Insurance: insolvency and restructuring in London
Clyde & Co LLP's insolvency and restructuring Insurance practice is valued for its 'exceptional' expertise in Lloyd's market restructuring cases and Part VII portfolio transfers, which often have a cross-border element. The 'invaluable' Ravi Masaon, who is 'a real powerhouse on Part VII transfers' leads a 'very responsive, friendly and helpful' team. William Hogarth recently led the firm's team advising new client Phoenix on its £9bn insurance business transfer. Another busy area of work for the team has been restructurings related to Brexit.
Other key lawyers:
William Hogarth; Ivor Edwards
‘The team is very responsive, friendly and helpful, but their knowledge of the practice area is what makes them stand out. They are true insurance specialists with experience to help with any situation we find ourselves in, and this is what sets them apart and keeps us coming back to them for advice and guidance.’
‘One of the largest corporate insurance practices in the City of London with an excellent ratio of experienced partners to associates. This ensures that there is a depth of expertise not always found in other top tier firms. It also generates confidence in the thoroughness and experience of advice delivered by the firm. The firm’s expertise in Lloyd’s market restructuring and Part VII portfolio transfers is exceptional.’
‘They take great care to ensure their clients receive a gold standard service.’
‘Ivor Edwards has detailed knowledge of the rules and a terrific appreciation of the big picture. He is always able to come up with a pragmatic answer to a difficult problem.’
‘Ravi Masaon a real powerhouse on Part VII transfers. Generates flawless documents and always willing to do the heavy lifting.’
‘Fiona Cassidy has an undimmable work ethic. She will always deliver a detailed document.’
‘Ravi Masaon was invaluable in helping guide us through the process of our Part VII transaction, which was subject to shortened timelines and last minute changes. In particular, his organised and thorough approach to what we needed to do and when we needed to do it was especially helpful. Ravi is extremely responsive and always happy to help and come up with workable, realistic solutions, often on short notice. We were very happy with Ravi’s work and support and quite frankly could not have got our transaction done without him.’
‘Ravi Masaon is the standout lawyer in Clyde & Co’s insolvency and restructuring practice. A Part VII specialist who is extremely adept at solving client challenges and identifying how best to restructure insurance businesses (whether as part of an intra-group restructuring or in the context of big-ticket M&A work). A lawyer who is efficient but also engaging – he is a leading practitioner who also takes great care to ensure his clients receive a gold standard service.’
Phoenix Group -Abbey Life and Phoenix Life
Travelers Insurance Group – Travelers Insurance Company Limited and Travelers Insurance DAC
- Represented Phoenix Group on its £9bn insurance business transfer involving the transfer of 720,000 policyholders from Abbey Life Assurance Company Limited to Phoenix Life Limited.
Praised for its 'excellent technical skills', the insurance insolvency and restructuring team at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP 'compares favourably to magic circle firms working on the same deals'. Geoffrey Maddock has led the firm's team on more than twenty transfers of insurance business. Other key partners include Barnaby Hinnigan, who has extensive experience in the sector, and worked on a number of of Brexit-related projects during 2018.
Hogan Lovells International LLP's impressive track record in insolvency matters speaks for the firm's significant capabilities in this space. Practice head Joe Bannister has a wealth of experience to draw upon, having worked on a raft of market-leading matters including the Lehman Brothers administration, the Orion scheme of arrangement and, in the past year, the Scottish Re group restructuring, working in tandem with his counterparts in the US. The London team is able to leverage the wider firm's significant global presence to attract an international client base, which includes some of the biggest insurers in the market.
Scottish Re Group
The London and Overseas Insurance Company Limited and OIC Run – Off Limited, acting by their joint Scheme Administrators, Dan Schwarzmann and Clare Whitcombe of PwC
- Advised The Scheme Administrators of OIC Run-Off Limited and The London and Overseas Insurance Company Limited (OIC) on all legal matters relating to the implementation of closure schemes of arrangement.
- Continued to advise The Scottish Re Group on the English law aspects of the recently filed Chapter 11 cases and Bermuda and Cayman liquidation cases.
- Advised The Royal London Mutual Insurance Society Limited on its offer to its policyholders to adapt their pension policies to the more flexible ‘pension freedoms’ environment.
The team at Mayer Brown International LLP benefits from 'diverse connections to other practice groups' around the US firm's global network, enabling it to handle complex cross-border mandates. Areas of particular expertise include long tail liability issues, insurtech and insurance-linked securities. Practice head Devi Shah and Colin Scagell are praised for their 'pragmatic' approach, while counsel Alexandra Wood is also recommended. In 2018 Shah and Wood were both part of the firm's team advising on insolvency of Lloyd's corporate member ACAL Underwriting Limited, securing an important High Court decision which brought the matter to a conclusion.
‘The team has diverse connections to other practice groups. not just in the UK but also in the worldwide Mayer Brown organisation, which makes it particularly helpful in identifying, tackling and resolving issues that involves multiple countries/jurisdictions. They work as a virtual one stop shop for any necessary legal resources that are unavailable internally at our company, whether in UK, US and Japan.’
‘Devi Shah and Colin Scagell have been very pragmatic in their approach to providing recommendations and opinions in instances where other competitors had taken a rather more overly cautious approach that would have resulted in an unnecessarily increase workload.’
Ernst & Young LLP
Pension Protection Fund
Government of Gibraltar
- Acted for the joint provisional liquidators of ACAL Underwriting, the corporate member of Lloyd’s Syndicate 1965, which ceased underwriting and was placed into run-off following losses due to natural catastrophes in the Asia Pacific region in 2010-11.
- Advising the Government of Gibraltar on its strategy to attract insurance-linked securities business to the jurisdiction
The insurance restructuring practice at Norton Rose Fulbright handles some of the most high-profile Part VII transfers in the market, working with a premium roster of top insurer clients including Travelers, which it recently advised on the transfer of the entirety of the business of Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of Europe. The hugely experienced James Bateson leads the team, supported by partners including Robert (Bob) Haken and David Whear, both of who have a track record of restructuring work, and Maria Ross, who has expertise in Part VIIs. Nicholas Berry, who leads the firm's London insurtech practice, is also well-regarded.
Aquiline Capital Partners
Charles Taylor plc
Electrical Contractors Association
North of England
Towergate Insurance Group
- Advised AXIS Managing Agency Limited, the managing agent of Lloyd’s Syndicate 2007, on the transfer of approximately $1.1bn of gross liabilities and supporting assets to Syndicate 2008 managed by StarStone Underwriting Limited, part of the Enstar Group.
- Advised on the establishment of Pioneer Underwriting Limited’s own Lloyd’s Syndicate.
- Advised Travelers on the Part VII insurance business transfer of the entirety of the business of Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of Europe to another group entity.
- Advising Riverstone on the transfer of the management of Syndicate 780 to RiverStone’s managing agency, the interavailability of Advent’s funds at Lloyd’s to RiverStone’s corporate member and the sale of the remainder of the business of Advent to RiverStone.
Pinsent Masons LLP has a strong offering in insolvency and restructuring; practice head Hammad Akhtar has a track record of work on cross-border Part VII transfers and regularly works with large insurance groups on their Brexit strategies, including Royal London Group, which he recently advised on the cross-border transfer of life insurance business. He is assisted by legal director Matthew Brewer, who joined from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP in late 2017 and has been leading on the Part VII transfer process relating to Zurich's sale of its UK workplace pensions business to Lloyds Banking Group, involving assets under administration of £15bn.
Other key lawyers:
Legal & General
Royal London Group
- Advised Royal London Group on its Brexit strategy and the implementation of a complex cross-border transfer of life insurance business and related reinsurance and collateral arrangements.
- Advised Zurich on the sale of its workplace pensions business to Scottish Widows and the Part VII transfer of that business.
- Advising Zurich on its disposal, via auction sale, of the leading UK student insurance specialist, Endsleigh, to private equity backed A-Plan.
- Advising actuarial consultancy firm Milliman on a (solvent) creditor scheme of arrangement that is being undertaken by one of the largest UK insurance consolidator groups.
- Advising a UK insurer on the disposal of a managing general agent.
In the insurance restructuring and insolvency space, RPC's team advises on loss portfolio and Part VII transfers (both in the life and non-life, and in the legacy space), run-offs, Lloyd's members restructurings and schemes of arrangement. Matthew Griffith leads the practice; he has compelling transactional experience and carries out Brexit-related work for many broking groups, and the team recently advised Equitable Life on its Brexit-related restructuring. Former insolvency and restructuring head Vivien Tyrell stepped down as partner and now acts as a consultant to the firm.
Millburn Insurance Company Limited
- Advising on RSA’s Brexit project, assisting in the establishment of a new EU insurance company for RSA and a cross-border transfer of RSA’s European business.
- Advising Equitable Life on its Brexit-related restructuring including its cross-border Part VII long term insurance business transfer scheme.
- Advising the joint liquidators of Millburn Insurance Company Ltd, an insolvent insurance carrier.
- Represented a US insurer opposing an English jurisdiction solvent scheme of arrangement.
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP's insurance insolvency and restructuring team benefits from its position as part of the US firm's global insolvency and restructuring practice, and has been involved in a number of the most-profile insurance restructurings in recent years. The practice also works in tandem with the firm's private funds group, positioning it to win more work relating to the restructuring of insurance companies and assets. Practice head Alexander Wood works alongside Mark Lawford, restructuring heavyweight Andrew Wilkinson and recently promoted partner Gemma Sage.
Alexander Wood; Andrew Wilkinson; Mark Lawford
‘A really top-end restructuring team.’
‘Alex Wood is an excellent lawyer and communicator with bundles of experience across a range of sectors.’
The T&N Asbestos Trustee Company Limited
- Acting for KPMG as judicial managers to BAICO Barbados, part of the insolvent Eastern Caribbean BAICO insurance group.
- Advising the directors of The T&N Asbestos Trustee Company, in its capacity as trustee of certain trusts, set up pursuant to the CVAs of T&N Limited and its affiliates to pay holders of asbestos-related personal injury claims against T&N.