Insurance in Hong Kong
Clyde & Co LLP
Simon McConnell leads the insurance practice at Clyde & Co LLP which counts brokers, insurers, financial institutions, as well as their professionals, as clients, and has expertise in advising on product, motor and aviation liability matters, distribution agreements, M&As, and regulatory issues, to name a few areas. Patrick Perry is very experienced in construction insurance, and senior associate Gillian Morrissey has expertise in corporate and regulatory insurance matters. In 2019 Peter Coles joined from HFW.
Kennedys is widely recognised for its strength in both non-contentious and contentious insurance matters. In the case of the former, corporate work dominates the team's workload, including transactions; regarding the latter, construction accidents and healthcare claims have been prominent of late. Rupert Skrine, Richard Bates and Meiling Yip share leadership of the practice. Joanie Ko is a key contact for financial-related insurance work.
Other key lawyers:
The team at Mayer Brown has been kept busy handling high-value transactional mandates alongside contentious work, predominantly claims resulting from high-profile motor and construction fatalities. The key contacts are insurance litigator Angela Yim, Tow Lu Lim, who has expertise in handling warranty and indemnity insurance disputes, and Marina Fung, who handles motor and product liability work.
Hartford Financial Services Group
- Advising the motor vehicle insurers of Citybus in respect of claims arising from a motor accident, resulting in two fatalities and a number of injuries.
- Representing the Employees’ Compensation insurers of HK Electric in a recovery action issued against the Director of the Marine Department and the shipbuilder of Lamma IV relating to compensation and damages paid to victims and dependants arising from the 2012 Lamma Island ferry collision, reported as Hong Kong’s worst maritime accident since 1971.
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP has 'detailed knowledge of the insurance market' and houses a team which provides 'commercial and practical advice', particularly on high-value M&A transactions. The 'approachable' Edwin Northover leads the practice. Associate Jan Buschmann is very experienced in reinsurance matters.
Other key lawyers:
- Assisted AIA with its $500m investment in online healthcare services firm WeDoctor, including establishing the client as WeDoctor’s preferred provider of life and health insurance.
- Assisted AIA with its acquisition of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA)’s life insurance business, and the CBA’s life and health insurance businesses in New Zealand.
- Advised AIG on the multimillion-dollar sale of its remaining stake in the People’s Insurance Company of China (PICC).
Professional indemnity defence work is a core strength of Howse Williams’ practice. In this space, the team assists indemnity providers and insurers for a broad client base in Hong Kong, and has particular expertise in the healthcare sector, for example advising a range of medical professionals and entities on drug liability claims and the import and distribution of pharmaceutical products. The group is also well known for assisting brokers, underwriters and intermediaries with a broad range of insurance and reinsurance matters. Chris Howse is the name to note.
Antony Sassi heads up the practice at RPC, which is defending BDO against claims brought by timber company Sino-Forest alleging negligence by the client during the course of audits of the group's financial statements, resulting in alleged monetary loss. Senior consultant David Smyth and Carmel Green are key names.
- Acting for KPMG in proceedings brought by the liquidators of a US-listed medical technology company, concerning audit papers for China-based entities which collapsed after alleged management fraud.
- Advising an international insurance company on handling a cyber breach attack where bitcoins were demanded as ransom.
- Representing insured directors and firms in SFC regulatory investigations.
The insurance team at Deacons is known for handling contentious insurance work for a client base of international and domestic insurers and reinsurers, governmental entities and prominent names from a range of sectors. Instructions include occupiers’ liability matters, employee compensation claims, public liability and catastrophic injuries. Alfred Tam leads the department.
Ince's practice is well known for its niche expertise in marine insurance; reinsurance mandates also feature in the team's workload. Kelvin Lee, who leads the firm's North Asia insurance and reinsurance practice, heads up the group: his key speciality is handling coverage disputes concerning marine cargo and marine hull policies, and he is equally adept at cases regarding machinery breakdown. Lee also represents brokers and insurers in non-contentious matters. Regulatory specialist Rosita Lau is 'meticulous, hands-on and hardworking'.
Other key lawyers:
China Taiping Insurance
Norton Rose Fulbright's 'very responsive and commercial' team counts high-value cross-border transactions and M&As as core strengths, and have been particularly busy advising on cases involving warranty and indemnity matters. Emma de Ronde and James Parker share leadership of the practice.
‘Norton Rose Fulbright display comprehensive expertise across the insurance sector, with strong bench-strength‘.
Hyperion Insurance Group
- Represented insurance provider Fusion Specialty as underwriter of a buy-side transactional insurance policy regarding a $212m acquisition of a US-based biotech/healthcare company; this marked Fusion’s entry into the Asian market.
- Advised Chubb Insurance Singapore on a buy-side warranty and indemnity insurance policy regarding Alpha Investment Partners’ acquisition of Singapore-incorporated property holding SPVs.
The 'very client-oriented' team at DLA Piper is very active in transactional work, including joint ventures, M&A matters, and investments, and also advises on insurance regulatory issues. Heng Loong Cheong shares leadership of the practice with Shanghai-based Roy Chan, Peter Shelford in Bangkok and John Goulios in Singapore.
ACE Life Insurance
Ping An Insurance
China Life Insurance
- Advised CVS Health and Aetna on the changes to the regulatory control approval processes in non-US jurisdictions (where Aetna provides health insurance) following the merger of the two companies.
- Advised Aflac on its $20m minority equity investment in life insurance company Singapore Life.
Herbert Smith Freehills
Herbert Smith Freehills has particular strength in contentious insurance mandates, although the practice is equally adept at handling transactional matters, including capital markets, M&A, and joint ventures. Regulatory issues are another main area of expertise for the group. Gareth Thomas and Tommy Tong lead the practice.
Tim Fletcher and litigation specialist Mark Lin lead Hogan Lovells' insurance team, which has been kept busy handling, among other mandates, domestic and international life insurance portfolio transfers, regulatory matters, and insurance financing transactions.
Reed Smith Richards Butler
Asha Sharma is the key contact at Reed Smith Richards Butler, which is very experienced in handling insurance-related litigation, including professional negligence claims. Shipping-related insurance litigation is another area of expertise for the group.