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United Kingdom

A persistently soft market is one of the few predictable elements of working in the global (re)insurance industry. Most brokers, carriers, captives and corporate risk managers have been influenced by falling prices, and with few signs of a correction, companies must innovate, cut costs, seek out merger and partnership opportunities and do more with less.

Despite intense competition, (re)insurance is a magnet for new capital keen to take advantage of the stable returns offered by an established, highly regulated industry.

Long-term advisors to companies in the market, CMS’ award-winning Insurance & Reinsurance Group has adapted to support the requirements of an industry in a constant state of change.

While CMS is a historic market leader in (re)insurance dispute resolution and policy wordings, our teams also deliver a suite of specialisms that meet the needs of insurance and risk management professionals spanning every conceivable business objective.

The firm provides unique expertise in corporate advice on mergers and acquisitions, employment law to support brokers or insurers with a team or key personnel issue, property advice, structured finance and regulatory and compliance.

The CMS Insurance Practice has worked within the insurance and reinsurance markets for over half a century, supporting both carriers and intermediaries in the UK, Europe and beyond. Our long-term involvement in the sector means that we can support clients to make the most of these new opportunities and we understand the issues businesses are facing today.

Many of our lawyers have worked in the insurance sector, which means we understand the complexities of your markets. Wherever you require guidance, our multi-disciplinary specialists can help you.

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They offer so much knowledge of the market as well as being really helpful, giving commercial insight that adds real value.

Chambers UK, 2016

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    Insurance Corporate

    2015 saw in excess of USD 100bn in merger and acquisition activity across the global (re)insurance sector, with the expectation of more to come. The successful execution of corporate transactions in the insurance market requires corporate lawyers who understand the insurance sector, its unique risks and how they can be mitigated in a pragmatic and cost-effective manner.

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    Insurance Regulatory

    Resilient since the financial crisis, the insurance sector has not escaped the regulator’s tougher, more intrusive stance. Insurers must wrestle with UK reforms such as the new Senior Insurance Managers’ Regime, whilst coping with the operational realities of the Solvency II prudential rules and the rest of the EU agenda. Long-standing concerns face the industry, including those about the role of delegated authorities and the risks in outsourcing. In personal lines, responsibility for product design and governance is a key risk for both intermediaries and insurers.

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    Life Assurance

    The commercial, economic and regulatory environment for the life assurance industry has never been more challenging. Technology, historically low interest rates, increasing longevity, and the introduction of Solvency II are driving ever greater focus on risk and capital management, asset allocation and investment strategies, and achieving competitive advantage through new product development and distribution.

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    Policy Wording & Claims

    The global (re)insurance industry has more contracts in place, containing more nuanced information than its underwriters, brokers, captives and buyers could ever hope to read. Meanwhile, regulators are demanding clarity on the market’s exposures to emerging risks such as cyber and terrorism and a well-publicised tendency towards relaxing terms and conditions has increased this risk considerably.

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    Law-Now: Insurance
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    Iain Batty
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    The High Court has dismissed an application for judicial review of a determination by the Financial Ombudsman Service. The Ombudsman had been entitled to find that, although an investment manager’s client was assessed as a medium risk investor and overall the.
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    The Court of Appeal has upheld a first instance decision that, although there had been material non-disclosure in the placing of reinsurance risks, the reinsurer had not established that its underwriter had been induced by the non-disclosure.
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    Solicitors’ PI: innocent solicitor ordered to pay damages followi...
    In a recent Chancery Court decision an innocent purchaser’s solicitor was ordered to pay damages for breach of trust where the registered seller was the victim of identity theft. Although not negligent, the paying away of the completion monies by the purchaser’s.
    Professional negligence: limited circumstances where duty will ex...
    In Denning v Greenhalgh Financial Services Ltd, GFS, an independent financial advisor, successfully struck out the claim advanced by its client that it was in breach of its professional duty of care (in contract and/or tort) in that it had not conducted a detailed.
    Liability insurance: ascertainment of insured loss
    The Court of Appeal has provided a useful reminder of the requirements to establish an insured loss under a programme of liability insurance, holding that a loss was not triggered at the point that a party paid a sum of money into an escrow account.
    Surveyors' PI: Negligent Overvaluations, the Margin of Error and...
    The wave of judgments concerning valuers claims (see Surveyors’ PI: overvaluations and contributory negligence and Surveyors’ PI: application of the ‘but for’ test) continues with the decision in Barclays Bank Plc v TBS & V Ltd.
    UK sanctions enforcement body issues consultation on imposition o...
    On 1 December 2016, the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI), launched a consultation on a draft guidance document setting out its intended approach to issuing monetary penalties. OFSI is the newly created body within HM Treasury which is responsible.
    Financial grounds for resisting adjudication enforcement
    In the recent case of LXB RP (Crown Road) Ltd v Squibb Group Ltd, the Court enforced an adjudicator’s decision, finding no grounds upon which to exercise its discretion and refuse enforcement of the decision on financial grounds.