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Insurance and Reinsurance at Pinsent Masons 

We  advise on the full range of reinsurance requirements, both inwards and outwards, at programme structuring stage, in relation to contract formation and in relation to disputes. We are both contentious and non-contentious specialists.

Our reinsurance practice is supported by one of the largest dispute resolution practices in the UK, which is recognised as a market leading disputes practice both in the UK and for cross-border disputes. We handle all forms of disputes and international arbitration in all of our offices across the globe. We are specialists in large, complex litigation and international arbitrations spanning a wide range of commercial sectors. 

We have specialists across a range of sectors, including construction, energy, tax and advanced manufacturing and technology and provide advice on a wide range of business lines, including Accident & Health, Energy, Financial Institutions, Liability & Professional Indemnity, Marine, Surety & Political Risks and Property & Engineering Credit.  Our in-depth sector knowledge, combined with technical excellence from a team of insurance specialists, allow us to resource matters of all sizes, from the largest to the smallest with attentive service and unfaltering commitment from a dedicated team. 

Our lawyers’ experience

  • Advising on group reinsurance programme wordings (intra group and external)
  • Structuring and advising on global network arrangements and international fronting arrangements to support global programmes for major insureds
  • Advising on risk sharing arrangements with affinity partners, corporate insureds and intermediaries through inwards and outwards captive reinsurance arrangements, often involving offshore captives and protected cell companies
  • Negotiating effective reinsurance security, including letters of credit, guarantees and custody arrangements
  • The use of reinsurance either alone or alongside other tools such as Part VII transfers, schemes, commutation strategies, as a means of exiting or acquiring lines of business, or internal restructuring for example to meet solvency, capital or regulatory requirements, or indeed simply to release capital back to the business
  • Global healthchecks in relation to tax implications of permanent establishment risk associated with captives
  • Tax advice in connection with transfer pricing under captive arrangements
  • Reinsurance wording review with defined objectives e.g. to ensure outwards arrangements are back to back with inwards
  • Review of jurisdiction and law clauses in inwards business to identify high risk exposures
  • Legal review of reserving strategy for specific loss events: e.g. Madoff, Stanford, sub-prime
  • Early strategic advice to assist in the avoidance of disputes, especially in the book handled by UK Legacy with larger counterparties (e.g. Equitas), with the capability to advise on effective and innovative ADR mechanisms. 

Our contentious experience includes:

  • Acting for a US life insurer and multi national reinsurer in relation to various arbitrations concerning the PA LMX spiral and US workers’ compensation disputes
  • Advising London market and Bermuda companies on numerous issues arising out of sub-prime exposures, Madoff and Stanford claims, Storm Financial losses and tax shelters
  • Advising London market companies and Lloyd’s on reinsurance coverage aspects relating to the 2009 Australian wildfires, and aggregation issues arising from the 2010/11 New Zealand earthquakes
  • Acting for UK/US reinsurers in an arbitration proceedings worth US$20 million and concerning US hurricanes and OLW thresholds
  • Advising a reinsurer in arbitration proceedings brought by cedants under a stop-loss reinsurance programme, with exposures in the region of £20 million
  • Acting for reinsurers in relation to aggregation issues in relation to losses arising from a field of oil platforms offshore Nova Scotia.

Our non-contentious experience includes:

  • Supporting a top-three UK GI insurer’s Global Network business for a number of years, including the updating of the template co-operation and inwards/outwards reinsurance agreements
  • Advising a top five UK insurer on risk sharing arrangements with an affinity partner through reinsurance; we understand the sensitivities of entering into reinsurance arrangements with offshore captive insurers and are well placed to ensure that reinsurance is back-to-back with the underlying affinity arrangements, in particular the complex financials (involving commission and profit share), while controlling our client’s exposure to insolvency of the captive
  • Advising a top 10 UK insurer in relation to its captive arrangements including advising on permanent establishment risk, transfer risk and transfer pricing
  • Assisting a major UK insurer in renewing its household catastrophe and liability XL programmes
  • Working with insurers to secure and enforce a range of reinsurance security arrangements including letters of credit and guarantees.

Key Contacts