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Thought Leaders

Thought Leaders

Thought Leader

WWL Ranking: Thought Leader

WWL says

“Fantastic lawyer” Rémi Passemard is recognised as a high-quality insurance and reinsurance litigator, with broad expertise across product liability, E&O and general liability matters.

Questions & Answers

Rémi Passemard specialises in insurance, liability and banking for major corporations, banks and insurers seeking legal or court assistance before domestic or foreign courts. He has a strong expertise in financial lines insurance policies, professional indemnity and other liability cases. Rémi also enjoys diversified skills in insurance disputes, product liability, industrial risks, cyber and regulatory issues. He similarly acts for banks in disputes relating to the distribution of financial, insurance or banking products, loan recovery and enforcement of securities.

What attracted you to the insurance industry?

After eight years of practice as an insolvency lawyer, I wanted to have a fresh start and discover an entirely new area. The insurance business was one of the opportunities I was offered, and a real challenge. It was as if I was back in the position of a junior associate, sometimes wondering whether I would leave within the next three months! In 1999, the market for directors and officers liability insurance policies developed, and my previous experience got me involved in financial-lines insurance products. Twenty years later, I am still practising as an insurance lawyer, and the insurance business is tremendously exciting.

What do you consider to be a challenge for the insurance business?

Digitalisation is a strong challenging factor. Insurance companies have to organise the daily conduct of their activities with new tools, new appliances offered by insurtechs and new possible services. Digitalisation is a “disrupting” factor in terms of new ways to take out insurance policies, segmentation possibilities, risk prediction, marketing, fraud detection, assistance in claims handling and improved indemnification. Digitalisation also creates new risks in terms of cyber exposures, protection of personal data, and liability risks resulting from algorithms in the decision-making processes.

What impact is digitalisation having on your work?

Thirty years ago, decisions from the French Supreme Court could be made available for research on a CD. That was all! There were huge books to access case law and legal doctrine, which are now replaced by websites providing much more information. AI will also most certainly have an impact on our practice; numerous software is being developed offering predictive solutions based on computing analysis of dozens of court cases. These tools can be useful if they assist in the decision-making process for refining a defence strategy. These tools may be a differentiating factor, although they don’t equal human intelligence (so far!).

What is the driver of your day-to-day business?

What are clients looking for? The insurance business is not only paying losses. There are significant issues and technicalities to be resolved before indemnification. Clients want you to provide clarity and certainty in matters which have none. A lawyer is a solution finder. I have to take a risk and recommend a solution fitted to the client’s case, otherwise I am only providing a catalogue while the clients look for an advice! In this respect, you have to make things clear, simple and concise. Clients or judges must fully understand the matter at the first reading. If the claimant’s pleadings are unclear, you have to be as clear as possible. If they are clear, you have to be even clearer and more concise.

What is the biggest challenge when handling a matter?

At some point, you have to close the file and assess the risk exposure of the case, or the risks associated with different strategies. Adopting an impartial position is challenging when considering the efficiency of the arguments raised by the parties in the litigation, and making an objective assessment of the case. What would be my decision if I were the judge? What are the strengths and weaknesses on each side? This is crucial in order to properly advise the client on the risks incurred.

How has the legal market changed in France over the last few years?

There is high competition among law firms in France. The insurance industry is more and more attracting business law firms with development strategies aimed at diversifying their client bases. However, many experienced and talented insurance lawyers work with “niche boutiques” firms that have unequalled track records on the market.

What are your key concerns in your firm’s management?

The key drivers for my partner, Pascal Ormen, and myself in the firm’s management is deserving the firm’s reputation, and ensuring high-quality work and client satisfaction. It requires careful recruitment of young, talented associates who share our goal; ensuring their evolution to autonomy, in-depth analysis and reactivity. Further, we have always considered a friendly atmosphere as a key factor to success, ever since the creation of the firm in 2004. This also creates challenges for the partners in developing the firm’s capacity to attract a large and diverse range of matters, allowing each of our 12 associates to develop their skills.

Global Leader

Insurance & Reinsurance 2019

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

 "Fantastic lawyer" Rémi Passemard is recognised as a high-quality insurance & reinsurance litigator in this year's research, with broad expertise across product liability, E&O and general liability matters.

Biography

Rémi Passemard is a founding partner of Selarl Ormen Passemard – ORPA Legal, a highly regarded law firm in the areas of commercial litigation and insurance. The firm is a close-knit team consisting of 12 lawyers. Rémi has nearly three decades of experience as litigator and advises financial institutions, major corporations as well as insurers and reinsurers.

Rémi acts in a broad range of insurance disputes involving general liability, professional indemnity, E&O, product liability and industrial risks, serving as monitoring, coverage or defence counsel. He developed over the last 20 years a strong expertise in financial lines insurance policies (D&O, EPL, IPO, FI, and crime and fraud), including coverage litigation.

Rémi regularly handles coverage issues arising from international insurance programmes involving French and foreign insurance policies with different triggering events. He also advises on cyber exposure in cyber and non cyber policies, before or after incident situations.

On the regulatory side, Rémi assists life and non-life insurers in the design and distribution in France of insurance products complying with EU and French law (unit-linked life policies, EU insurance distribution directive, impact of Brexit on contracts, casualty, etc) including policy wording. He recently advised a major French provider of mobile phones in structuring an insurance programme covering mobile damages and theft.

On the banking side, Rémi acts as defence counsel for banks in disputes relating to the distribution of financial, insurance or banking products (bankers' duty to advise clients), debt recovery and enforcement of securities, duty of vigilance, private banking and wealth management, etc.

Rémi also practises commercial litigation for clients seeking legal or court assistance with contractual relationships, performance (or breach) of contracts, corporate litigation, enforcement of warranties and indemnities granted on the sale of a company, shareholders disputes, etc.

Rémi holds master's degrees from the University of Paris I - Sorbonne in international private law and international trade law (1990) and European law (1991). He is a member of the French Association of Risk Managers, the French Association of Insurance and Reinsurance Lawyers, the French Association of Banking Lawyers and the European Association of Banking and Financial Law.

National Leader

France - Insurance & Reinsurance

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Rémi Passemard is credited by sources for his first-rate work on D&O and professional indemnity claims, areas in which he is considered a go-to name.

Biography

Rémi Passemard is a founding partner of Selarl Ormen Passemard - ORPA Legal, a highly regarded law firm in the areas of commercial litigation and insurance. The firm is a close-knit team consisting of 12 lawyers. Rémi has nearly three decades of experience as litigator and advises financial institutions, major corporations as well as insurers and reinsurers.

Rémi acts in a broad range of insurance disputes involving general liability, professional indemnity, E&O, product liability and industrial risks, serving as monitoring, coverage or defence counsel. He developed over the past 20 years a strong expertise in financial lines insurance policies (D&O, EPL, IPO, FI and crime and fraud), including coverage litigation.

Rémi regularly handles coverage issues arising from international insurance programmes involving French and foreign insurance policies with different triggering events. He also advises on cyber exposure in cyber and non-cyber policies, before or after incident situations.

On the regulatory side, Rémi assists life and non-life insurers in the design and distribution in France of insurance products complying with EU and French law (unit-linked life policies, EU insurance distribution directive, impact of Brexit on contracts, casualty, etc) including policy wording. He recently advised a major French provider of mobile phones in structuring an insurance programme covering mobile damages and theft.

On the banking side, Rémi acts as defence counsel for banks in disputes relating to the distribution of financial, insurance or banking products (bankers' duty to advise clients), debt recovery and enforcement of securities, duty of vigilance, private banking and wealth management, etc.

Rémi also practises commercial litigation for clients seeking legal or court assistance with contractual relationships, performance (or breach) of contracts, corporate litigation, enforcement of warranties and indemnities granted on the sale of a company, shareholders disputes, etc.

Rémi holds master's degrees from the University of Paris I - Sorbonne in international private law and international trade law (1990) and European law (1991). He is a member of the French Association of Risk Managers (AMRAE), the French Association of Insurance and Reinsurance Lawyers (AJAR), the French Association of Banking Lawyers (ANJB) and the European Association of Banking and Financial Law (AEDBF).

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