Marco Pierre White teams up with steakhouse rival to take on insurer over lockdown payouts
Marco Pierre White’s Steakhouse restaurants would usually be in competition with rival, Gaucho.
But the businesses behind the two brands have joined forces to pursue their insurer, Tokio Marine, in a case that could be worth millions of pounds.
Black & White Hospitality, which owns and manages the franchise rights to Marco Pierre White’s restaurants, is bringing arbitration proceedings against Tokio after the insurance giant refused to pay out when the restaurants were forced to close during lockdown.
Bitter taste: Marco Pierre White (pictured) is bringing proceedings against Tokio after the insurer refused to pay out when the restaurants were forced to close
The chef’s group has been joined by Rare Restaurants, owner of Gaucho, and around 20 other hospitality businesses.
They all bought so-called business interruption policies from Tokio, designed to cover their lost income if the restaurants were forced to close.
But Tokio refused to pay, claiming its policies were not designed to apply in a situation such as the Covid lockdowns.
Even after a judge ruled last year in a test case brought by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) that most insurers would have to cough up, Tokio Marine still refused.
It has tried to dodge its responsibilities by claiming the Government is not a statutory body, said Black & White’s lawyer Rob Atkinson.
The arbitration proceedings are due to kick off in spring.