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Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Insurance
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Joanie Ko - Kennedys
    • Simon McConnell - Clyde & Co LLP
    • Rupert Skrine - Kennedys
    • David Smyth - RPC
    • Martin Tam - Baker McKenzie

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Simon McConnell¬†heads up the team at Clyde & Co LLP, which advised¬†longstanding client Chubb¬†upon entering¬†into a 15-year regional general insurance distribution arrangement¬†with¬†DBS Bank,¬†the largest banking group in Southeast Asia.¬†The team also represented MSIG Insurance in relation to a number of vexatious and fraudulent workplace accident¬†claims.¬†Patrick Perry¬†is recommended for his ‚Äėdetailed advice and great tactics‚Äô.¬†Senior associate Gillian Morrissey¬†is also singled out.

Kennedys' team, led by Rupert Skrine¬†and Richard Bates, is¬†'responsive and demonstrates a good understanding of the client's business and the industry‚Äô.¬†On the non-contentious¬†side, the firms¬†fields¬†one of the largest corporate insurance practices in Hong Kong; on¬†the contentious side, it advised¬†insurers on financial lines insurance claims and coverage issues, as well as handling a large volume of construction site accident¬†claims. Joanie Ko¬†‚Äėhas an eye for detail, provides robust advice and adopts a very holistic approach.‚Äô Wilson Tam¬†has been promoted to partner in May 2018.

Angela Yim, Sara Or¬†and Jacob Tse¬†lead the ‚Äėprompt, pro-active and commercial‚Äô team at Mayer Brown JSM.¬†Clients include Wesurance, AXA and QBE Insurance Group's Hong Kong and European operations. The team represented the motor vehicle insurers of KMB in respect of HK$100m worth of claims arising from the second deadliest accident in Hong Kong to date, and successfully defended the employer on instructions from Zurich Insurance in a Court of Appeal case which involved a suspicious work injury claim. Tow Lu Lim¬†is 'a subject-matter expert in insurance‚Äô with ‚Äėthe ability to cultivate common ground with the claimant, diffuse a contentious atmosphere, and skilfully¬†negotiate a settlement‚Äô.

Baker McKenzie's team possesses¬†‚Äėstrong technical knowledge and advice is solutions focused and consistent with the client‚Äôs objectives‚Äô. Practice head¬†Martin Tam¬†is¬†‚Äėvery detailed and precise in his advice and has a good grasp of the specific technical requirements under Hong Kong law and regulation‚Äô.¬†Recent work¬†includes advising AIA Company on its restructuring of the AIA Retirement Fund Scheme, including on the regulatory approval process with the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC),¬†as well as advising the¬†Hong Kong Federation of Insurers on its establishment of a centralised insurance claims database. Other clients¬†also¬†include Allianz.

Alfred Tam¬†heads up the¬†practice at Deacons, leading a ‚Äėstrong team¬†that has vast experience and¬†knowledge and is capable of providing comprehensive legal opinions‚Äô.¬†Clients include AIG Insurance Hong Kong, Allied World Assurance and the Hong Kong Housing Authority. On the contentious side, Tam successfully defended¬†Well Born Real Estate Management against an employee compensation claim, and Yick Hing Construction Company in an injury claim arising from an accident.¬†Esther Lai¬†left to join ‚ÄéKwok Yih & Chan.

‚ÄėVery good negotiator‚Äô Edwin Northover¬†and Drew Dutton¬†head up the team at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, which possesses ‚Äėa high degree of transactional and execution knowledge in terms of insurance-specific M&A work‚Äô. Recent work includes advising PFI on the creation of a $200m joint venture with CT Corp to provide life insurance solutions in Indonesia through a multi-channel distribution strategy. AIA Group, Prudential and Standard Chartered also instruct the team.¬†Associate Jan Bushmann¬†joined from Hogan Lovells.

Howse Williams Bowers primarily acts for underwriters, brokers and intermediaries regarding policy issues, in coverage disputes as well as personal injury and employee compensation claims. It also has a substantial professional indemnity defence practice acting for indemnity insurers and providers for a wide range of professions in Hong Kong, including advising the majority of private hospitals in Hong Kong on clinical risk management, use and storage of dangerous drugs, claims, inquests, liaison with the department of health, disciplinary proceedings and crisis management. Kevin Bowers and Chris Howse are key contacts.

Antony Sassi, who is¬†‚Äėvery aware commercially‚Äô,¬†and David Smyth¬†head the team at RPC. Clients include Allianz, QBE and Chubb. In recent highlights, the team defended ¬£323m worth of claims from a listed company and the liquidators of its former operating subsidiary, alleging negligence by the former auditors of the companies during the course of audits of the group's financial statements.

Amy Ho heads up the team at Clifford Chance, which acts for clients including BNP Paribas and AXA. In recent work, the team advised China Life Insurance on its $250m issuance of dated subordinated capital notes, the first deal following the switch of the regulatory oversight to the newly set up Insurance Authority. It also advised the underwriters, including HSBC, Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank, on the $500m issuance of  securities by CCB Life Insurance.

DLA Piper¬†provides an¬†‚Äėexcellent service‚Äô and¬†‚Äėresponses are speedy, appropriate and the quality of advice is good‚Äô.¬†Clients include Aviva, Ping¬†An¬†Insurance, and China Life Insurance. The practice has also been newly appointed to the panels of AIG, Chubb, Zurich and QBE. Recent transactional work includes¬†advising global healthcare provider¬†Aetna on the acquisition of Bupa Group‚Äôs Thai business, Bupa Thailand.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer¬†is noted as ‚Äėvery good, reliable and has expertise in a wide range of areas‚Äô.¬†Royce Miller¬†and the ‚Äėvery client-friendly and easily accessible‚Äô Robert Ashworth¬†lead the practice with a focus on¬† acquisitions of large insurance businesses in Asia, and establishing bancassurance partnerships for the distribution of life insurance products in Asia. The team recently advised Prudential on its disposal of a Vietnam-based consumer finance business to Shinhan Card, with both parties agreeing to a new long-term bancassurance partnership in Vietnam and Indonesia as part of the deal. Clients also include Manulife and Ping An.

Gareth Thomas and Tommy Tong head up the practice at Herbert Smith Freehills. Recent transactional highlights include advising Ant Financial Services Group, as a co-investor alongside Yunfeng Financial Group, on its $1.68bn consortium acquisition of MassMutual Asia, an international life insurance group in Hong Kong. Taiping Asset Management received regulatory advice. ICBC Asia, Hyperion Insurance Group and Euler Hermes also count among the team's clients.

Ince & Co has a focus on marine insurance and the team is jointly led by north Asia insurance and reinsurance head Kelvin Lee and Rosita Lau. Lee specialises in coverage disputes, particularly regarding product liability insurance, marine cargo and marine hull policies, yacht insurance, and banker's blanket bonds. He also has substantial experience in cases involving machinery breakdown, such as fire and water damage, underwater cable damage, solar panel defects, and steam pipe explosions. Jan Heuvels relocated to the Hong Kong office from Hamburg in November 2017.

Transactional lead Emma de Ronde heads up the team at Norton Rose Fulbright, which acts for a number of international household names from the insurance sector in M&As and multimillion-dollar cross-border transactions. Peter Glover relocated from the London office in August 2017, and Etelka Bogardi joined from an in-house role at the Hong Kong Monetary Authority.

Denis Brock leads the team at O'Melveny, which acts for clients including Aon, Marsh, and The Hong Kong Confederation of Insurance Brokers. In recent highlights, the team advised a leading international insurer on the establishment of its Hong Kong business and the development of insurance products, including regulatory and licensing issues and the structuring of the client’s proposed sales model. Counsel Kieran Humphrey is another key contact in the Hong Kong office, having acted on some of Asia’s largest corporate, financial lines and casualty insurance claims.

Shanghai-based Ji Zou heads the team at Allen & Overy, bringing extensive experience advising insurance companies on M&A, joint ventures, commercial collaborations and operations in China. Recent work includes advising Liberty Mutual on the sale of its 51% stake in Liberty Insurance Company, a PRC property and casualty insurance company, to Sanpower Group. Clients also include Prudential and Discovery Holdings. Counsel David Norman is actively involved in the Insure Tech space, and has represented Insure Tech providers, traditional insurers and investors on a range of joint ventures and other collaborations.

With a focus on the aviation and maritime sectors, consultant Rosie Ng¬†and aviation specialists Christopher Chan¬†and Peter Coles¬†have led¬†HFW's expansion into¬†financial lines work, with a new panel appointment from a major insurer.¬†Recent highlights include¬†advising¬†an¬†insurer on a claim¬†made¬†for¬†corrosion¬†on an¬†aircraft¬†following a paint removal¬†procedure. Ng comes highly recommended and ‚Äėprovides an excellent service, combining genuine expertise in her specialist field with long practical experience, very sound judgment and commercially-oriented advice, which inspires great confidence in clients‚Äô.

Under the leadership of practice head Tim Fletcher, Hogan Lovells' team specialises in complex life insurance and insurance financing transactions. Recent work includes striking out a High Court action against client Prudential over an alleged breach of contract and misappropriation of funds with damages amounting to HK$10.6m. Clients also include AXA Asia and C.V. Starr & Co. Senior associate Jan Buschmann, who has particular expertise in life insurance and complex reinsurance arrangements, left to join Debevoise & Plimpton LLP.

Reed Smith Richards Butler’s China insurance group has particular expertise in defending professional negligence claims against legal practitioners. Asha Sharma is the name to note. Recent work includes representing a regulatory body in judicial review proceedings. Nathan Dentice and David Harrington have joined Minter Ellison.

Stephenson Harwood is primarily known for its contentious insurance practice, with a particular focus on the maritime and international trade, energy, commodity and financial sectors. Marine insurance specialists Andrew Ridgen Green and legal director Guijun Wang lead the team, which recently advised Aetna on its $10m acquisition of Hong Kong-based Canadian Insurance Company.

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