Compliance with competition law is an important part of managing legal risk for all companies, but particularly for those in the insurance industry.
The insurance sector is currently under close scrutiny. The UK's Competition Commission is undertaking a full market investigation of creditor insurance, while the European Commission has recently published its final report on its sector inquiry into business insurance. The FSA is also working more closely than ever before with the UK competition authorities.
Sanctions for infringement of competition rules are a serious matter. They can include fines of up to 10% of worldwide turnover, criminal penalties and director disqualification for serious breaches, the unenforceability of contractual arrangements and the possibility of damages actions by third parties.
At Pinsent Masons, we have one of the strongest specialist EU and competition groups in the UK. We have developed particular expertise advising clients in the insurance sector on competition law issues arising from mergers and acquisitions, insurance underwriting and distribution.
We can also help you develop programmes to ensure competition law compliance within your business and to prepare in case of a competition investigation.
Recent examples of our work
These are some examples of recent matters in which we have been involved.
- Advising a major UK insurance company on the merger control issues arising from the proposed acquisition of an intermediary in the medical insurance sector
- Advising a consortium of UK insurance providers in relation to the merger control and competition issues arising from the establishment and operation of a joint venture for the provision of online IFA network services
- Advising a number of major insurance companies on competition law issues arising from distribution arrangements for a variety of insurance products, in particular, corporate partnership arrangements
- Advising a major insurance company on the Competition Commission's current market investigation of the market for the supply of payment protection insurance in the UK
- Drafting a competition law compliance programme and dawn raid guidelines for a major European reinsurance company
- Advising Aviva plc and Norwich Union on the merger control aspects of the acquisition of Gresham Insurance Company from Legal & General and Barclays