Mr Wassilis Thomas

Wassilis Thomas



Court rules on policyholder's claim against insurer for information on stored personal data
Germany | 04 May 2021

In 2019 the Cologne Higher Regional Court issued a decision on the scope of the right to information under the EU General Data Protection Regulation that has enormous implications for insurers that collect or process personal data. The court held that the right to information covers not only the so-called 'master data' in the relationship between the insurer and the policyholder, but also telephone and conversation notes that the insurer has stored, used and processed with reference to the policyholder.

Courts decide whether insurance broker with 100% of shares held by insurer was independent and neutral
Germany | 03 November 2020

According to German law, there is a strict separation between brokers and agents; German intermediaries must decide whether they wish to act as brokers on the side of policyholders or as agents as representatives on the side of insurers. They cannot act as both. The Munich Higher Regional Court recently ruled on the matter and the verdict was rather surprising.

Court rules on representative action undertaken by insurance agent on insurer's behalf
Germany | 04 February 2020

The Hamburg Court of Appeal has expressly discarded an earlier obiter dictum, ruling that a representative action (ie, an authority to pursue the claim of another in one's own name) by an insurance agent on behalf of the insurer stops time only if the agent disclosed its authority and the name of the represented insurer when filing the action. A later disclosure of the authority – which existed at the time of lodging the claim – in court has no retroactive effect and does not interrupt the limitation period.

Shipping & Transport

Theft of semi-trailer and violation of safety instructions
Germany | 24 February 2021

A recent Federal Supreme Court concerned a clause in a consignor's general terms and conditions, according to which loaded vehicles had to be monitored while parked or parked where sufficient safety was guaranteed. Following the theft of the cargo in question, the court held that this clause was not sufficiently clear as to impose on the carrier any duties of care beyond the legal requirements. This judgment has strengthened the position of carriers.

Freight claim in case of premature termination of freight contract
Germany | 16 December 2020

A recent decision highlights that it is not a precondition of an obstacle to carriage or delivery that the agreed carriage has become impossible. Rather, it is sufficient that the transport can no longer be performed in accordance with the contract. Moreover, such an obstacle exists if the carrier loses possession of the goods because the sub-carrier now transports the goods under a freight contract concluded directly with the consignor.

Proof of carrier's qualified fault in case of partial loss of transported goods
Germany | 18 December 2019

A recent Higher Regional Court of Dusseldorf decision concerning the partial loss of goods has strengthened the position of carriers. The court found that it is not enough to inform a carrier's driver of the risk of theft only when loading goods, as the carrier will have no time to assess the situation. The notification of risk must be made in good time so that the carrier can make a decision in the normal course of business.