Insurance

Our Practice

Our international team acts for clients throughout the global insurance sector including insurance and reinsurance companies (including Lloyd’s syndicates), bancassurers, insurance intermediaries and service providers. We are recognised for our innovative work and track record for attracting the most impressive instructions in this constantly changing market. We are also particularly known for providing pragmatic and cost saving advice on business critical matters, whether contentious or non-contentious.

What makes us different?

Advisers you can trust – qualified experts with industry experience

Through secondment programmes, our team has direct experience of the legal and practical challenges that you face, whether as an insurer, insurance intermediary or service provider. In addition to providing legal excellence, we know the value of pragmatic solutions. We also appreciate that our clients benefit from having legal advisers who are active participants in the insurance community. Members of our team are also registered members of the Chartered Institute of Insurance.

Unlike most other law firms, we have experience providing advice in both the life and general insurance markets, including in respect of Lloyd’s of London and the run-off sector. We have in depth insight into the developments that affect the sector and extensive experience in handling the resulting issues that impact our clients.

Sector specialists

Our firm specialises in five key sectors: Financial Institutions, Asset Management, Life Sciences and Technology, Media & Telecommunications. As such, our insurance team focuses on practice areas that complement these sectors and we draw upon the top rated expertise of our sector colleagues to give our clients comprehensive, specialist advice.

International coverage

Our team spans Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Our coordinated approach between our London City office and our international network means that our clients receive seamless service regardless of where your matter originates and whether the matter involves one jurisdiction or ten.

Business critical issues – our specialism

We specialise in high-stakes matters and have a proven track record of delivering successful outcomes to our clients. Our clients trust us to advise them on the most critical aspects of their business from business transfers and reorganisations to potential regulatory breaches and complex, high-value, multijurisdictional claims.

Development of new products

We have extensive experience advising insurers, reinsurers and financial institutions when writing new types of business. Many of the products our team has developed are still the market leaders today, such as health trusts.

Cost saving innovation in legal services

We understand that three things matter to our clients most:

  • the bottom line
  • receiving real value
  • keeping ahead of the curve in legal developments

These driving forces have led to us combining technology with our leading legal expertise. The result is the development of innovative solutions to meet the insurance industry’s needs. These innovations not only change the way we deliver legal services but also help you save money. For example, the Simmons & Simmons eDiscovery solution reduces the time and cost required for document review while improving the reliability of data output and the quality of legal analysis.

Experience

Corporate, commercial and regulatory

  • advising insurance and non-insurance entities on the impact of Solvency II on their business (including their non-European operations) 
  • public recognition for our innovative work in connection with the correct treatment of professional indemnity insurance policy exclusions under the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) 
  • advising Beazley on its new cyber risk policies and claims management in London and Paris
  • advising Tesco Bank on its distribution arrangements for insurance products
  • working with Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance to reorganise their business and complete their remediation programme following the enforcement action taken by the UK regulator
  • advising on a series of liquidity transformation transactions with a major investment bank undertaken by the asset management arm of the UK, German, French and Dutch insurance entities of a major investment banking group
  • advising on the insurance business transfer and accompanying reorganisation of Bupa’s international business involving 10 different jurisdictions and managing the transfer in each to achieve considerable tax and efficiency savings 
  • developing and implementing health trusts for Bupa, Pruhealth and other insurers 
  • advising on certain UK tax aspects of the transfer of the Aon group’s headquarters from the US to the UK and subsequent internal reorganisations, together with ongoing general employment and pensions tax advice 
  • advising a multi-national insurance company about potential regulatory breaches after receipt of a section 166 notice from the UK regulator and how to manage the section 166 investigation together with associated employment issues 
  • advising a leading general insurer on the impact of Solvency II, assisting with various of the projects required for its implementation including Corporate Governance and Data retention 
  • advising non-insurance regulated entities on structuring products so that they do not fall within the scope of the insurance regulatory regime 
  • advising on the sale and acquisition of insurance entities (including on behalf of private equity bidders). Targets and clients have included Lloyd’s of London entities, whether operating in the live and/or legacy markets.

Litigation 

  • acting for a top 10 accounting firm on a £250m claim brought against them in their capacity as administrative receivers acting on behalf of a well-known firm and its professional indemnity insurers in relation to a very significant claim arising out of the alleged mismanagement of a pension scheme by its original trustees 
  • defending a leading actuarial firm for six years against a £multi-million claim by the liquidators of Independent Insurance 
  • coordinating and advising on class actions across several jurisdictions against a software company in connection with spyware usage 
  • acting in a claim in the US against a broker regarding the placement of political risk cover to a global energy company in respect of a coal supply contract in an African country 
  • advising a UK broker in relation to a claim in the French Commercial Court relating to the placement of cover for a French construction project with an insurer based in the West Indies 
  • advising a multi-national firm of valuers on claims arising out of the allegedly negligent valuation of a national portfolio of leisure facilities 
  • acting for a well known firm on a claim that has arisen following proceedings before the Pensions Regulator and the appointment of an independent trustee concerning fiduciary and statutory breaches by pension trustees with alleged losses in excess of £30 million 
  • advising a firm of Project Managers and their Insurers in relation to a high profile claim in excess of £14m arising out of construction of a ground breaking new arts complex in Colchester 
  • advising insurers in respect of cover for a claim made under a financial institutions insurance program following a fraud operated by an attorney appointed to the panel of an African Bank 
  • acting for UK-based financial institutions in defence of claims brought by purchasers of interest rate hedging products from plain vanilla interest rate swaps, through structured collars to complex derivatives products 
  • advising D&O insurers of a collapsed UK Plc in relation to coverage for Directors and Officers for claims under the policy involving investigations by a regulator, various professional bodies and joint administrators 
  • advising on D&O coverage issues arising out of the current high profile banking “scandals”
  • enforcing D&O insurance policies before French Courts 
  • advising London market insurers in respect of global “metal on metal” claims affecting the medical devices industry
  • advising insurers in connection with the provision of coverage advice arising out of high profile class action pharmaceutical litigation in the US concerning the use of psychotropic drugs
  • advising product recall insurers in connection with the contamination of foodstuff produced and prepared by a leading UK based confectionery manufacturer 
  • acting for the tobacco industry in successfully resisting the first multi-party claims brought against manufacturers 
  • advising the insurers and captive of TNT in the Technology & Construction Court claim TNT v Gazeley, a £100m multi-party claim arising from a fire in 2005 at a facility operated by TNT for Primark 
  • advising following the collapse of a roof at a major shopping centre causing significant third party losses (including property damage, business interruption losses and loss of rental income) as well as third party losses.

Specialist Expertise

Transactional work

We advise on M&A, reorganisations, and insurance business transfers, including attributions of inherited estates, demutualisations and joint ventures.

Insurance products and programmes

We advise on insurance and reinsurance policies and programmes (including captive and run-off programmes), retail products (including TOBAs), distribution agreements, outsourcing agreements and Lloyd’s of London related documents.

Finance

We advise on a wide range of finance transactions from large and complex international debt and equity offerings, bank financings, debt capital markets issuances and derivatives transactions to transactions specific to the insurance sector, including financing of closed life insurer bids, acquisitions of Lloyd’s syndicates, general working capital facilities and Funds at Lloyd’s and reinsurance letter of credit facilities.

Regulatory issues

We advise on the increasingly all pervasive insurance regulatory regime, including the authorisation of insurance regulated activities (including insurance mediation) and the ongoing regulatory compliance duties of insurance regulated entities.

Coverage and reinsurance

We provide comprehensive and targeted advice on complex coverage issues, including advising on limitation periods applying to claims under Reinsurance Treaties and advising on cover policies in respect of high profile class action claims and regulatory investigations.

Commercial litigation

We regularly advise entities in the insurance industry on commercial litigation and arbitration disputes in areas such as employment, M&A, jurisdictional issues, and enforcement.

Claims

We advise on a diverse range of high-value and complex claims across multiple jurisdictions. Amongst other areas, we advise on professional indemnity, product liability and recall, FI / D&O, commercial risk, contingency, trade credit and political risk.

Professional Indemnity

On the basis that “prevention is better than a cure,” we advise on risk management issues including regulatory interpretation, professional terms and conditions of business. However, should claims arise, we defend the interests of insurers and other professionals (including brokers, accountants, solicitors, surveyors) in professional liability cases. In addition to damages claims, professionals may face censure from regulators – we have expertise in regulatory and disciplinary proceedings across sectors.

FI / D&O and crime

Litigation involving financial institutions is one of our particular strengths. In addition to insurers, we also act for a number of major investment and retail banks, as well as fund managers and other financial advisers. Our Crime, Fraud and Investigations practice, in conjunction with our Regulatory and Corporate practices, offers full service advice in D&O disputes.

Product Liability and Recall

We have a long standing practice of defending product liability claims for insurers, as well as directly for insureds. We also regularly advise distributors, manufacturers and their insurers on effective recalls. Working with local regulators, PR and marketing experts, we ensure an effective recall, thereby protecting the brand and minimising potential criminal sanctions and civil claims brought against our clients.

Property Claims

Our experience ranges from acting for composite insurers in relation to UK property losses, as well as advising composite and London market insurers in relation to international property claims and business interruption. Our team has advised on disputes ranging from rail, road, ports as well as office, hotel, residential builds, industrial premises and energy projects.

Construction & Engineering

We have resources that specialise in Engineering and Contractors All Risk claims across our network who deal with claims for loss or damage arising from the works, including loss caused by adverse weather conditions, damage to equipment and buildings caused by electrical or mechanical failures, replacement costs of systems and defective equipment, and professional liability claims.