Trusted partners to global insurance leaders
With our global team of insurance lawyers guiding you with pragmatic, strategic advice, you are primed for new opportunities, innovation, and responsible growth in the fast-moving insurance industry.
Today’s insurance industry leaders face immense pressure from insureds, regulators, governments and new market entrants on many fronts including competitive and innovative products and distribution channels, IT security and cyber threats, regulatory scrutiny, and ESG accountability.
Our 400+ lawyer team offers advice from around the globe, including both established insurance hubs and emerging jurisdictions.
Our integrated approach and global presence allow us to deliver effective, quality service including contentious, transactional, regulatory or commercial matters. There are few firms that can bring this experience under one roof – from complex claims and disputes of any risk category to cross-border M&A, data protection and outsourcing, digital, fintech or insurtech strategies, commercial contracts, employment and pensions, tax, investment or asset management, reorganizations and restructuring.
“Keeping up with the fast-developing regulatory landscape is easier with our team to guide you.”
As a leading global firm, we are also uniquely positioned to assist the insurance industry on ESG issues and strategies in a holistic way. We know that sustainability and ESG issues are high on the agenda across the insurance sector and present both unique challenges and opportunities to the industry. We can partner with you to ensure you meet your ESG goals, manage potential risks and seize opportunities.
Our clients include local as well as multinational insurers and reinsurers, Lloyd's entities, brokers and intermediaries, market representative organizations, banks and capital providers and other stakeholders in the insurance industry. We pride ourselves on understanding their business and environment they operate in, and they also know we are with them for the long term.
Many of our lawyers are former business executives, in-house counsel, regulators, bankers and management consultants in the insurance industry. We regularly second lawyers to work directly for clients and we welcome the opportunity this gives our people to deepen their understanding of the industry.
Keeping up with the fast-developing regulatory landscape is easier with our team to guide you. Our close working relationships with key regulators and industry bodies on a local and international level and the sharing of knowledge within our teams help us anticipate and solve problems in this ever-challenging environment.
ESG and Insurance
The global insurance sector is more affected than most sectors by Sustainability and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) risks such as climate change, social and political unrest and governance failures.
Conversely, however, the insurance sector is uniquely placed to support the world’s transition to a sustainable, low-carbon economy. The sector has already taken a lead in integrating sustainability into the business of insurance through its own activities, investee companies and policyholders. The Principles for Responsible Investment has now developed a number of insurance-specific initiatives and commitments, such as the UNEP FI Principles for Sustainable Insurance and the InsuResilience Global Partnership. Insurers are also at the forefront of sustainability initiatives such as the Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance.
A number of sustainability-related themes affect the insurance sector.
In designing insurance products, ESG risks play an important role. For example, a failure to address climate change means an increase in extreme weather events (floods, storms, heat waves and droughts), challenging insurers’ risk assessment models and a reliance on historic data. Insuring businesses that have a negative climate impact can have reputational consequences and also impact insurers’ long-term strategy. Innovations in technology also provide insurers with new, proactive ways to meet sustainability challenges - for example, in the context of parametric insurance.
We advise our insurance clients on all legal issues in the context of insurance products (including Insurtech) and place a specific focus on the integration of ESG factors in product design.
Insurers and pension funds globally hold assets amounting to USD60 trillion, an incredible market power that can be used to address sustainability challenges. Maintaining and promoting sustainability-aligned investment processes contributes to mitigating the sectors’ own ESG risks as well as securing stable long-term returns, increasing attractiveness for third-party asset management businesses, supporting existing and upcoming disclosure obligations and contributing to an overall sustainable reputation.
We advise our insurance clients on all aspects of sustainable investments, from the incorporation of ESG factors in investment processes and investment guidelines to the conception of individual green investment products (eg green bonds, green loans, green leases) and the integration of ESG criteria in investment due diligence processes.
As asset owners and financial market participants, insurers are exposed to increasing governance requirements and sustainability-related disclosure obligations, both to the market and to regulators. Additional duties may arise in the retail insurance business and third-party asset management activities. A focus on sustainable governance and disclosure has led insurers to develop specialized departments and senior sustainability functions, integrate sustainability risks into risk management frameworks and develop new tools, processes and reporting lines.
Legal advice on governance aspects is one of the core competences of our global insurance team and we will support you in navigating and implementing the multitude of new sustainability-related governance requirements in your individual business organization.
Claims in all lines of business have the potential to rise significantly in response to ESG risks. For example, more extreme weather events and natural catastrophes are expected to lead to increases in property damage, civil and political unrest and disruption to supply chains, leading to further claims exposure. Certain industries will receive more attention from governments, regulators and claimants as significant shifts in economies occur, the just transition to net-zero decarbonization places a greater focus on social impact and human rights and there is an increase in activism, disputes and litigation. Board members across all sectors are subject to ever increasing duties in connection with sustainability and ESG factors, meaning a greater risk of D&O liability and claims.
Our insurance litigation team of claims professionals works in all major insurance hubs, providing practical advice to insurers, reinsurers and intermediaries. We handle complex large-scale insurance and reinsurance disputes across a wide range of business lines and we are experienced in dealing with ESG activism and related claims.
To discuss the implications of these issues for your business, please contact our ESG leaders.
Awards and recognition
- Advising and representing insurance clients on issues relating to COVID-19 business interruption losses across the UK, US, Europe, Asia and Australia. We successfully represented insurers globally in appellate and high courts.
- Advising numerous insurers in respect of the all risks / war risks exposures arising from the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
- Advising the insurance market in respect of numerous, global property losses including US hurricane losses.
- Advising and representing London market and international insurers and reinsurers in many of the most complex and high-profile commercial aviation losses of the last decade, including both Malaysian Airlines losses of 2014, the Egyptair crash in 2016, and the Ukraine International Airlines shoot-down over Tehran in 2020, among others.
- Representing the leading cyber insurers on breach response cover and insurance claims arising from cyber incidents, including to one of the biggest cyber ransomware breaches that was deemed a matter of national security by the National Crime Agency (NCA) and the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and involved DLA Piper lawyers from over 25 countries.
- Advising a global insurer on a significant trade sanctions-related dispute arising out of a policy coverage claim by a Russia-domiciled insured under a Directors' & Officers' (D&O) Liability policy. The dispute involves representation of the client in SCC arbitration proceedings in Stockholm, as well as complex issues of English, Swedish and Russian law, and US trade sanctions.
- Defending a leading W&I insurer in a significant claim brought by way of arbitration proceedings in South Africa, involving DLA Piper lawyers in New York, London and South Africa.
- Advising a large, domestic insurer in respect of both coverage and sanctions issues arising from U.S. sanctions imposed on the payment and coverage for claims of the Republic of Iran.
- Advising and successfully representing a leading European reinsurer in a property treaty reinsurance dispute arising from the Grenfell Tower disaster in 2017.
- Advising a captive insurer in relation to a number of significant political risk claims in South Africa.
- Advising Zurich Insurance plc. as the primary insurer of the D&O programme of Volkswagen AG in connection with the so-called emissions scandal.
- Defending leading London-based insurer Brit in U.S. litigation including declaratory judgment and bad faith claims brought by a major US-based sales and marketing services company in connection with a complex theft from two cyber breaches that resulted in a multimillion dollar response effort involving multiple well-known law firm and breach response vendors.
- Representing insurer interests on the duty to defend and indemnify in respect of the largest Superfund Site in the U.S. with estimated exposures in excess of USD2 billion.
- Advising a leading global broking firm on their USD1 billion combined cloud transformation and infrastructure outsourcing project, covering the provision of services in over 100 countries. As part of the transaction we supported in relation to regulatory structuring / engagement, dealing with global staff issues, as well as core outsourcing and technology support.
- Advising an international insurance broker on the implementation of a SaaS based underwriting and claims administration platform for their global business.
- Supporting a leading global insurance business in relation to a range of digital implementation projects and associated minority investments with leading InsurTech partners, focussed on SME insurance distribution, telematics and claims management projects.
- Advising a major international insurer and underwriter across the US and Asia Pacific on its response to a ransomware attack perpetrated by a sophisticated cyber-criminal network, including on data breach notification requirements, engagement with regulators and dealings with brokers and insureds.
- Supporting a global insurance business in relation to international data transfers, data mapping and designing data protection and privacy compliance in relation to the group structure.
- Aetna, one of the world’s largest health insurance groups, on its merger with the largest pharmacy corporation in the US (CVS Health), which was reportedly the largest insurance transaction globally in 2017 and involved entities in the UK, Ireland, Bermuda, Canada, UAE, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia and the PRC.
- A leading global broker on their restructuring and post-merger integration, including the UK, Continental Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
- Private Equity investors on their acquisition of a global reinsurance arm from a Bermuda-based underwriter of specialty insurance products in the property and casualty market.
- A global legacy acquirer on a number of acquisitions in the UK, US and Europe.
- A large conglomerate on the sale of its captive insurer.
- A global (re)insurer on the sale of its Latin American operations.
- Advising a large insurer on the establishment of a JV with a tech provider to accelerate innovation and digitalization strategies through Cloud and shared platforms.
- Advising a large insurer advising through-out the bidding process of an auction process, as well as in drafting and negotiating all transaction documents.
- Supporting a global insurance group in drafting one of the first COVID-19 specific personal accident/sickness products, to be rolled out across the UK and various European jurisdictions.
- In relation to Brexit: advising numerous European insurance and insurance intermediary groups, and Lloyd’s market participants on complex contingency planning, restructurings and reorganizations, authorizations of new insurer and intermediary entities and branches, and post-Brexit operating models and guidelines.
- Assisting an insurer with the implementation of new EU rules regarding sustainable finance and ESG.
- Advising a major US corporation in the healthcare sector on regulatory issues relating to the acquisition of one of the world’s largest health insurance groups, which involved advice in over 20 jurisdictions including UK, Europe, Americas, Middle East and Asia.
- Advising various key-players in the insurance market on the regulatory aspects of portfolio transfers, including run-off portfolios.
- Advising a major insurance group and its coverholder subsidiary on complex, cross-border distribution agreements with an online platform to distribute travel and related insurance products across the UK and EU.
- Advising a major insurance group on substitution of a tier 1 capital instrument for a tier 2 instrument including drafting instrument to meet tier 1 requirements under Solvency II Regulation and advising on PRA notification and approval processes.
- Advising a renowned insurance intermediary group on their global post-acquisition integration in eight APAC jurisdictions, including business transfers, share transfers, mergers, and various submissions to the local insurance regulators.
- Advising on a pan-European project aimed at pooling and consolidating property and casualty insurance risk exposure and improving the capital utilization under Solvency II regime within a leading international group through a Net Quota Share Reinsurance Agreement and a Stop Loss Reinsurance Agreement between two subsidiaries of the group.
News and insights
Is the door re-opening for US-style class actions in England and Wales?
16 March 2023 .15 minute read