Next Generation Partners

Firms To Watch: Insurance

Bowers Law was established in 2020 and handles insurance disputes and a wide range of non-contentious matters.
Tsui & Co's Sam Tsui advises on insurance policy disputes, professional indemnity claims, as well as commercial agreement negotiations and regulatory matters.

Insurance in Hong Kong

Clyde & Co LLP

Clyde & Co LLP has a deep bench of dedicated practitioners who demonstrate strong capabilities in a range of contentious and non-contentious insurance matters. Noted for its considerable international experience, the group acts for insurance and reinsurance clients in both the general and life sectors. The team is led by Hong Kong managing partner Simon McConnell, who has expertise in professional indemnity, directors and officers claims, product liability and casualty matters. Joyce Chan acts for financial services institutions and intermediaries on corporate, regulatory and compliance matters. Recent developments included Rosie Ng joining from HFW in March 2021 and Desmond Lui being promoted to partner. Kevin Martin left for an in-house role at TransAsia Private Capital Limited.

Practice head(s):

Simon McConnell

Testimonials

‘I have really appreciated working with Rosie Ng for her numerous skills, including availability, proactivity, quality of advice and ability to innovate and propose the right solutions.’

‘Great team to work with and reliable on both cyber matters and product liability matters.’

‘Rosie Ng can handle very technical aspects of cases and forensic works, taking a very thorough and in-depth approach to cases.’

‘Simon McConnell has very reassuring communication skills and managing complex technical cases with multiple parties.’

‘I would describe Clyde & Co. as a very user-friendly firm that knows what clients are looking for, and the advice given is never something theoretical but very down to earth.’

‘Fees are always negotiable and indeed very reasonable in terms of the time spent and the quality of their work.’

‘There’s nothing I can criticise and this is the firm I use for insurance advice and litigation for most of the time.’

‘Rosie Ng has provided a personal, high quality service.’

Kennedys

On the contentious side, the insurance team at Kennedys advises clients on financial risks, casualty and liability, and healthcare and construction-related insurance matters. Elsewhere, non-contentious work is another driver of activity, including competition, regulatory, transactional and product development mandates. The group includes managing partner Rupert Skrine, who is dual-qualified in Hong Kong and England & Wales, and is particularly experienced in negligence claims. Joanie Ko is recommended for cyber matters, including cyber incident responses, coverage advice and policy drafting. Richard Bates handles corporate and commercial matters for life, health and general insurers and insurance intermediaries. Meiling Yip is a name to note for personal injury and casualty claims.

Other key lawyers:

Rudy Chung; Wilson Tam; Sandy Cho

Testimonials

‘They have international reach, as well as servicing the client to its fullest need.’

Knowledge of local market especially the local contacts local branches of International Insurers and local Chinese Insurers who we have on our slip.

Key clients

AIG

Allianz

AXA China Region Insurance Company Limited

Chubb Life Insurance Company Limited

Dual

FTLife Insurance Company Limited

MSIG

Prudential Hong Kong Limited

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended a construction site work injury claim in HCPI 69/2015 [2020] HKCFI 2928 – judgment handed down in November 2020. Not only was the claim dismissed but Defendant was also awarded indemnity costs and enhanced interest on costs at 10% above judgment rate as plaintiff was unable to beat the sanctioned payments made by the Defendant [2021] HKCFI 232.

Mayer Brown

Mayer Brown's team has considerable experience of insurance disputes, including major casualty and property claims, and it also handles professional negligence and cyber security matters. Personal injury and professional indemnity are other key areas of focus for the group, which has been involved in a number high-profile disaster and accident claims in Hong Kong. Angela Yim, who heads up the practice, is recommended for insurance litigation. Tow Lu Lim handles regulatory and compliance matters, claims and dispute resolution, and also advises on cybersecurity and ransomware attacks. Marina Fung has over 20 years of experience in personal injury matters and insurance litigation.

Practice head(s):

Angela Yim

Other key lawyers:

Tow Lu Lim; Marina Fung

Testimonials

‘The bilingual team has a distinct advantage in servicing our clients.’

‘The team always provides detailed responses in a timely manner.’

‘Tow Lu Lim is always available and very approachable in answering all my enquiries, literally any time, anywhere.’

Key clients

Peak Reinsurance

Swiss Reinsurance

AXA

AIG

Motor vehicle insurers of Citybus

Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Hong Kong

Employees’ Compensation Insurance Residual Scheme Bureau

Medix

Work highlights

  • Handled a tremendous volume of cyber incidents for various insurance policyholders in the past year.
  • Advised a number of insurers and insurance intermediaries on regulatory issues arising from use of trusts to apply for and hold insurance policies in compliance with the Insurance Authority guidelines.
  • Assisted Medix with negotiating and facilitating its exclusive agreement signed with AIA Hong Kong to provide personal medical case management service to eligible policyholders in Hong Kong.

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

The insurance team at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP has a strong focus on corporate M&A and regulatory work, and it handles transactions in Hong Kong, China and further afield in Asia. It regularly acts for clients on public and private transactions, with a focus on M&A, joint ventures, bancassurance and distribution agreements. Edwin Northover leads the group, which includes recently promoted international counsel Jan Buschmann.

Practice head(s):

Edwin Northover

Other key lawyers:

Jan Buschmann; Allison Lee

Testimonials

‘Excellent insurance M&A practice serving the entire region.’

‘Incredibly knowledgeable and very responsive to clients’ needs.’ 

‘The Debevoise lawyers are highly technically proficient, as well as incredibly knowledgeable of both the financial services/insurance sector and the region.’

‘The team is highly professional. We always receive competent and timely advice in the manner which allows us to make business decisions.’

‘Edwin Northover’s advice is always complete, clear, covers all aspects of the deal and is very helpful.’

‘Edwin Northover is able to navigate complex M&A deals with multiple parties.’

‘Debevoise has a very strong team in Hong Kong that we turn to for advice on important M&A matters and for their knowledge of the market.’ 

The team has a very good mix of technical expertise and clear understanding of the commercial and strategic imperatives of the client. This naturally is exactly what clients like us are looking for in our legal adviser – an ability to eliminate or minimise the risks while ensuring that the business objectives are still achieved.’

Key clients

AIA Group

Ant Group

FWD Goup

Prudential Financial

Resolution Group

Realord Holdings

Work highlights

  • Advising AIA Group on its acquisition of BEA Life Limited and 15-year exclusive bancassurance partnership with The Bank of East Asia, Limited (“BEA”).
  • Advising Realord Holdings on the insurance aspects of its takeover of Sincere Limited, a Hong Kong-listed company with a department store and other businesses, including two run-off insurance companies for HK$500m.
  • Advised Resolution Life on all stages of its acquisition of the Australian and New Zealand wealth protection and mature businesses of AMP Limited for AU$3bn.

RPC

RPC is well known in the market for handling high-profile contentious matters for leading international insurance companies operating in Asia. Working closely with counterparts in Singapore and the UK, the practice is also seeing an uptick in non-contentious instructions. With Antony Sassi at the helm, the team is active in the areas of construction, cyber, financial, professional indemnity and warrant and indemnity (W&I), among others. David Smyth defends professionals (including insurance brokers) in disciplinary and other regulatory investigations. Samuel Hung was promoted to partner in May 2021. Andrew Carpenter and Carmel Green are also names to note.

Practice head(s):

Antony Sassi

Testimonials

‘Excellent knowledge of the local and international market for financial lines, which helps them to provide excellent outcome driven advice.’

‘They understand their clients’ needs and challenge themselves to exceed expectations.’

‘Carmel Green’s ability to distil complex processes has been invaluable in allowing us to understand and get to grips with potentially significant claims and head towards a hugely satisfactory outcome.’

‘They have genuine expertise in contentious and non-contentious insurance matters.’  

‘Carmel Green instils great confidence that she will provide legally robust advice.’

‘Carmel Green works hard to find feasible and defensible positions to commercially challenging issues.’

‘Carmel Green is not only a technical lawyer but a good business lawyer that gives fantastic pragmatic advice and is always accessible.’

Key clients

AIG

Allianz

AWAC

Chubb

ESSAR (solicitors’ professional indemnity) insurance scheme

Generali

Liberty

Markel

QBE

Zurich

Work highlights

  • Defending BDO in Hong Kong proceedings commenced by the Sino-Forest Corporation Litigation Trust.
  • Defend BDO in proceedings commenced by the Provisional Liquidators of China Lumena New Materials Corp.
  • Defending 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 the audits of the group’s financial statements for the years ended 2008, 2009 and 2010.

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie’s full-service insurance practice covers a mix of transactional, regulatory compliance and enforcement matters for large multinational insurance companies. It continues to see a steady flow of instructions relating to investigations and it also has niche expertise in the insurtech space. Beyond the team in Hong Kong, the firm is also able to leverage the experience of practitioners across the wider international network to handle cross-border matters. The practice is led by Martin Tam.

Practice head(s):

Martin Tam

Other key lawyers:

Robert Wright; Bryan Ng

Testimonials

‘Martin Tam is highly experienced and has specialised in the insurance industry for a long time.’

‘Very responsive to client’s requests, able to understand our needs and requirements and come up with a solution that is both practical and accommodating.’

Martin Tam is very experienced in insurance regulatory matters and he is well-connected to the insurance regulator.’

Martin Tam is a seasoned professional who has been providing top-quality technical and precise legal advice in the insurance, financial services and regulatory areas for many years now and it is clear why he is seen as one of the leading practitioners in this area.’

Baker & McKenzie’s insurance practice is highly professional, knowing the insurance regulations and the market well. They have remarkable strength in M&A, applications for new licences, portfolio transfers, etc.. In addition, their in-depth knowledge and know-how in addressing technical issues for insurers and non-insurance institutions is also highly commended.

Martin is highly experienced, knowledgeable and committed to any tasks assigned to him. His valuable legal advice and opinions are always useful for our consideration when making decisions to move forward.’

Key clients

MetLife

Standard Chartered Bank

Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (“HKSAR”)

Allianz

Swiss Reinsurance Company Ltd.

Hong Kong Federation of Insurance

Work highlights

  • Assisting the Food and Health Bureau of the HKSAR with the ongoing regulation and approval of the Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme (VHIS) in Hong Kong.
  • Advised MetLife Inc. on the sale of MetLife’s Hong Kong life insurance business to FWD Management Holdings Limited, a member of the FWD Group.
  • Advised Standard Chartered Bank on an amendment and renewal exercise of a master credit facility (and a number of local facility agreements (x7) available in local currencies) to a global insurance company and its various subsidiaries and/or relevant branches in BVI, Bermuda, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia.

Ince

Ince has a strong presence in the insurance sector, as is reflected by the fact that it acts for insurers, reinsurers, brokers and policy holders, among many other clients. Its workload covers a broad cross-section of contentious and non-contentious matters, such as M&A, regulatory compliance, corporate governance and product liability. Kelvin Lee co-heads the practice with Rosita Lau, who is an expert in transportation-related insurance issues, as well as those concerning heavy machinery, property damage and personal injury.

Practice head(s):

Kelvin Lee; Rosita Lau

Other key lawyers:

Wai Yue Loh

Testimonials

‘Detailed research with different scenarios contemplated, good background information for clients without insurance law exposure.’

‘Good business sense and nice to work with.’

‘Kelvin Lee is very professional in the field of reinsurance, and is familiar with the terms and analysis of legal opinions.’

Key clients

PICC Property and Casualty Company Limited

China Re

China Export & Credit Insurance Corporation (Sinosure)

China Taiping Insurance Holdings Company Limited

AXA XL / AXA General Insurance

Zurich Insurance

Global Aerospace of Lloyd’s

The Hong Kong Airport Authority

TT Club/Thomas Miller

CM Houlder Insurance Brokers

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose FulbrightComparative Guides promotional icon's is equally adept at handling contentious and non-contentious insurance matters for clients, including corporate M&A, regulatory, dispute resolution and cybersecurity work. The team is jointly led by James Parker and Etelka Bogardi. Parker is recommended for corporate finance transactions, while Bogardi advises financial services companies (including insurance companies) on compliance issues. Emma de Ronde relocated to London in March 2021.

Practice head(s):

James Parker; Etelka Bogardi

Other key lawyers:

Graeme Mackay

Testimonials

Their strong global footprint makes engaging across jurisdictions relatively straightforward. NRF have a lot of knowledge of the insurance industry.’

Key clients

AIG

China Taiping Insurance Holdings Company Limited

Europ Assistance

Fusion Specialty

HCC Tokio Marine

Taiping Reinsurance Co. Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Advised China Taiping (0966.HK) and Taiping Reinsurance on Ageas’ subscription of 25% in the share capital of Taiping Reinsurance.
  • Advised various underwriters including AIG, HCC Tokio Marine and Fusion Specialty on putting in place warranty and indemnity insurance policies in relation to various M&A transactions.
  • Advised a Singapore-based reinsurance company in relation to the proposed internal transfer of its Hong Kong general insurance business from its Hong Kong branch to its Singapore branch.

Deacons

Deacons' team advises clients on a wide range of contentious matters, including those involving statutory insurance (employees’ compensation and compulsory third party motor claims) and general claims. It also has expertise in commercial insurance issues, such as policy, life assurance and regulatory matters. In addition, insurance-related restructurings and insolvencies are another cornerstone of the practice, which is led by Alfred Tam. The firm attracts work from domestic and international insurance companies, policy holders, intermediaries and regulators, among other clients.

Practice head(s):

Alfred Tam

Testimonials

‘This firm’s knowledge of insurance law is second to none.’

‘They are prompt to reply to clients’ enquiries and requests.’

‘They are willing to find alternative solutions with you and are flexible to meet your standard.’

‘In-depth knowledge of personal injury litigation involving all degrees of complexity.’

‘Impeccable team work from senior partners to trainee solicitors.’

‘Good reputation with the judges of all levels so as to facilitate case management in best favour of insurers.’

‘Endless resources and pervasive network, in particular with medical experts of all specialities, which are of paramount importance when handling the number of on-going cases at the same time.’

‘Alfred Tam, the team leader, is a talented individual who is always on the top of the law and is a pleasure to work with.’

Work highlights

  • Acting for a renowned insurer in successfully contesting quantum of employees’ compensation and obtaining costs of the action on behalf of Tung Wah Group of Hospitals.
  • Acted for The Kowloon Motor Bus Co. (1933) Limited in resisting an over HK$10m personal injuries claim and secured a costs order against the plaintiff on an indemnity basis with interest at the statutory maximum of 10% above judgment rate.
  • Representing a leading construction company in proving that a claimant was a malingerer.

Herbert Smith Freehills

Herbert Smith Freehills’ integrated practice handles contentious, transactional and regulatory matters, which are often cross-border in nature. Gareth Thomas acts for clients such as international insurers, major corporates and financial institutions. He co-heads the practice with Tommy Tong, who is recommended for insurance-related corporate and commercial matters.

Practice head(s):

Gareth Thomas; Tommy Tong

Testimonials

‘One of the few large firms who are prepared to act against insurers. Great expertise in this field.’

‘Excellent knowledge of resolving insurance disputes.’

Key clients

Hong Kong Rugby Union

Work highlights

  • Advising Hong Kong Rugby Union on event cancellation insurance in relation to claims arising from the cancellation of the2020 Hong Kong Sevens due to COVID-19.

Reed Smith Richards Butler

Reed Smith Richards Butler handles a mix of contentious and non-contentious work, with the former including professional negligence cases, as well as personal injury and professional indemnity claims. It also provides shipping-related insurance advice. Asha Sharma, who heads up the team, is a name to note for litigation.

Practice head(s):

Asha Sharma

Testimonials

‘In the financial sector, the team has rich experience in regulations and compliance, coupled with comprehensive system data management; they can regularly update on the requirements of regulatory agencies, and give customers the most reliable advice’.

‘Asha Sharma has good communication skills; After listening to the customer’s situation and requirements, she can give customers accurate solutions, and can respond to different perspectives and provide customers with different opinions for reference’.

Their partner Asha Sharma is very speedy and professional and understand well the needs/instructions of the client.’