Yves Hayaux-du-Tilly has been advising for nearly thirty years multinational clients and foreign investors in financing transactions, mergers and acquisitions, and other operations throughout Mexico and Latin America. He specialises in mergers, acquisitions and financing transactions and corporate law and is widely recognised as one of Mexico and LatAm’s leading insurance and reinsurance experts. He has been leading NHG’s pioneering London office this last ten years, bringing NHG’s expertise on Mexican law to the London market to advise clients from the insurance sector on their reinsurance operations with Mexico and Latin America.
What attracted you to a career in insurance services?
Back in 1991, when Mexican law allowed foreign investment in insurance companies up to a limit of 49%, we were involved in acquisitions for global insurance companies who after the acquisition asked us to continue working with them in the day-to-day operation of the Mexican insurance companies in which they invested. I was the youngest member of the team and became fascinated with the manner in which insurance products worked. I also enjoyed working with the professionals working in the industry. There was not that much interest from others to work in this area of practise and took advantage becoming fully immersed, and acquiring an expertise no one had developed in corporate law firms forming the first dedicated team of lawyers with an expertise in insurance.
How has the market changed since you started practising?
It has changed a lot, still remains very similar to what it has always been. Within the insurance market we seem to know each other quite well. The same in Mexico than in London, New York and throughout Latin America which are the markets I work with the most.
How does Nader Hayaux & Goebel distinguish itself from its competitors?
We are the first Mexican corporate firm to have formed a (re)insurance practice back in 1991 and have the largest group of professionals within any Mexican law firm with an expertise in insurance.
We are the only Mexican corporate law firm to have a top ranked practise in both contentious and non-contentious insurance related matters, the only one with experience working in all kind of corporate, M&A, product development, regulatory, claims, coverage issues and disputes consistently for almost thirty years.
We are also the only Mexican corporate law firm with a London office to serve the London market.
NHG’s insurance clients benefit from the firm’s strong financial practice.
How has the new administration in Mexico impacted the insurance and reinsurance market?
Certain decisions have impacted the Mexican market negatively and positively, there are always two sides to a coin, and what may seem to some negative, may be taken as an opportunity by others.
They have shifted priorities from that of former administrations, and they have placed special emphasis on financial inclusion, penetration, insurtech and health insurance.
They have also implemented changes in the manner in which public companies are procuring insurance, and cancelled a number of private insurance programmes for public officers.
We have a good understanding with the new administration, they have taken a pragmatic and focused approach as regulators and supervisors, they are also under challenges due to budget reductions and workloads.
How is technological innovation impacting the insurance sector in Mexico?
The impact is insufficient and the opportunity fantastic to leapfrog on various products and services, mainly in financial inclusion and market penetration. We are already working and have developed for our clients parametric insurance products and technological platforms to distribute and offer products using telemedicine and technology to provide better and efficient insurance products.
We need to see more innovation in the intermediation and flexibility in the underwriting.
What is the most memorable case you have been a part of?
It is always difficult to choose one, as it excludes many others. I will mention without excluding any other, the arbitration of Pegasus Aviation in which I was expert witness, it was a case that lasted more than three years and brought me to London for three months to attend all the hearings where I was cross-examined. It did not only had an impact as its consequence was the adoption of ABN 67C by the London Market Association, but it also incepted in me the idea of opening a London office.
How is covid-19 affecting insurance claims in Mexico?
The most serious challenges stem from delays in judicial proceedings and the administration of justice.
What advice would you give to younger lawyers hoping to one day be in your position?
Do what you love, be consistent, listen, be curious and always remember to have fun.