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You are here: Home » About Lambert Roper & Horsfield Limited » Testimonials » H R Fire & Safety Ltd.

H R Fire & Safety Ltd.


Harry Webster admits he never had any great ambition to start his own business, but more than three decades after setting up H R Fire & Safety, he is looking forward to seeing son Darren carry it on into the future.

For 20 years, Lambert Roper & Horsfield’s Keith Lyons has provided expert advice to the Leeds-based business, which looks after the fire safety needs of more than 2,000 industrial and commercial clients in the north of England, becoming a friend as well as an accountant in the process.

Darren, who came into the business after firstly following a career in estate agency, runs the company, with Harry putting in three days a week to help out. As Harry prepares for the day that he steps aside completely, a new era is beginning in the relationship between H R Fire & Safety and Lambert Roper & Horsfield, where Nick Frost is now also closely involved in the Leeds firm’s affairs.

H R Fire & Safety – named after Harry and wife Ruth – started trading in 1977. Harry had previously worked in the fire safety industry for a multi-national firm but when a move to smaller company, as MD of its northern division, failed to work out, he found himself going it alone with only a briefcase and a month’s salary in lieu of notice behind him.

Since then, the business has grown into one of the largest independent specialists in the region. It now employs 13 people and as well as supplying and maintaining fire extinguishers provides related products and services, including supplying fire hose reels and fire exit signs and servicing fire alarms.

The company originally became a Lambert Roper & Horsfield client on the recommendation of a neighbouring business, Specialist Hose Supplies, and the firm now provides services to H R Fire & Safety including year-end accounts, pre-year end tax planning, tax compliance and dividend planning, as well as advice on personal finance issues.

Harry says: “We have had a lot of help from Keith and if we need advice or to arrange a meeting on a particular issue, we know he or Nick are only a phone call away. We have a very good relationship with them.”

In fact, Keith was one of the first people Harry turned to when Specialist Hose Supplies was struggling and up for sale, to discuss with him the viability – “and the pros and cons” – of buying the firm. As a result he decided to go ahead and with Keith’s help, the business has now been turned around and is trading successfully from a new home within H R Fire & Safety’s premises.

Harry says: “We get people ringing us up and say ‘We are accountants, we can do your books and do you a good deal’ but we’re not interested. Lambert Roper & Horsfield are far more than just accountants – we class them as friends.”

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Latest News

Insurance industry to pay out on COVID-19 business interruption claims

January 18th, 2021

More than 370,000 small businesses in England and Wales could be due a payout on their business interruption insurance after the Supreme Court ruled in favour of payments being made on previously refused claims and policies.

A number of insurers have lost an appeal against an earlier ruling, brought in a test case by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which required them to payout on existing business interruption insurance policies as a result of the pandemic.

In the first lockdown of spring 2020, many small businesses made claims through their business interruption insurance schemes for loss of earnings when they had to close as a result of the Government’s restrictions.

However, they were soon told by their insurers that they were not eligible for a payout because only specialist policies had cover for such unprecedented events.

Following an outcry from the small business community, many of whom had paid thousands of pounds for insurance coverage, the FCA launched a test case which looked at a selection of policy wordings to establish the parameters for what would be considered a valid claim.

Last year an initial case at the High Court found that some insurers should have paid out for losses caused by the lockdown. Judges ruled that disease clauses found in many business interruption insurance policies should have meant they were covered and been compensated for the loss of income due to the Coronavirus restrictions.

An appeal was then brought and the test case was fast-tracked to the Supreme Court – the highest court in England and Wales – who conducted a four-day hearing last year, before delivering a final ruling.

This latest ruling provides authoritative guidance for these policies, and similar ones that were not part of the case, which will be used by the FCA, the insurance sector, and the Financial Ombudsman to assess claims and make judgements.

This impacts on all eligible policies held at the time of the first lockdown, whether an initial claim was made and rejected or not.

The ruling covers a wide range of matters including disease clauses, whether businesses were denied access to the properties they owned by restrictions and the timing of lost earnings.

Giving the court’s ruling Lord Hamblen said the court accepted the arguments from representatives of policyholders and dismissed the appeals from insurers finding in policyholders’ favour.

Although the initial case only tested a small number of policies from eight different insurers, the FCA has said that the findings could affect up to 700 different policies held by various insurers and lead to payments for more than 370,000 small businesses that hold policies.

Insurers, such as Hiscox, Arch, Argenta, MS Amlin, QBE and RSA, that were involved in the case will now process claims. However, as many as 60 insurers who sold similar products may now also pay out on eligible policies.

Huw Evans, Director General of the Association of British Insurers, has said that all valid claims will be settled and that the process of settling some claims was already underway.

Most eligible policyholders should be contacted by their insurer following the ruling, but businesses are being encouraged to check whether they can make a claim.

As for new claims relating to the latest lockdowns, the insurance industry has said that most policies for new and renewing customers have already been amended and that losses from the latest lockdown measures would be clearly stated as part of the cover.

If you require assistance with any issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic, please contact us.

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