LLOYD’s of London is famous for insuring just about anything, from the legs of 1940s film star Betty Grable to the first commercial communications satellite in space.
But one risk the market wants to be rid of is the plague of daredevils climbing its London headquarters.
Lloyd’s lawyers have been in court this month looking for an injunction barring anyone from scaling its building at
One Lime Street in the heart of London’s financial district known simply as ‘the City.’
According to documents filed with the Business and Property Court, since 2012 there have been at least 49 “incidents of trespass” by practitioners of parkour and ‘urban exploration.’
“Some individuals have considerable social media followings and the self-publicity they generate through their unlawful exploits encourages others to attempt to emulate their activities and to replicate their climbs individually or in
groups,” Lloyd’s lawyer Adam Blick wrote in his brief supporting the injunction application.
“During 2017 there has been a marked escalation in these incidents of trespass, with at least 21 such incidents at the Lloyd’s Building” as of Dec. 18.
The building, erected between 1978 and 1986, was designed by one of the architects of the Pompidou Centre in Paris
and shares its signature placement of elevators, washrooms, pipes and other support elements on the exterior.
“However, whilst this facilitates more unobstructed space internally, the design of the outside has rendered the Lloyd’s building an attractive climb as these external facilities provide assistance to climbers,” Mr. Blick said.
Lloyd’s has worked with police, increased its own security patrols and spent £81,000 (C$136,000) on improvements last year alone.
“Lloyd’s is extremely conscious of the potential health and safety risks not only to trespassers themselves but also to employees in, visitors to and passers-by of the Lloyd’s Building,” the brief said. “The increase in frequency of trespassers not only increases the risk of injury, but also poses a threat to the security of Lloyd’s inasmuch as the global broadcasting of these incidents openly provides information about access points to future trespassers as well as to future trespassers with malicious intent.” The injunction, if granted, would clear the way for civil and/or criminal prosecution of climbers.”
(For more independent coverage of the Canadian p&c industry plus international insurance news through our correspondent in England, please choose the ‘Subscribe’ tab on our main page or email firstname.lastname@example.org).