'Mr Loophole' caught by small print
Published 24/08/2010 | 18:23
A celebrity lawyer nicknamed "Mr Loophole" has admitted being left £5,000 out of pocket after failing to read the small print on a pet insurance policy.
Nick Freeman is famed for his ability to use the small details to secure acquittals for his rich clients, including European Ryder Cup golf captain Colin Montgomerie and England cricketer Andrew Flintoff.
But when his pet Staffordshire bull terrier Rocco collapsed on holiday in the south of France, Mr Freeman couldn't make a claim because he had failed to read the terms and conditions stating he needed to give the firm two weeks' notice before the holiday and pay and additional £100 for overseas cover.
At first Mr Freeman believed Rocco was suffering from heat exhaustion but the five-year-old had picked up a near fatal illness after being infected with a parasite.
The pedigree dog, which Mr Freeman said is always by his side, ended up undergoing expensive tests and two blood transfusions at a private vet in Cannes near the family's holiday home.
Despite paying their pet insurance premiums, when Mr Freeman's wife, Stephanie, phoned the company she was told they had not complied with the small print.
The lawyer to the stars acknowledged the irony of coming up short on the small print.
"I have to hold my hands up," he said. "I didn't read the small print but I should have done.
"Dog owners can learn from me that you must read the terms and deal with them when they take their pets away. Blink and you miss it.
"It's the old adage of looking after your clients' interests very well, far better so than when it comes to yourself."