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9 July 20243 minute read

DLA Piper welcomes back Kathleen Birrane, former Insurance Commissioner for the State of Maryland

DLA Piper is pleased to announce former Maryland Insurance Commissioner Kathleen Birrane has rejoined the firm to lead the US Insurance Regulatory Practice, adding to the firm’s robust artificial intelligence and insurance regulatory capabilities. Ms. Birrane will be based in the firm’s Baltimore office.

Ms. Birrane served as the Maryland Insurance Commissioner from May 2020 through June 2024. Her tenure included serving on the Executive Committee of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), where she was the inaugural chair of the NAIC’s Innovation, Cybersecurity and Technology (H) Committee and led the solvency workstream of the NAIC’s Climate and Resiliency Task Force. She was also the chair of the Interstate Insurance Product Regulatory Commission.

“From accessing healthcare, to driving to work, to starting a business, it is critical that our insurance system runs well and that customers are treated fairly,” said Governor Wes Moore. “Commissioner Birrane is a leader in this industry not just here in Maryland, but across the country. She has led the Insurance Administration with foresight and dedication, and I thank her for her service to our state.”

Ms. Birrane is recognized as a thought leader on complex insurance regulatory issues, including the responsible and ethical use of AI systems and complex predictive models in the business of insurance. She was the primary author of the NAIC’s Model Bulletin on the Use of AI Systems by Insurers, which sets out regulatory guidance and expectations regarding the development and deployment of certain advanced analytical and computational technologies by insurers.

Her international work included chairing the Supervisory Forum within the International Association of Insurance Supervisors, as well as serving on the Steering Committee of the EU/US Insurance Dialogue within the US Department of the Treasury. She also served as Maryland’s representative to the Sustainable Insurance Forum, a project of the UN’s Development Programme within its Sustainable Finance Hub.

“Kathleen will work closely with our market-leading AI counseling and evaluation team, helping insurers mitigate litigation risk while enabling necessary innovation. Our insurance clients will immediately benefit from her institutional knowledge of the industry at large,” said Aidan M. McCormack, US chair and global co-chair of DLA Piper’s Insurance sector.

“A leading voice on how to evaluate insurance algorithms for legal and regulatory compliance, Kathleen will play a pivotal role in our forensic evaluation of AI models under privilege, and, when necessary, defending our clients’ use of AI in the insurance sector during enforcement actions and litigation,” said Danny Tobey, Chair of DLA Piper’s AI & Data Analytics Practice.

In June 2024, Ms. Birrane was the first recipient of the Interstate Insurance Compact’s Champion Award, recognizing her unwavering dedication to a transformative state-based collaboration of regulators and legislators aimed at streamlining product approval requirements and processes.

DLA Piper’s Insurance sector offers a full range of insurance services, including transactional, regulatory, commercial dispute resolution, claims, competition, restructuring and emergency response. The firm represents both startups and established multinational life and non-life (re)insurers, Lloyd’s entities, intermediaries, banks, capital providers (including hedge funds, private equity funds and venture capital funds), regulators and other insurance industry participants.

DLA Piper’s global Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics Practice is an industry unique team that consists of over 100 lawyers, data scientists, coders, and policymakers focused on AI worldwide. The group has been widely recognized as the leading AI law practice, lauded by Financial Times, American Lawyer, Business Insider and others.