By Tricia Hobson of Norton Rose Fulbright
Neither insurers nor lawyers have traditionally been considered innovators. Indeed, it has been said that the only thing insurance and innovation have in common is their place in the dictionary.
But this is no longer true. The insurance industry is rapidly evolving in order to adapt to advances in technology. Phrases such as “data breaches”, “the sharing economy” and “autonomous vehicles” have now entered the general lexicon, and insurers are grappling with how to assess and quantify risks never previously encountered
Who’s Who Legal has brought together Tim Goggin of Hogan Lovells, David Attisani of Choate Hall & Stewart and Rod Attride-Stirling of ASW Law to discuss key issues facing insurance and reinsurance lawyers and their clients today.
The 13th edition of Who's Who Legal: Insurance & Reinsurance sees 680 names recommended from over 300 firms across 56 countries.
Now in its second year, the insurance and reinsurance expert witnesses included in our listings are a crucial asset to lawyers, providing evidence on insurance coverage and claims, risk transfer, valuations and damages. This year we highlight 28 leading individuals across the US, England and Australia.
Among others, we highlight FTI Consulting, Berkeley Research Group and Navigant as the top consultancy firms in this field.
The word on all lawyers’ lips this year was “cybercrime”, pegged to be the “next big thing” in the insurance market. The British government recently estimated the potential cost of a single cyber-attack at up to £20 billion, highlighting the potentially devastating impact that major attacks could have. As some lawyers prepare clients for this new liability, others have been working to ensure clients are compliant with Europe’s Solvency II regulations which came into force at the start of the year.
The 12th edition of Insurance & Reinsurance is a comprehensive analysis of the market, featuring 559 leading practitioners from 280 firms across 58 jurisdictions.
Only a relatively small number of law firms can boast a global network of leading insurance lawyers. Clyde & Co has a truly international insurance practice that has stand-out lawyers in 10 major financial centres. Hogan Lovells also impresses with its expansive offering, taking a leading position in both the EU and US markets.
Sidley Austin maintains a noteworthy position in our research with outstanding offices in Chicago, New York and London. Norton Rose Fulbright is similarly well established with a strong array of lawyers in Europe, South Africa and the Asia-Pacific region.
Stand-out offerings in the highly competitive US market include the newly merged Locke Lord and Covington & Burling; meanwhile, Conyers Dill & Pearman is recognised for its dominant position in the offshore insurance sector.
We have also identified the most highly regarded individuals in this area. This year, we recognise seven lawyers both in the US and in Europe, and four from elsewhere.
Practitioners saw another busy year in 2014, with high levels of activity across both transactional and regulatory sectors.
With preparations for the implementation of Solvency II in Europe at the start of 2016 a major consideration for insurers with European arms, practitioners in Europe and further afield have seen an increase in regulatory work to make sure that clients are compliant. Insurance-linked securities (ILS) have been a huge source of work over the past 12 months, with large numbers of private investors clamouring to get a place in the market. ILS investments are seen as fairly secure and offering very impressive returns. In the US there has been an increase in pensions de-risking work as the economy continues to recover, while in Latin America and Asia increases in insurance markets have bought new players onto the international stage.
For the first time this year we also recognise the top insurance and reinsurance expert witnesses, with 15 featured from across the US and England. These experts provide evidence on insurance coverage and claims, risk transfer, valuations and damages, and are highlighted for their “unbeatable expertise”.
This year we single out 570 practitioners from 282 firms who are considered leaders in this field of law according to peers and corporate counsel. Eight firms particularly stand out in this edition due to the high number of inclusions they achieve, with international heavyweight Hogan Lovells leading the way. Following closely behind is Clyde & Co, which has individuals from its offices across five different continents recognised. Norton Rose Fulbright is also strongly represented, especially by its London and Johannesburg offices. Several firms from the Bermuda market also garner a significant number of listings, including Appleby and Conyers Dill & Pearman.
We also single out the most highly regarded insurance and reinsurance lawyers in the world, with Mary Kay Vyskocil of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett achieving the top spot
While natural catastrophes have resulted in incredibly high insured losses for the global insurance and reinsurance market, it has not been all doom and gloom for practitioners. Regulatory, transactional and contentious experts have all been in demand over the past year, in what has been described as an “interesting market”.
In this section we analyse the findings of our research in greater depth to identify the firms and practitioners who stand out worldwide. Clyde & Co is the leading firm in our research with an impressive 17 listings across seven offices. It has been a triumphant year for the firm, which has gone from strength to strength after its 2011 merger with Barlow Lyde & Gilbert. International “heavyweight” Hogan Lovells narrowly misses out on the top spot with 16 “outstanding” lawyers listed. The firm has a particularly solid base in Europe, with 11 lawyers featured from seven countries. DLA Piper demonstrates its huge international footprint with 11 lawyers featured from eight offices spanning five continents. Norton Rose also has a strong presence in our publication with nine lawyers listed. It is best represented by its practice in South Africa where we feature three leading practitioners.
With the benefit of over 14 years of research and tens of thousands of votes from clients and private practitioners, Who’s Who Legal takes a closer look at developing trends in the insurance and resinsurance legal marketplace.
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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.