Insurance in France
Clyde & Co LLP
A global force in insurance law, Clyde & Co LLP’s specialist focus translates into a far-reaching practice with dominant showings across various industry sectors, particularly industrial risk, transport, engineering and energy. The Paris office serves as a hub for the firm’s activities in continental Europe and Francophone Africa, ensuring a significant volume of cross-border work. The Nantes’ team is best known for its experience in supporting SMEs in Western France, with a strong presence in shipping and aviation matters. Combined, the national practice is weighted towards litigation, but it also handles a significant volume of advisory and transactional matters. Department head Gildas Rostain splits his time between Paris and Nantes and has expertise in industrial risks, property and casualty and credit insurance litigation. Additional contacts include up-and-coming partner David Meheut and the ‘technical and reactive’ Yannis Samothrakis.
‘A very complete team, friendly, and always listens to its clients.’
‘Provides excellent analysis and responsiveness at a reasonable price.’
‘Excellence knowledge of (re)insurance law and the market. Very reactive and technical.’
‘Yannis Samothrakis is an excellent relationship partner, technical and reactive.’
Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. houses a multi-disciplinary insurance, industry risk and transport group, which acts on a mix of regulatory and contentious issues. The practice draws on standalone offerings in insurance and reinsurance, insurance litigation, industrial risk and transport, and counts domestic and global insurers, reinsurers, brokers, equipment providers and transport operators among its key clients. Particularly prominent in litigation, the group routinely advises on an array of civil, commercial and criminal cases. Richard Ghueldre jointly leads the department and is recognised for his broad practice spanning contract law, regulatory issues and insurance disputes. Group co-head Capucine Bernier handles a wide range of insurance litigation but is mainly active in disputes concerning non-life insurance areas, including damages, civil and professional liability and unusual and industrial risks.
Richard Ghueldre; Capucine Bernier
BNP Paribas Cardif
La Banque postale
Legal & General
Paris Saint-Germain Football Club
- Represented Garantie Assistance (now Filassistance International, a subsidiary of CNP Assurances) in civil and criminal litigation involving Humania Consultants, its partners and its clients.
- Acted for AXA in the first class action in France concerning finance and insurance.
- Represented the Pasteur Mutualité Group in a dispute between two mutual insurers.
HFW’s Paris practice forms a key part of its global insurance offering and the group routinely acts alongside international teams to advise major multinational insurance companies on contentious and non-contentious matters. Leveraging its signature shipping practice, the firm particularly excels in transport-related claims. Other core segments include trade, construction and energy. Apart from its robust capability in claims, the group also has a growing presence in regulatory matters, including product distribution and policy wording issues. Department head Olivier Purcell is dual- French and UK-qualified and has strong experience in cross-border litigation and international arbitration. Pauline Arroyo is ‘very proactive’.
‘We value its broad practice.’
‘Pauline Arroyo is a very proactive and excellent lawyer, who always provides relevant opinions and assistance. Her skills are very appreciated for major claims/litigation and in difficult negotiations.’
Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP has several key elements to its practice, with its transactional offering being particularly dominant. It also handles regulatory and contentious matters. The group routinely works alongside teams in Europe and the US to advise on multi-jurisdictional deals and it counts major domestic and multinational insurers, financial institutions and corporates among its clients. Department head Sébastien Gros, who is dual-qualified in France and Germany, advises on a mix of regulatory and transactional work, including M&A, portfolio and business transfers, joint ventures and the setting up of new businesses. Counsel Ghina Farah is an ‘excellent lawyer’ and is also well versed in transactional and regulatory issues.
Other key lawyers:
‘Aside from its level of knowledge and expertise, the team stands out for its willingness to be very frank when advising us on how things should be done. This creates a clear picture enabling us, as the product provider, to understand the risks and parameters within which we should operate.’
‘It is clear that the team has a deep and extensive knowledge of French insurance law and market practice.’
‘I know that regardless of which team member responds to a query, we can be confident in the advice we receive.’
‘Importantly for an English-speaking insurance company, providing an English-language contract, the level of communication in English is of a very high standard.’
‘The team is both proactive on informing clients about the newest relevant developments, as well as reactive and helpful when we turn to them for advice.’
‘This team are extremely efficient and knowledgeable and consistently deliver high-quality advice. They are well leveraged and in my experience, are excellent at all levels.’
‘We instruct the firm on all sorts of matters, starting with regulatory matters but also on transactional matters, especially on large business transactions.’
‘We have been using the firm for over five years now in insurance and reinsurance. We would instruct on all sorts of matters, starting with regulatory matters but also on transactions, especially large business transactions.’
‘The team, and especially Sébastien Gros, have an extremely quick turn-around time, providing detailed but also practical answers. The industry knowledge is quite unique, especially for reinsurance matters.’
‘Sébastien Gros is always spot-on and very knowledgeable in (re)insurance matters, be it regulatory, corporate or transactional, providing precise advice. He is a leading individual in (re)insurance matters in France.’
‘Sébastien Gros is a stellar practitioner – he has unparalleled knowledge of the regulatory space in France.’
‘Sébastien Gros and Ghina Farah have good knowledge of the insurance and reinsurance sector, are up to date with the latest developments in this area, and take a pragmatic approach with a desire to find a solution for the customer.’
‘Ghina Farah is an excellent lawyer and a pleasure to deal with.’
Assurant (CWI Group)
Aviva (Group and various affiliates)
AXA (Group and various affiliates)
CNP Assurances (Group and various affiliates)
- Advised Scor on the structuring and implementation of the merger of Scor Global Life SE and Scor Global P&C SE into Scor SE.
- Assisted AXA (and a number of its international affiliates) with a global European partnership with BlaBlaCar for the offering of a first-of-its-kind ridesharing insurance product.
- Advised CNP Assurances on the renewal of its partnership in the life insurance business in Italy through CNP UniCredit Vita, 57.5% of which is held by CNP Assurances, 38.8% by UniCredit and 3.7% by Cardif.
Squire Patton Boggs’ emphasis on contentious work pays dividends in a varied litigation caseload, which spans large and complex disputes and mass litigation. The group also handles advisory work, including regulatory issues and policy review. Clients include local mid-market insurers through to major multinational companies, with its global network marking it as a particularly popular choice for Germany, UK and US-based clients. Carole Sportes is highly regarded for her focus on insurance, aviation and product liability litigation and counts insurers, air carriers and pharmaceutical companies among her clients. Valerie Ravit jointly heads the practice alongside Sportes and is noted for her record representing companies in product liability and life sciences litigation.
Carole Sportes; Valérie Ravit
- Represented HDI Global and Thai Union in a food contamination case.
- Acted for HDI Global and Siemens Healthcare in a lawsuit related to Lyme Syndrome and its diagnosis.
August Debouzy has a strong track record in high-risk and multi-jurisdictional cases. In terms of the latter, over 50% of the team’s caseload involves cross-border issues and claims from foreign parties. The practice also sets itself apart through its multi-disciplinary approach and regularly collaborates with the firm’s IP, IT, employment and finance practices to advise on complex files. Other areas of expertise include product liability, mass disputes and regulatory matters. Alexandra Cohen-Jonathan heads the department and advises on industrial risk, product liability and professional civil liability cases. On the non-contentious side, Cohen-Jonathan is regularly instructed by legal and insurance think tanks to advise on key market issues, particularly in relation to artificial intelligence in the healthcare sector and self-driving cars.
‘We use this firm for the management of litigation arising in the context of damage insurance or civil liability claims, where the team has a broad practice.’
‘Alexandra Cohen-Jonathan, who leads the team, has a very good knowledge of the market issues as well as the various stakeholders involved, which allows her to give contextualised advice.’
‘Alexandra and her team know how to make themselves available and their work is of a very good standard.’
‘Alexandra Cohen-Jonathan is one of the best lawyers in the French market.’
Chubb Insurance Company of Europe SE
Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty SE
Victims of PIP
Siaci Saint Honoré
SPIE Batignolles IDF
- Acted for Chubb Insurance Company of Europe, as insurer, and Novajardin, as the insured, in proceedings brought by parents of a child born with physical defects, which they claim to be due to the weed killer Monsanto.
- Advised SNCF, SYSTRA and AXA XL on compensating victims of a rail accident
- Acted for Guy Dauphin Environnement in its guarantee action against its insurer, Generali, and its five co-insurers.
Leveraging its extensive global network, DLA Piper demonstrates strong capability in cross-border matters, particularly involving the UK, Germany, Italy and the US. The breadth of the group’s sector coverage is also a key differentiator and it advises across the full scope of insurance regulation, transactions and contentious matters. The aviation space is a particular sweet spot, with department head Vonnick Le Guillou is highly regarded for his experience in representing European aircraft manufacturers in complex air crash cashes. The ‘knowledgeable, creative and effective’ Bruce Mee is noted for his expertise in industrial risks litigation and investigations.
Vonnick Le Guillou
‘The team has a strong command of how coverage issues in cross-border policies are litigated in various jurisdictions, and how to manage that litigation.’
‘We value the team’s availability, quality of advice, thoroughness and swift delivery.’
‘Bruce Mee is extremely knowledgeable, creative and effective.’
‘Of counsel Luc Bigel and associate Hamza Akli form a very efficient and dedicated team.’
ACE INA Holdings Inc.
MS Amlin Insurance SE
La Reunion Aerienne
Zurich Insurance plc
- Advised AXA XL on several issues related to regulatory, commercial and insurance matters, including on the setting-up of outsourcing arrangements in the field of automobile and large risk insurance.
- Advised Aon brokerage company in the context of several acquisitions such as Chapka Assurance, leader in travel insurance brokerage activities and Ovatio Courtage, broker dedicated in entertainment.
- Advised Generali various insurance and finance regulatory issues for their French branch such as eligibility of assets for unit links of life insurance policies, contractual corporate reorganizations, rating services.
DWF (France) AARPI’s increasingly prominent practice handles a diverse range of contentious, regulatory and contractual matters for major global insurers and reinsurers, including Zurich, Allianz and RSA. Litigation provides the bulk of instructions, with the construction, product liability and energy sectors standing as core areas of expertise. It also houses a connected services offering comprised of a range of consultative services which support high-volume work, including a claims management business. Romain Dupeyré heads the department and has strong experience in insurance litigation, particularly coverage disputes and recovery matters.
Boutique firm Karila Avocats is distinguished by its specialist focus on the construction insurance sector. The comprehensive practice advises on contract drafting, construction development and litigation, with strong experience in industry risk and liability insurance, fire-related matters and machine breakage. In a strong example of its profile in this area, the firm was instructed by AXA, as liability insurer of a construction company, in relation to the Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral fire — Jean-Pierre Karila led that work. Laurent Karila heads the practice and regularly acts for French and international clients on construction insurance mandates.
‘The Karila team has all the necessary expertise to support companies such as ours on insurance issues in the framework of both its development and the management of its assets.’
‘The strength of this firm resides both in its legal expertise and in its ability to analyse the operational issues that we have to handle. They are very good technicians, both in terms of advice and litigation.’
‘Karila Avocats has a unique expertise on insurance and liability issues connected to construction and related matters.’
‘The team is composed of brilliant lawyers and provides clients with a high level of expertise in their field. Reactivity and quality are at the highest standards. No comparable firm in the market.’
‘The firm was recommended to me mainly for their very strong expertise in real estate and construction matters. The assistance has been exceptional and I have never felt the need to contact a competitor.’
‘I have worked on many issues with Laurent Karila and Laure Furgé and their advice is effective, pragmatic, operational and of very high quality. This cabinet masters the matters that they defend.’
‘Laurent Karila and Laure Furgé are attentive, available, flexible and very pleasant; the working tools they offer to support the follow-up of files are extremely useful and it is the only firm in the field that has made us benefit from these tools.’
‘Laurent Karila and Bruno Demont possess valuable professional and personal skills.’
Ricardo Bofill Taller de Arquitectura
- Conducted several insurance policy audits for large wind power plant constructions in Europe at the request of banking institutions and investment funds.
- Represented AXA France IARD, as liability insurer of a construction company, in relation to a large structural fire that broke out in the Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral.
- Acted for Ceetrus in a construction dispute against the companies carrying out the construction and the project’s insurer, following a collapse on the site.
Kennedys’ robust local and global reputation for insurance litigation ensures that it is sought after for its ability to resource large, complex cases and mass litigation across all asset classes. The group is particularly well versed in defence cases, coverage disputes and subrogation and recovery actions. However, it also advises insurers on non-contentious matters, including policy drafting and regulatory compliance. Christian Bouckaert is a high-profile figure in the market and is noted for his deep experience, particularly in professional and product liability cases. The group also includes the ‘highly skilled’ Alexis Valençon, the ‘vastly knowledgeable’ Aurélia Cadain and up-and-coming partner Nicolas Bouckaert.
Christian Bouckaert; Alexis Valençon; Aurélia Cadain; Nicolas Bouckaert
‘Lawyers have high availability and always provide quick responses to any questions raised. Furthermore, their detailed analyses and reports are always presented in an accessible manner which is easy to understand.’
‘They work with great professionalism even in complex situations. And all with great patience.’
‘The individuals I have instructed (mainly Nicolas Bouckaert and Alexis Valençon) appear to be highly skilled and knowledgeable within the area of insurance and litigation.’
‘Aurélia Cadain made herself available at any time. Her vast knowledge and experience of French law have helped us a great deal in making decisions about how to act.’
Norton Rose Fulbright’s well-rounded insurance practice is equally adept handling regulatory, transactional and contentious work, with a strong showing in multi-jurisdictional matters. The group acts for a raft of major domestic and international insurers, reinsurers and other insurance industry stakeholders, with a growing presence in the fintech and insurtech spheres. Leveraging its transactional capabilities and the wider firm’s global network, it has been increasingly active in Brexit-related insurance matters of late, including advising UK companies on the establishment of new European subsidiaries. Corporate and regulatory specialist Bénédicte Denis heads the team and is particularly focused on transactional risks insurance. Counsel Orsolya Hegedus, who handles a mix of contentious and non-contentious matters, is also noted.
- Advised Apicil Group on the acquisition of The OneLife Company from J.C. Flowers, a New York-based private investment fund.
- Assisted AIG Europe with several buy-side warranty & indemnity transactions.
- Advised Allianz Africa on the sale of stakes in five African subsidiaries to Sunu Group.
Ormen Passemard – ORPA Legal’s exclusive focus on litigation and insurance law translates into a steady stream of complex and high-stakes disputes — it also handles non-contentious matters. The boutique firm covers the full life cycle of industry issues, from crisis management through to expert investigations and court proceedings, on behalf of insurers, reinsurers, financial institutions and corporates. Areas of expertise include life and non-life insurance, intermediation and distribution, financial lines insurance, regulatory matters and transactional support. Pascal Ormen jointly heads the practice and specialises in coverage and claims, subrogation, reinsurance disputes and direct defence. Group co-lead Rémi Passemard has a broad practice and is highlighted for his ‘considerable mastery of market practices’.
Pascal Ormen; Rémi Passemard
‘We appreciate their capabilities and trust them to deal well with the files we submit.’
‘Demonstrate strong availability and professionalism in litigation.’
‘Rémi Passemard has strong experience. He understands the client’s concerns; he is unparalleled for litigation in contractual disputes involving insurance brokerage in the french market.’
‘The team of Pascal Ormen, Olivier Gabriels, Alix Mangin and Pierre Maraninchi have it all: accuracy, in-depth knowledge of the insurance code and litigation history and a customer-centric attitude — from partners to more junior lawyers.’
‘Rémi Passemard’s practice is based on a very good knowledge of financial services, whether banking or insurance, which corresponds to our needs.’
‘Rémi Passemard combines a very good technical knowledge of the legal field with a considerable mastery of market practices in matters of financial lines.’
The ‘very specialised’ group at Taylor Wessing is an increasingly popular choice for the management of complex and cross-border claims. The broad practice is experienced in matters relating to the industrial, transport, construction and technology sectors, with a solid presence in the corporate risk space. In addition, the group has a robust technology-related offering, which handles cyber risk management, fraud issues, IP claims and data processing. Pierre-Olivier Leblanc heads the insurance, industrial risks and transport practice and handles a comprehensive range of contentious insurance matters, with a strong background in marine and general liability work. The ‘efficient and hardworking’ Marc Schuler focuses on insurance relating to the technology and media sectors.
Pierre-Olivier Leblanc; Philippe Glaser; Marc Schuler
‘Excellent service combined with knowledge of the industry and the international insurance sector.’
‘Ability to meet the very market-driven needs of an insurer and meet the requirements of the insurance code in the development of a product.’
‘Professional, always on time and on budget. Very high level of service.’
‘The team is small but very specialised and available.’
‘Pierre-Olivier Leblanc has extensive experience in the maritime/transport and insurance sectors, with a great aptitude for mediation allowing the settlement of disputes.’
‘Pierre-Olivier Leblanc has an excellent ability to understand insured’s problems that are technical, legal or related to the insurance contract and its interpretations. Takes a very effective, pragmatic approach including in an Anglo-Saxon environment (US, UK).’
‘Pierre-Olivier Leblanc is smart, available, with big knowledge in insurance and industry sector. Knows how to work in a tense atmosphere with money at stake. Very competent in an international environment.’
‘Marc Schuler is extremely efficient and hard-working.’
- Assisted Hiscox in the drafting of its TMT policy and corresponding claims.
Philippe Mathurin; Nathalie Dupuy-Loup
‘The quality of the service provided is always the same.’
‘The files monitored by the firm are always dealt with on time, regardless of the time allowed: very great reactivity, without losing the quality.’
Gilles Gaillard; Valérie Lafarge-Sarkozy
AG2R LA MONDIALE
APPN (ASSOCIATION POUR LA PREVOYANCE DU PERSONNEL NAVIGUANT)
COVEA (MAAF ASSURANCES, MUTUELLES DU MANS ASSURANCES – MMA)
MACIF / AESIO
MALAKOFF MEDERIC / HUMANIS
- Assisted MACIF and AESIO, two major insurance groups, as joint counsel with the filing requirements of their announced merger.
- Advised Covéa on the renegotiation of its long-standing bank-insurance partnership with BPCE group.
- Assisted Matmut and AG2R La Mondiale with the decision to stop their merger process and to recover their respective and pre-existing independence.
Chatain & Associés
‘The team offers expertise in a rare specialism: collective insurance and reinsurance. This field is extremely specialised and as such rare to find as it requires mastery of the national framework and, regarding reinsurance, mastery of negotiation techniques with the other party, often with an Anglo-Saxon background.’
‘Frédérique de La Chapelle has an in-depth understanding of insurance law and of the functioning of big insurance companies. She is systematically available and ultra-reactive, very familiar with the functioning of her clients and quickly understands their points of concern. Including her in the negotiation of important contracts allows the client to consider her a part of the in-house team, which is valuable to save time and understand what is required in the negotiation. She is also able to add the necessary international colleagues to a matter.’
‘Availability, motivation, expertise.‘
HMN & Partners
CARDIF LUX VIE
LIBERTY SPECIALTY MARKETS
- Represented Cardif Lux Vie in 25 disputes involving policyholders relating to the right of withdrawal of life insurance policies.
- Represented CNP Assurances in a lawsuit initiated against AXA France Vie, Groupama Gan Vie and Allianz Vie (CNP Assurance’s reinsurers) relating to the voluntary pension regime served to French public officers named Prefon.
- Defended Liberty before the Spanish Court in the region of Barcelona in claims relating to an insurance policy taken out by the city of Rodez when constructing the Soulages Museum.
Gilles Gassenbach; Arnaud Molinier; Alexia Eskinazi
AXA CORPORATE SOLUTIONS
Sarah Lugan; Laurent De Gabrielli
AXA CORPORATE SOLUTIONS
- Represented of AXA Corporate in claims against Lesseps Promotion regarding global damages relating to a retail park.
- Represented AGCS, the insurer of GSE, in a claim against Argan and L’Oréal relating to the construction of a logistics platform for L’Oréal.
- Represented Renault and its insurer, AGCS, in a dispute against Pacficia and Groupama d’OC.
Pech de Laclause Bathmanabane & Associés
Françoise Hecquet; Jean-Baptiste Payet-Godel; Charlotte Roger
Barthélemy Cousin; Nicolas Demigneux
Société Générale Bank & Trust
EDEIS (ex SNC Lavalin)
Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., Ltd (DSME)
Joseph Dirand Architecture
Mercuria Energy Group
Heerema Marine Contractors Nederland SE
Navigators Underwriting Limited
- Assisted Joseph Dirand Architecture with all its insurance issues relating to its projects in Qatar, Miami and the Caribbean, and managing its global insurance program to cover its projects worldwide.
- Advised Navigators Underwriting as reinsurers of Axa Assurances Sénégal on issues arising from the destruction of a vessel by fire while it was being repaired in the Dakarnave shipyard.
- Represented Degremont, the water subsidiary of utility giant Suez, in commercial court proceedings against various sub-contractors relating to the construction of a €130m water treatment plant in the North of Paris.
Stream – Avocats et Solicitors
Mathieu Croix; Jérôme de Sentenac; Alexandre Besnard; Vy-Loan Huynh Olivieri; Fabien d’Haussy; Marie-Noëlle Raynaud