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EU & Competition

Insurance and Wealth Management at Pinsent Masons 

Our highly regarded EU & Competition team delivers commercial, pragmatic advice. We help our clients to achieve their strategic objectives, minimise exposure to competition law risks or resolve commercial challenges in a calm and practical way with a focus on the “end game”. Our sector experience means we are in an excellent position to advise in relation to all competition law issues efficiently and cost effectively. 

We have a number of insurance sector specialists within the team, including Guy Lougher, Jenny Block, and Angelique Bret, partners in the London office; Giles Warrington, a partner in the Birmingham office; and Robert Eriksson, a senior associate in the London office. We have advised extensively on competition law issues arising from co-insurance arrangements, insurance distribution agreements including corporate partnerships, and relationships between insurers and intermediaries, including IFA networks. Our team has also advised on mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures between insurance companies and intermediaries. With considerable and recent experience of working within competition authorities and regulatory bodies, our team has additional and valuable insight into their objectives, priorities and approach.

What we do

We act for clients in relation to complex investigatory and adversarial procedures with strategic implications. In recent years our team has acted on a number of merger cases before the UK Competition and Markets Authority (the CMA) and its predecessors the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) and the Competition Commission),  cartel and abuse of dominance investigations by the European Commission and CMA, including a number of criminal investigations, and market investigation references. 

Our experience includes:

  • Competition law issues in insurance distribution
  • Mergers & acquisitions and joint ventures
  • Dawn raids and competition investigations into cartels (both civil and criminal) and the abuse of market power
  • Market studies and market investigations
  • Competition litigation
  • Compliance, including through bespoke training programmes and audits 

Our lawyers' experience:

Members of our team regularly advise on the full range of competition and regulatory requirements, including the following highlights:

  • Advised a variety of insurers on insurance distribution agreements, including corporate partnerships, white labelling and other distribution arrangements with intermediaries such as brokers and IFAs
  • Advised a number of insurers on co-insurance arrangements and compliance with the EU Insurance Block Exemption
  • Advised a consortium of UK insurers in relation to the merger control and competition issues arising from the restructuring and operation of a joint venture for the provision of online IFA network services 
  • Advised an insurance company on its participation in a break-up bid for a UK life insurance company
  • Advised a major UK insurer on the merger control aspects of the acquisition of an underwriter business
  • Advised insurance companies on competition law vertical integration issues arising from the acquisition of brokers
  • Advising a cash and derivatives broker on the Libor investigations by the European Commission, Financial Conduct Authority, Serious Fraud Office, Commodity and Futures Trading Commission, US Department of Justice, Canadian Competition Bureau and Swiss Competition Authority
  • Advised a London-based stock and derivatives exchange providing cash trading, listing, derivatives and technology services on an abuse of dominance claim against a leading stock exchange
  • Advised two leading insurance companies on the former Competition Commission (now the CMA) market investigations into the supply of private motor insurance in the UK and the supply of payment protection insurance in the UK respectively
  • Advised a leading international insurance broker on the implications of the EU sector inquiry into business insurance brokerage
  • Advising insurance companies on compliance with the premium data benchmarking principles established by the former OFT (now the CMA) decision in What If? Premium Motor
  • Drafted competition law compliance programmes and dawn raid guidelines and providing compliance training to insurance and reinsurance companies