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Thought Leaders

Thought Leaders

Thought Leader

WWL says

Thought Leader Rémi Passemard offers “excellent insurer assistance”, with a diverse background including liability cases, disputes and regulatory issues.

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 strong expertise in financial lines insurance policies, professional indemnity and other liability cases. Rémi also possesses diversified skills in insurance disputes, product liability, industrial risks, cyber and regulatory issues. He similarly acts in commercial litigation, for banks in disputes relating to the distribution of financial, insurance or banking products, loan recovery and enforcement of securities.

Describe your career to date. 

After eight years of practice as an insolvency lawyer, I needed to discover an entirely new area. The insurance business was an opportunity and a real challenge. Back in 1999, the market for directors and officers liability insurance policies developed, and my former experience led me to become involved in financial lines insurance products. After 20 years, I am still practising as an insurance lawyer and the insurance business is tremendously exciting.

What do you enjoy most about your role as an insurance lawyer? 

A lawyer is a solution finder. He has to identify and recommend a solution fitted to the client’s case, otherwise he is only providing a catalogue while clients look for advice or a way to solve a problem! Clients want you to provide clarity and as much certainty as possible, with a tailor-made strategy. 

What impact has covid-19 had on your work, and the insurance and reinsurance market so far? 

The pandemic was an unexpected disrupting event for insurers. Insurance companies had to re-organise the conduct of their activities in terms of policy wordings, relationships with brokers, risk assessment, team management, claims handling etc. Digitalisation has provided great assistance and efficiency to face these challenges, including through development of new services. Increased use of digitalisation has also generated new risks for policyholders and insurers in terms of cyber exposure, protection of personal data, health and safety risks for employees. In short, many business lines have been impacted by the pandemic (life insurance, health, travel, events cancellation etc). Going forward, insurers will have to reconsider their portfolio and risk appetite.

However, one of the main questions is the insurability of the pandemic risk by insurers and reinsurers when many businesses are impacted similarly and at the same time by the virus, and the decisions aimed at limiting its expansion, whether there would be sufficient market capacity to that effect and the costs for policyholders. The French government should make proposals to cover such exceptional events. 

How has your firm adapted to address the challenges caused by covid-19?

The main challenge was to shift very shortly to homeworking; this was allowed, three months before the containment, by a full change of all our IT equipment, focusing on mobility and cloud services. Every team member was able from day one to continue working and serve all clients from home. Here again, digitalisation and responsiveness were the key factors accounting for the success of our business continuity planning.

What challenges did you face when setting up your own firm? 

Deserving our firm’s reputation and ensuring high-quality work and client satisfaction are the key challenges. It requires careful recruitment of young talented lawyers sharing our goals, ensuring their training and evolution to autonomy, in-depth analysis and reactivity. Further, we have always considered a friendly atmosphere a key factor to success since the firm’s creation in 2004. This also creates challenges for the partners in developing the firm’s capacity to attract a large diversity of matters, allowing each of our 12 associates to develop their skills.

Looking back over your career, what has been your proudest achievement?

Undoubtedly, the creation and development of a niche boutique firm enjoying a strong reputation and attractiveness for clients.

What advice would you give to someone hoping to set up their own firm?

For entrepreneurial lawyers with high-value expertise, niche boutique firms have a great role to play as alternatives to multi-practice and major law firms. Believe in your skills and set yourself the challenge! 

Global Leader

Insurance & Reinsurance 2020

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Rémi Passemard is revered for his deep understanding of D&O claims and professional indemnity issues.

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 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 and 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 including policy wording.

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), enforcement of securities and private banking litigation.

Rémi also practises commercial litigation for clients seeking legal or court assistance with contractual relationships, performance (or breach) of contracts and corporate litigation.

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).

National Leader

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Thought Leader Rémi Passemard offers “excellent insurer assistance”, with a diverse background including liability cases, disputes and regulatory issues.

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 10 lawyers. Rémi has nearly three decades of experience as litigator, and advises financial institutions, major corporations, and 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 cyberexposure 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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