The United Policyholders Group and Others v The Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago: PC 28 Jun 2016

(Trinidad and Tobago) The appellants, all residents of Trinidad and Tobago, held life policies issued by the Colonial Life Insurance Company (CLICO). Their claim arose out of the banking crisis in early 2009 when CLICO was in serious financial difficulties. That claim was based on assurances of support for CLICO given by the then government, which they say created a ‘legitimate expectation’ enforceable in law. They asserted that, following the elections in May 2010, the new government failed to honour that expectation, and that they became entitled to relief accordingly. Their claim succeeded in the High Court but failed in the Court of Appeal.
Held: The appeal failed.
Legitimate expectation derives from a proposition that where a public body has stated its clear intentions, a person who had reasonably relied on that statement would, in the absence of good reasons, be entitled to rely on it and to enforce it through the courts. The principle could be invoked in relation to most, if not all, statements as to the procedure to be adopted in a particular context, but it was not clear how far it could be applied in relation to statements as to substantive matters, for instance statements in relation to macro-political or macro-economic matters.
Lord Neuberger, Lord Mance, Lord Clarke, Lord Sumption, Lord Carnwath
[2016] UKPC 17, [2016] WLR(D) 352, [2016] 1 WLR 3383
Bailii, wlrd
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedGallaher Group Ltd and Others, Regina (on The Application of) v The Competition and Markets Authority SC 16-May-2018
Extent and consequences of duties of ‘equal treatment’ or ‘fairness’, said to have been owed by the Office of Fair Trading to those subject to investigation under the Competition Act 1998. . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 25 July 2021; Ref: scu.566250