of winning the prize: "His most recent prizewinning monograph, published last year, gives a comprehensive and coherent legal analysis of the impact of fraud on the position of various parties to a marine insurance contract. At the time of publication it was seen as a winner. In the foreword, Sir Bernard Rix (formerly a Lord Justice of Appeal) stated: “Professor Soyer has written a book on an important and fascinating theme which not only states the law in a clear and concise way, but also analyses it critically, insightfully and helpfully. I am confident that it will be used profitably by a wide range of readers.” Read about the full story by clicking here.
1) Q: Congratulations on ‘Marine Insurance Fraud’ winning the 2015 BILA Book Prize! What lead you to writing it?
A: It is estimated that the annual cost of insurance fraud for the sector is in the region of £ 2.1 billion. Also, the international character of marine insurance business and difficulties that emanates from this, especially in terms of enforcement, makes this area a fertile ground for fraudsters. That being the case, the legal issues surrounding the concept were not subjected to any comprehensive analysis so there was an obvious gap in legal literature which I tried to fill by writing this monograph.
2) Q: What sparked your particular interest in this branch of Maritime Law?
A: I have been working on various aspects of marine insurance law for the last two decades. Marine insurance plays a very significant role in shipping and trade practice by providing an effective risk distribution mechanism. Legal issues concerning marine insurance policies could be very complex and require a good understanding on various areas of law such as contract, tort and restitution. It was this challenging nature of insurance law that sparked my interest in this branch of maritime law.
3) Q: Tell us about your academic background. We are interested in finding out more about your teaching and research.
A: I am a Professor of Commercial and Maritime Law at Swansea University. I also act as the Director of Institute of International Shipping and Trade Law, which is a research institute founded with the objective of bridging the gap between academia and practice. My colleagues and myself are closely connected with shipping and legal practice. This certainly informs our teaching and research. I have written articles on various aspects of shipping and trade that have been published in journals such as Lloyd’s Maritime and Commercial Law Quarterly, Journal of Business Law, Journal of Maritime Law and Commerce, Torts Law Journal, Journal of Contract Law and Cambridge Law Journal. I have taught the following subjects over the years: Marine Insurance Law, Admiralty Law, Oil and Gas Law, Charterparties: Law and Practice, Transnational Commercial Law, Carriage of Goods by Sea, Land and Air.
4) Q:The book is split into two parts- explain your decision to do this and briefly what each part entails?
A: First part deals with the impact of fraud committed by parties to an insurance contract, such as the assured, insurer and brokers. In most instances fraud of these parties will have a detrimental impact on the policy and need to be analysed in depth. The second part, adopting a wider perspective, analyses the extent to which standard marine policies cover the fraudulent and dishonest activity of third parties to an insurance contract. This part pulls together a series of problems concerning insurance coverage and it is hoped that it will be of real assistance to the readers.
5) Q: Did you have a chapter you particularly enjoyed writing and if so – why?
A: It will be a cliché but I really enjoyed writing all of it!
6) Q: Do you have plans for any future books? What’s next in the pipeline for you?
A: Together with a number of colleagues, we are working on a book that will analyse the key aspects of Insurance Act 2015. It is expected that this book will be published in August 2016 around the same time when the Act comes into force.
Baris has published a plethora of highly acclaimed books with Informa Law, in the area of Maritime and Shipping Law. He is a Professor of Commercial and Maritime Law, Head of the Postgraduate Legal Studies Department and the Director of the Institute of International Shipping and Trade Law at Swansea University School of Law.
Edited by Baris Soyer, Andrew Tettenborn
Edited by Baris Soyer, Andrew Tettenborn
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