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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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    Carl Leermakers
    10 things every in­surer should know
    Gambling Com­mis­sion in­vest­ig­ates on­line casi­nos
    The UK Gambling Com­mis­sion (the “Com­mis­sion”) an­nounced last week that it has writ­ten to all on­line casino op­er­at­ors which it reg­u­lates rais­ing con­cerns about the op­er­at­ors’ ap­proach to anti-money laun­der­ing and so­cial re­spons­ib­il­ity.
    10 things every in­surer should know
    A guide to 23 jur­is­dic­tions in West­ern and East­ern...
    Tem­por­ary ‘Brexit per­mis­sions’ crown round of reg­u­lat­ory up­dates to...
    On 20 Decem­ber 2017, an­nounce­ments from the PRA, the FCA, the Bank of Eng­land and the Treas­ury re­vealed a frame­work for ap­proach­ing cross-bor­der busi­ness in a post-Brexit world, with a par­tic­u­lar fo­cus on fa­cil­it­at­ing the busi­ness of EEA banks post-Brexit.
    Iain Batty
    10 things every in­surer should know about Cent­ral and...
    Con­sumer in­sur­ance: mis­rep­res­ent­a­tion and price com­par­is­on web­sites
    In one of the first de­cisions un­der the Con­sumer In­sur­ance (Dis­clos­ure and Rep­res­ent­a­tions) Act 2012, the Scot­tish Court of Ses­sion has held that an in­surer failed to dis­charge the bur­den of prov­ing that the in­sured had made a de­lib­er­ate or reck­less mis­rep­res­ent­a­tion.
    In­de­pend­ent mid­wives: li­ab­il­ity cov­er
    Yes­ter­day the High Court, in R (Beety & Ors) v Nurs­ing and Mid­wifery Coun­cil, dis­missed an ap­plic­a­tion for ju­di­cial re­view of a de­cision of the Re­gis­trar of the Nurs­ing and Mid­wifery Coun­cil (“the Re­gis­trar”) that a dis­cre­tion­ary in­dem­nity ar­range­ment cov­er­ing.
    Ac­count­ant­s' PI: ICAEW min­im­um terms and de­fence costs
    A re­cent first in­stance de­cision on the ICAEW min­im­um terms (Old­ham v QBE In­sur­ance (Europe) Ltd) has con­firmed that ac­count­ants may be li­able to re­im­burse in­surers for any de­fence costs ad­vanced pending res­ol­u­tion of a cov­er­age dis­pute.
    In­surers not en­titled to a li­en over lit­ig­a­tion pro­ceeds of a for­eign...
    Over­view The High Court has held that in­surers who had fa­cil­it­ated lit­ig­a­tion pro­ceed­ings by an in­solv­ent com­pany were not en­titled to a li­en akin to a so­li­cit­or’s com­mon law or equit­able li­en over the pro­ceeds of the lit­ig­a­tion to re­cov­er the de­ferred premi­um.
    Sur­vey­or’s PI: caus­a­tion – ap­plic­a­tion of the ‘but for’ test 
    In wel­come news for valu­ers and their in­surers, the Su­preme Court has over-turned an un­fa­vour­able judg­ment in the Court of Ap­peal con­cern­ing wheth­er or not an al­legedly neg­li­gent valu­ation was caus­at­ive of the losses claimed.
    ATE in­sur­ance premi­ums are re­cov­er­able for cases settled early
    In a widely an­ti­cip­ated rul­ing, the Court of Ap­peal has held in Pe­ter­bor­ough & Stam­ford Hos­pit­als NHS Trust v Mc­Me­nemy & Ors [2017] EW­CA Civ 1941 that claimants who take out in­sur­ance as soon as they enter a con­di­tion­al fee agree­ment (CFA) should be able to.
    Se­cur­ity for costs: Court of Ap­peal rules that avoid­able ATE in­sur­ance...
    Earli­er today, the Court of Ap­peal handed down a sig­ni­fic­ant judg­ment deal­ing with the ad­equacy of stand­ard form after-the-event (“ATE”) in­sur­ance to de­feat an ap­plic­a­tion for se­cur­ity for costs. In an un­an­im­ous rul­ing, the Court of Ap­peal over­turned the High.
    In­sur­ance Dis­tri­bu­tion Dir­ect­ive: Pro­pos­al to post­pone ap­plic­a­tion...
    The In­sur­ance Dis­tri­bu­tion Dir­ect­ive (the “IDD”) came in­to force on 22 Feb­ru­ary 2016; the cur­rent dead­line for trans­pos­i­tion by mem­ber states is 23 Feb­ru­ary 2018. Re­cently, the European Par­lia­ment’s Eco­nom­ic and Mon­et­ary Af­fairs Com­mit­tee (“ECON”) re­com­men­ded.
    In­sur­ance: con­struc­tion of ex­clu­sion clauses
    The Com­mer­cial Court has held that the con­tra pro­fer­en­tem ap­proach should not auto­mat­ic­ally be ap­plied to ex­clu­sion clauses in in­sur­ance policies. Fol­low­ing the Su­preme Court’s de­cision last year in­Im­pact Fund­ing Solu­tions Ltd v AIG Europe In­sur­ance Ltd, the.
    Grand designs: ar­chi­tect found li­able for costly design
    A re­cent TCC de­cision has con­sidered wheth­er the stand­ard RIBA scope of ser­vices re­quires an ar­chi­tect to as­cer­tain and com­ply with a cli­ent’s budget when design­ing a pro­ject. In this case, a well known ar­chi­tect was found li­able for pro­du­cing a design ul­ti­mately.
    In­sur­ance: 2017 Cali­for­ni­an Wild­fires
    The dis­asters that have struck North Amer­ica in the second half of 2017 have put un­re­lent­ing pres­sure on re­in­surers and in­surers of US Prop­erty & Cas­u­alty. The dev­ast­a­tion caused by Hur­ricane Har­vey, Irma and Maria are now fol­lowed by some of the most de­struct­ive.
    UK Civil Claims Con­tin­ue to Es­cal­ate for Tox­ic Dies­el Fume Ex­pos­ure
    Loc­al au­thor­it­ies are among ma­jor em­ploy­ers who are fa­cing in­creased num­bers of claims which are be­ing sup­por­ted by Trade Uni­ons. Some Trade Uni­ons are even set­ting up a dies­el emis­sions re­gister for em­ploy­ees to re­cord their ex­pos­ure to tox­ic air.
    Ren­dez­vous de Septembre – Ret­ro­spect­ive
    Mar­ket re­mains on edge as storms bubble up in At­lantic Loss re­port­ing delays could in­flu­ence re­in­sur­ance re­new­als Al­tern­at­ive cap­it­al/ILS may find op­por­tun­it­ies post Hur­ricane sea­son As ex­pec­ted, talk at Ren­dez­vous de Septembre was dom­in­ated by Hur­ricane.