Insurance in France
Clyde & Co LLP
‘Excellent industry know-how.’
‘Team that has a good knowledge of market practices and issues due to the fact that many have previously worked for an insurance organisation/company.’
‘Yannis Samothrakis: pragmatism, respect for deadlines, good competence in the market and its rules, good network.’
‘Yannis Samothrakis: excellent counsel, excellent market knowledge and experience with the regulatory authorities, ability to combine analytic rigour with pragmatic approaches to find solution in complex situations.’
Launched in 2017, the Dentons insurance group at the Paris office continues to be a market leader, advising top insurers, reinsurers, brokers, financial institutions and clients in the construction, transport and energy sectors involved in a diverse spectrum of complex, multi-jurisdictional claims. The team’s comprehensive service covers the distribution and review of insurance products, regulatory and transactional work, disputes related to industrial risks, claims and civil and administrative courts and non-contentious review of insurance programs. The team is led by experienced litigator Sévérine Hotellier, who specialises in high-stakes disputes, and Frédérique de La Chapelle, newly appointed (March 2021) head of the firm’s European insurance practice, who brings her expertise in advising insurers on internal and international regulatory issues to the table.
‘High level of technicality.’
With a presence spanning the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific, the Paris insurance team at DLA Piper leverages the bench strength of its global network and the experience of its team to advise major risk carriers and French and multinational insurers, insurance distributors, equipment manufacturers, aircraft manufacturers and MROs industrial companies. Headed by international liability claim and aviation industry expert Vonnick Le Guillou, the group’s full service extends to assistance with tort and personal injury claims, product liability, casualty, property, cyber, and trade credit and credit risk. The team also handles civil or criminal pre-litigations, litigations and arbitration cases. The group’s client portfolio includes key market players such as Chubb, Zurich Insurance, and Allianz. Counsel Luc Bigel and senior associate Hamza Hakli support the team in insurance regulatory matters.
‘High technicality, ability to adapt responses to commercial practice, high availability’.
‘Luc Bigel and Hamza Akli are both very good technicians, able to find practical, very pleasant and available solutions.’
‘The quality of the relationship is unique. Very available, my contact lawyers were able to respond quickly to each need during the year 2021. The work delivered was of high quality. In addition, the lawyers were very attentive to the budgetary issues of my requests. The monthly legal watch is also of high quality and very much appreciated.’
MS Amlin Insurance SE
La Reunion Aerienne
Zurich insurance plc
MIC Insurance Company SA
Beazley Insurance Solutions Limited
FM Insurance Europe SA
- Advising MIC Insurance Company on the set-up of a new insurance company in France dedicated to non-life insurance activities and on obtaining a license from the ACPR in connection therewith, as well as on the transfer of an insurance portfolio from Gibraltar in France concerning approx. ten EU States.
- Advising Swiss Re in a range of Covid 19-related claims.
- Advised Axa XL on various regulatory, distribution-related, review of insurance policies, reinsurance/co-insurance arrangements, and insurance law queries concerning various lines (motor, civil liability, damage, marine, cyber).
The insurance, industrial risks and transport group at the Paris office of Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. continues to be a dominant force in the market, assisting major insurers, operators in banking and finance, service providers, industrial groups and international law firms, on a diverse spectrum of issues. Matters include class actions, the establishment of distribution schemes and insurance programmes, acquisitions, accident management, settlements, regulatory compliance, and life and non-life insurance contracts. The team is led by insurance and reinsurance authority Richard Ghueldre and civil and professional liability expert Capucine Bernier. Supported by counsel Charles-Eric Delamare-Deboutteville, the group is also recognised for it work involving air, maritime and industrial disasters.
Other key lawyers:
‘Beyond its in-depth legal knowledge of the technical matter of team insurance, Gide’s insurance team also has in-depth knowledge of the workings of the insurance business, as well as the material and commercial constraints involved. It is this global vision of the sector that allows Gide to approach a legal problem from a practical angle.’
‘Capucine Bernier is extremely available to her clients and is committed to providing them with excellent service. She systematically inquires about the operational constraints of her clients in order to offer the most suitable legal solution.’
Acting for major insurers such as AXA, Zurich and General, as well as underwriters, brokers, policyholders and other intermediaries involved in high-value cross-border claims, the insurance and reinsurance team at the Paris office of global firm HFW continues to lead in the marketplace. Headed by seasoned insurance litigator Pauline Arroyo, the group’s expertise covers product liability, professional indemnity and public liability insurance coverage and claim litigation. The management of third party disputes is another area of strength. Guillaume Brajeux advises on industrial risks while Iris Vögeding specialises in matters involving the transport, renewables, pharmaceuticals and food sectors. Olivier Purcell brings experience to complex international arbitration.
‘I would like to point out the collaboration with Iris Vögeding, HFW France. She is a very focused lawyer and knows how to explain complicated legal issues and their meanings to her clients. She is also available for discussions regarding general legal aspects without having a concrete mandate.’
‘Very responsive team with multiple areas of expertise allowing agility and fluidity in case management.’
Covea / MMA
The insurance and reinsurance team at Squire Patton Boggs continues to be a leader in the practice area, utilising its global presence and the experience of its team to advises major international and middle-market European insurance companies on a broad spectrum of matters. These include policy review, regulatory compliance, reinsurance, professional indemnity litigation and coverage litigation. In addition, the team specialises in handling serial losses for pharmaceutical and medical device companies. The group is led by Paris managing partner Carole Sportes, who brings expertise on aviation claims, and international dispute resolution partner Valérie Ravit, whose expertise includes environmental liability matters.
Other key lawyers:
The experienced team independent at Paris law firm ADVANT Altana, which recently advised mutual Aéma Groupe in its €3.2bn acquisition of Aviva France, continues to assist major insurers (AXA, AIG), reinsurers, intermediaries and corporates on matters across the practice area. Employing a multidisciplinary approach, the team is led by corporate and insurance law expert Gilles Gaillard, business litigation and pre-litigation specialist Valérie Lafarge-Sarkozy and Frédéric Manin, who advises on competition and antitrust law. The group’s range extends to insurance products, regulatory compliance, civil liability, damage, M&A, cyber-risk and data protection.
‘ALTANA is characterised by a perfect knowledge of our group, a very close proximity of the various lawyers with our in-house lawyers, a very good expertise, a particularly careful listening to customers, a reasonable invoicing.’
‘Dedicated to our needs, great eye for detail, approachable’.
AG2R La Mondiale
Covea (Maaf Assurances, Mutuelles du Mans Assurances – MMA, GMF)
MMA Vie Assurances Mutuelles
- Advised Aéma Groupe on its €3.2bn acquisition of Aviva France from Aviva Plc.
- Advised MMA Vie Assurances Mutuelles in its capacity as former board member of the Crédit Martiniquais which is being sued before the Paris Commercial Court by the bank’s liquidator along with other former directors for having allegedly contributed to causing the debt that allegedly led to bankruptcy of the bank.
The Paris office of global firm DWF (France) AARPI marshals the bench strength of over 30 locations worldwide to assist major insurance and reinsurance companies (Allianz, Zurich, Tokio) with a diverse array of matters involving such sectors as transport, hospitality, life sciences, retail, advertising, and sports. Headed by veteran litigator Romain Dupeyré, who specialises in coverage disputes and recovery proceedings, the team provides a comprehensive service, covering professional liability, product liability, policy review, indemnity coverage, M&A, data protection and employment claims.
Tokio Marine Kiln
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
The insurance group at the Paris office of global firm Herbert Smith Freehills LLP assists major insurers, reinsurers and brokers (Generali, April, Scor, CNP Assurances) banks and corporates on litigious and non-litigious matters across the practice area. Led by Martin Le Touzé, who specialises in financial and regulatory disputes, and Vincent Hatton, who manages insurance asset management and banking, the group’s full service includes strategic matters, pension contracts, M&A and business interruption. The team is supported by crisis management expert Hubert Segain.
Other key lawyers:
‘Multidisciplinary team, always ready to seek other practices within the firm to support the client.’
‘HSF’s practice is distinguished from other firms by the plurality of expertise that we seek such as securitisation and structured finance, financial regulation and insurance.’
‘High quality of exchanges with Herbert Smith.’
- Assisting and representing Generali Vie before the Civil High Court of Paris in a lawsuit initiated by Mrs Laurence Ohanian regarding the execution of a life insurance contract that Mrs Ohanian took out with Generali in 1992.
- Advised Euler Hermes on the sale of Euler Hermes Rating, unit of Allianz SE’s credit-insurance arm Euler Hermes, to Scope Group, Europe’s leading provider of independent credit ratings.
- Advised Gras Savoye/Willis Towers Watson on the sale of its subsidiary CGRM, a supplemental health insurance management centre, to insurance broker SPVIE Assurances.
The insurance department of the Paris office of global law firm Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP combines the expertise of its team with the scale of its worldwide network to assist major major insurers, reinsurers (Allianz, Aviva, AXA, Zurich, Chubb) and financial institutions on a wide range of transactional and regulatory insurance matters. These include M&A, disposal of assets, joint ventures, group reorganisations, portfolio and business transfers, insurance products and licensing requirements. The group is led by practice head and corporate insurance expert Sébastien Gros, with Sharon Lewis in charge of the insurance securitisation practice, and counsel Ghina Farah providing key support, among others when advising e-money and payment institutions.
Other key lawyers:
‘The Hogan Lovells insurance team (partner Sébastien Gros) is one of the few to master insurance law in Paris.’
‘Professionalism, integration of business considerations and constraints in consulting and proposal of solutions. Real expertise in the field of insurance. Responsiveness and speed.’
‘Sébastien Gros and Ghina Farah’s team has exceptional expertise in the regulatory field and in particular in insurance law. In this particularly changing and multi-jurisdictional environment (local, European, international), the Hogan Lovells firm is able to meet both technical and logistical needs and ensure the project management of projects with an international dimension thanks to its particularly technological maturity.’
‘Sébastien Gros and Ghina Farah, in addition to their impressive expertise in insurance law and their proximity to the various regulators, have a remarkable work force and commitment.’
Ag2R La Mondiale
Assurant (CWI Group)
Aviva (Group and various affiliates)
AXA (Group and various affiliates)
CNP Assrances (Group and various affiliates)
- Assisted +Simple, an innovative insurtech, on the acquisition of April Entreprise Est, a subsidiary of April Group and wholesale insurance broker specialised in the health insurance and regulated business insurance lines of business.
- Advised CNP Assurances on the due diligence, negotiation and signing of an agreement with the Aviva Group for the acquisition of its life insurance businesses in Italy, including the taking over of majority stake in a joint venture with UniCredit.
The insurance team at the Paris office of global law firm Kennedys takes a multidisciplinary approach to advising major insurance and reinsurance companies, brokers and policyholders on a broad span of matters. Insurance and reinsurance expert and managing partner Alexis Valençon advises clients on insurance and reinsurance litigation and arbitration, construction, industrial risk, cyber security and date protection and product and professional liability. Aurélia Cadain brings extensive experience in transport law (aviation, marine, rail and road), and Nicolas Bouckaert specialises in coverage disputes and defence work over such sectors as real estate, aerospace, manufacturing and finance. Valençon, Cadain and Bouckaert co-founded the Paris location.
‘Availability, competence, quality of follow-up, advice and analysis carried out, efficient teamwork.’
‘Their level of knowledge and expertise is invaluable to how we manage our portfolio of claims. The team members are very easy to work with, they respond promptly to queries, provide excellent guidance and adapt pragmatic approach to all matters. We are confident that this firm is providing us with the best possible advice particularly with the intricacies of the type of claims we are involved with.’
‘What separates Kennedys from other providers is that they are able to communicate with us in English which prevents any language barrier issues to how the claims are handled through French law. The entire team fully understands our requirements, whether it is through file reviews, conferencing with various stakeholders, professional advice outside of contractual obligations. They are always available to assist us as and when is needed.’
‘Alexis Valençon and team with Kennedys have been very diligent and proactive in assisting us with our case. They are very engaging and communicate well. What I like the most is that they take the time to keep clients updated on trends/developments that have a direct/indirect implication to our case at hand.’
‘Alexis Valençon: He has a sharp mind, a genuine interest in the debate and is a great communicator.’
At the Paris offices of LPA-CGR avocats, a dedicated practice assists major insurers, underwriters and energy, civil engineering, manufacturing, transport and water management companies on a broad spectrum of matters. These include risk management, policy drafting and distribution, claims analysis and management, settlements and insurance litigation. In addition, the team has two specialised strands of expertise: industrial risks, a section headed by Gilles Gassenbach and Alexia Eskinazi which handles liability and technical questions, and financial risks, led by partner Arnaud Molinier, which manages the assets and liabilities of banks and financial institutions.
‘Alexia Eskinazi: lawyer very invested in her subjects who knows the twists and turns of insurance policies, their logic, their risk.’
‘Arnaud Molinier is very precise, technical and shows great availability for his clients.’
The dedicated insurance practice at the Paris office of Norton Rose Fulbright crafts tailored solutions to assist major banks, private equity firms and insurers and reinsurers on a diverse range of issues. These include reorganisations and portfolio transfers, joint venture transactions, strategic distribution schemes and outsourcing agreements, and regulatory permissions and compliance reviews. The team is anchored by financial insurance sector expert Benedicte Denis, who specialises including cross-border M&A transactions, and asset and share acquisitions and disposals. The group is supported by Christian Dargham, who advises on alternative dispute resolution and arbitration.
Other key lawyers:
‘A sharp technical competence, an ability to back up its opinions by in-depth research.’
‘In Europe, this insurance and reinsurance team is deep, multi-jurisdictional, and very client- and industry-focused. I have found their work to be seamless across jurisdiction. I has been thorough, but also practical, timely and responsive. They seem to communicate amongst themselves very well, and to treat their people well, which has good results for the work product.’
- Advising Bridgepoint on the insurance and regulatory aspects of its acquisition of Compagnie Européenne de Prévoyance Group (CEP) from JC Flowers & Co and CHG Participations.
- Advised Allianz SE and Allianz Africa on the sale of its shares in seven subsidiaries in Benin, Burkina Faso (Life/P&C), Centrafrique, Congo, Mali and Togo to SUNU Group.
- Advising the Opera Group (including Opera Finance S.A.), a Luxembourg family office, which holds shares in Protegys and its subsidiary insurance company Wakam (formerly La Parisienne Assurances) on the regulatory aspects of its acquisition of an approx. 42% stake in Protegys from Swiss Re Europe S.A, thereby increasing its shareholding in Protegys to approx.. 82%, which requires the prior authorisation from the French regulator.
The insurance team at the Paris offices of multinational law firm Signature Litigation AARPI marshals the expertise of its team to advise insurers, financial institutions, and clients in the hospitality sector. The group is headed by founding partners Emmanuèle Lutfalla, who specialises in insurance and reinsurance litigation and claims management, and Thomas Rouhette, who assists clients in the aviation industry with medical issues and product liability. In addition, the team handles industrial risk investigations and high-value claims concerning accidents involving pollution and nuclear energy.
‘The depth and breadth of the knowledge and expertise in the chosen area of specialisation of the company is the stand-out feature.’
‘Their immediate availability and responsiveness, particularly Emmanuèle Lutfalla, was impressive. The client-centric focus of the company is clearly evident.’
Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty China
Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty France
AXA Corporate Solutions
Global Aerospace – GE Aviation
HDI Canada Branch
- Defending Allianz IARD, the machine breakdown insurer, in proceedings against EDF following the occurrence of a nuclear accident, as a result of the collapse of a vapour generator.
- Acting for Allianz IARD in a pollution-related dispute as the strategic legal advisor regarding the jurisdictional and applicable law issues managing the witnesses together with the Canadian firm.
- Representing Société Générale on two distinct insurance coverage issues, arising from the US class actions involving the ‘IBOR and Gold Fixing investigations’, as well as international discovery proceedings.
Founded in January 2021 by Alexandra Cohen-Jonathan from August Debozy and her team of associates, Tamaris Avocats specialises in advising clients involved in high risk matters, including major insurers (Allianz, AXA, Chubb) involved in product liability insurance disputes, to multinationals (Vinci, Stella Group, Systra) navigating industrial claims in the transportation, construction and energy sectors. Alexandra Cohen-Jonathan also handles professional civil liability issues, mass claims, civil claims, mass claims and is also active in the automotive and food sectors. Experienced associates Victoire Boulanger and Héloïse Nouvel provide key support.
Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty
Chubb Insurance Company
- Assisting Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty SE (AGCS) with the analysis of the insurance coverage of a French automotive supplier, insured by Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty SE (AGCS) under a civil liability insurance contract, following a dispute between the insured and a German car manufacturer regarding the delivery of defective components causing untimely triggering of airbags.
- Representing Chubb European Group SE as insurer of the Saint Gobain group, which has been sued by a large number of their former employees on the basis of the employer’s inexcusable fault for them suffering from various occupational diseases due to the inhalation of asbestos dust.
- Advised Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty SE (AGCS), the liability insurer of a French engineering consulting firm, on allegations brought by the manufacturer that an undetected malfunction had interfered with the functioning of emission-related diagnostic functions needed for the governmental approval of its vehicles.
The insurance group at the Paris office of global law firm Taylor Wessing employs the experience and expertise of its team to advise major insurers and reinsurers and corporates involved in complex, multi-jurisdictional claims across a range of industries, including the tech, energy, transport and construction sectors. The team is headed by Pierre-Olivier Leblanc, who specialises in professional indemnity claims, industrial risks and subrogation claims, and Philippe Glaser, who advises on regulatory and litigation issues in the asset management sector. In Marc Schuler, who assists clients with the drafting of insurance products, the group also has an expert in insurance-related AI and contentious cyber matters.
Other key lawyers:
‘Excellent knowledge of the subject.’
AXA – XL
Swiss Re Corporate Solutions
MMA – Covéa Risks
- Assisting Lubrizol with all civil and commercial litigation resulting from the fire that occurred on 26 September 2019.
‘Excellence in the analysis, advice and processing of entrusted files is a constant at Cabinet Alerion, in construction law as well as in insurance law.’
‘Several files in management with a partner of the firm – very professional, impactful in his analysis, in the strategies proposed. Knows his cases perfectly and has a very good relationship with the insured, very good results obtained in legal proceedings for sometimes complex cases.’
‘Very responsive, available and attentive, high expertise in financial risks and insurance law, understands very well the needs and expectations of its clients. Anne-Sophie Pia has a pragmatic approach to cases, she has a great capacity for analysis and is always a source of proposals.’
Other key lawyers:
‘Very strong technical skills, human size and proximity, dynamism and proactivity in the proposal and monitoring of actions, clear communication. Pedagogy and ability to interact both with lawyers and operational staff.’
- Acting for Banque Populaire Rives de Paris in lawsuits following non-coverage of operating losses resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Acting for Groupe BPCE as monitoring counsel for several banks over liabilities incurred from the distribution of investment products lacking in tax deduction effects.
- Assisting Caisse d’Epargne et de Prévoyance du Languedoc Roussillon (CELR) with the triggering of an insurance cover following an organised fraud and acting for them before the courts to obtain the insurance indemnity while parallel criminal proceedings are pending.
Chatain & Associés
‘Very available and involved in the files.’
Leroux & Lotz
Other key lawyers:
‘Very good listening skills and therefore understanding of the customer ecosystem; very good capacity for synthesis.‘
‘The team is efficient both on the analysis of risks and opportunities and on the proposals.‘
AXA Group – XL Insurance Group Company
Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty
Brachot Hermant SAS
Comité des constructeurs français automobiles
SPL Plaine Commune Carrefour Pleyel
Allianz Vie Iard
Association Nationale des Conseils Diplômés en Gestion de Patrimoine (A.N.C.D.G.P.)
- Assisted insurance broker Planete CSCA with its criticism of the implementation of a new governmental regime designed to reform brokerage self-regulation.
- Provided support for Fashion Cube, a French textile group, for operating losses, declaration of claims, pre-litigation and litigation following the refusal of coverage by four of the major insurers.
- Advising XL Insurance Company SE, the liability insurer of an aircraft which collided in air with another aircraft in France in October 2020 causing five deaths.
Other key lawyers:
HMN & Partners
‘Pragmatic, very experienced in their fields.’
‘It is a pleasure to work with Dominique Heintz or Béatrice Deshayes whose professional and human qualities ensure serenity in the examination of cases and efficiency in the proposed solutions.’
‘Béatrice Deshayes has a real knowledge and practice of industrial risk insurance at the international level, which is very rare in the sector.’
‘HWH has understood the value of being a close partner to the client and a very experienced service provider. I have worked with Beatrice Deshayes a lot and she is a very committed lawyer who has been a tremendous help.’
‘Béatrice Deshayes: excellent capacity for legal analysis in German law, Austrian law and French law; great force of proposal; fair and pragmatic advice; good knowledge of insurance practices.’
Other key lawyers:
‘Very competent firm in insurance law.’
AmTrust International Underwriters
Ricardo Bofill Taller de Arquitectura
- Representing AXA France IARD, as liability insurer of a construction company, in relation to the large fire that broke out in the Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral in April 2019.
- Representing Ceetrus in a construction insurance dispute against the companies carrying out the construction and the project’s insurer, following a collapse on a site in Luxembourg that resulted in the death of a worker and bodily injuries to several others.
- Acting for AmTrust International Underwriters in its capacity as guarantor for the completion of construction operations made by various project owners—sellers in the future state of completion—in the event of a financial default on their part.
Cardif Lux Vie
Ormen Passemard – ORPA Legal
Chubb European Group SE (notably the France, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, Spain, UK affiliates)
Great Northern Insurance Company
‘PHPG is a strong partner for litigation and insurance.’
‘Firm of great technical competence, responsive team with great availability, excellent advice, especially in tense and/or conflictual situations with a very good knowledge of market players.’
‘Very available, attentive, pragmatic.’
‘Very good availability and excellent listening to integrate the whole of the problem before coming to bring a relevant legal analysis.’
‘The team is very responsive. It has in-depth knowledge of the business and is very close-knit, allowing significant continuity of follow-up.’
‘High listening capacity and high availability.’
Maersk Line A/S
Sas Degrémont France
Lion Air Airline
Navigators, RSA, Talbot Underwriting, Dakarnave
Hiscox MGA Limited Kazimo Trade And Investment Limited, Imperial Yachts Sarl
JDA – Joseph Dirand Architecture
SK Global Chemical
Jinwang Europe And Hunan Jinwang Bismuth Industrial Co.
RSA Group Plc, RSA France And RSA Luxembourg
Rayonier Advanced Materials
- Advising Maersk Line on a dispute between the company and various companies of the Bolloré Logistics group (China, South Korea, Philippines, Singapore, Spain, Italy, etc.) in connection with the fire that occured on board of the ship Maersk Honam, in the Arabian Sea, causing the death of five sailors and the loss of a large part of the cargo of 8,000 containers.
- Advised underwriters on a marine yacht insurance policy led by Hiscox in respect of a subrogated claim in the name of the two assureds Kazimo Trade and Investment Limited and Imperial Yachts.
- Advising RSA Luxembourg, subsidiary of the RSA Insurance Group plc, on insurance issues related to the rudder shafts for a marine vessel.