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I WANT TO BREAK FREE

Slowly cutting ties from the Royal Bank of Scotland, Direct Line Group's shares began trading on the London Stock Exchange this month. With initial public offerings few and far between, this story has been poured over by the press who even dredged up a personal injury angle for the £1.5bn LSE float.

Insurance Times breathed a sigh of relief on behalf of investors with its headline (Direct Line off the hook as 10% damages ruling overturned - Insurance Times 10th October) after the now infamous Simmons v Castle ruling stopped anyone running a CFA case before 'Jackson Day' from collecting an extra bit from their award. However, the story was not without merit as the insurer had warned investors that a judgement against their favour would probably cost somewhere between £30m-£45m.

Nevertheless, rival insurance rag Post Magazine saw an opportunity to pounce; pouring cold water all over the suggestion that some crummy Appeal Court decision could ever affect the price of Britain's newest listed insurance company. It quoted BDO valuations partner Andrew Caldwell who said while the insurer would breathe a sigh of relief at the decision, it was "a moot point whether that is likely to have any direct impact on the expected share price" (Damages uplift is 'moot' point for Direct Line Group IPO - 10th October, Post Magazine).

Premextra thanks the lord for tit-for-tat journalism.