Insurance in United Arab Emirates

Clyde & Co LLP

Clyde & Co LLP is active in the non-contentious insurance space, as well as being a popular choice for insurers and reinsurers in disputes. Wayne Jones is active in insurance litigation in the wake of major incidents such as fires, while Mark Beswetherick, Michael Morris and Alfred Thornton have coverage dispute expertise, particularly at the intersection with the energy industry. Peter Hodgins contributes expertise concerning both UAE regulated insurance products and on structuring them offshore, as well as as such work around M&A deals in the industry. Michael Ducker and Farsi speaker Roshanak Bassiri Gharb are key legal directors.

Practice head(s):

Wayne Jones; Mark Beswetherick

Other key lawyers:

Michael Morris; Alfred Thornton; Peter Hodgins; Michael Ducker; Roksanak Bassiri Gharb

Testimonials

‘I am absolutely delighted with Clyde & Co. From the moment I met with Peter Hodgins, one of the lead partners, I was pretty comfortable. He has been essential to the success of our business and his knowledge in life insurance is very impressive. He has brought in his team where necessary and co-ordinated the legal work from various law firms globally who were consulted for this project. The strength is bringing it all together, reducing costs by focusing lawyers on a particular matter and having a commercial and entrepreneurial mindset that favours the client.’

‘I cannot speak more highly of Peter Hodgins. I treat him like a member of our team and he is always on hand to assist when we need advice and guidance. His knowledge of life insurance is second to none. There have been several occasions when his knowledge has helped us overcome what we thought were insurmountable problems or issues. Without his knowledge and understanding we would have not been able to move our business forward. He has been integral to the success we have had.’

Roshanak Bassiri Gharb’s guidance and advice has been brilliant. I always feel she is looking out for me and my business and raises issues with me that she believes I should know or understand. She is tenacious and works very hard for us to get the result we need.

‘We consider Clyde & Co to be a top tier law firm and we are reliably assured that any issues tackled by Clyde will be handled in the most professional manner. With Clydes having vast knowledge of both regional and international laws we feel that we are in safe hands in resolving any disputes. The lawyers are very much hands on, personable and focused on getting the most out of the team. ’

‘We work a lot with Michael Ducker, Legal Director, who has impressed us a lot with his deep understanding of the liability disputes arising out of of property and casualty classes of insurance. Michael has in depth knowledge of the regional as well as international laws on insurance and I have found him proactive in solving issues in a prompt manner.’

Key clients

Swiss Re

Munich Re

Zurich Insurance Company

Al Ain Ahlia Insurance Company

Orient Insurance Company

Oman Insurance Company

Emirates Insurance Company

Bahrain Kuwait Insurance Company

Zurich International Life Limited (Dubai Branch)

MetLife Insurance Company

Finmaal DMCC

Capital For Life FZE Ltd

Work highlights

  • Represented the insurers and reinsurers in Qatari litigation against the owners of the Villaggio Mall concerning property damage and business interruption claims stemming from a fire which killed 19 in 2012.
  • Advised numerous life insurers on new regulations by the UAE Insurance Authority (Board of Directors Decision No. 49 of 2019).
  • Advised Orient Insurance Company and its reinsurers on litigation following the fire at the Address Hotel in 2015.

HFW

Sam Wakerley is a key contact for insurance and reinsurance disputes at HFW, which covers the gamut of contentious and non-contentious work in the space including litigation in the wake of major disasters. John Barlow, who divides his time between Dubai and Riyadh, is notable for the non-contentious regulatory work on top of a disputes practice. One particular area of strength for the firm is work is aviation insurance work. As regional head of aviation, Richard Gimblett has a global practice in disputes in the wake of aircraft incidents, and Charles Cockrell, who is particularly noted for his work involving African airlines, is also active in this area.

Practice head(s):

Sam Wakerley; Richard Gimblett

Other key lawyers:

John Barlow; Charles Cockrell

Key clients

Al-Futtaim Willis Co LLC

Oman Insurance Company

Zurich Insurance Company

IFFCO

AXA Insurance

Emirates Insurance Company

Urbacon

Trust Insurance

Oman Methanol Company LLC

Emirates NBD

Qatar Reinsurance Company

Al Rajhi Bank

Chubb

Flydubai

Work highlights

  • Advised on business interruption claims concerning major hotels, restaurants and entertainment venue brands across the GCC arising out of the Covid-19 pandemic and related lockdowns.
  • Acting on behalf of flydubai and its insurers in response to the loss of Flydubai Flight 981,  Boeing 737 which  crashed on approach to Rostov-on-Don Airport on 19 March 2016

Kennedys

At Kennedys, Peter Ellingham advises on potential and active coverage disputes, including ones concerning D&O insurance and matters in the wake of major fires and disasters concerning key infrastructure. Nick Humphrey  is a key name in the aviation insurance defence space, representing leading regional airlines and their insurers.

Practice head(s):

Peter Ellingham

Other key lawyers:

Nick Humphrey

Key clients

AIG

Argo

Axa

Chubb

Enstar

RSA

SCOR

The New India Assurance Company Limited (Dubai Branch)

Trust Re

Zurich Insurance Company

Work highlights

  • Advised several re-insurers on business interruption claims concerning Covid-19.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Thomas Bicknell and senior associate Marie Chowdhry are the key names in a Pinsent Masons LLP team that focuses on non-contentious corporate, licensing and regulatory advice to trade credit, health and life insurers as well as industry service providers, wealth managers, brokerages, claims administrators and reinsurers.

Practice head(s):

Tom Bicknell

Other key lawyers:

Marie Chowdhry

Key clients

Coface Group

National Life and General

AU Group

Aviva

Providence Life

Harrison Rowe

Partner Re

Work highlights

  • Acting for Coface on structuring its local partner distribution arrangements across the GCC.
  • Advising National Life and General on cross-border policyholder data transmission and retention.
  • Acting for AU Group on its regional structuring.

BSA Ahmad Bin Hezeem & Associates LLP

BSA Ahmad Bin Hezeem & Associates LLP's head of insurance and reinsurance Simon Isgar handles a range of transactional work, including M&A in the conventional insurance and takaful space, as well as providing advice on onshore UAE regulation. Anand Singh is a key senior associate who has been active in a number of instech matters.

Practice head(s):

Simon Isgar

Other key lawyers:

Anand Singh

Testimonials

‘The team at BSA is extremely hands on and approachable. They do not just have legal knowledge but also a firm grasp on ground realities and the market pulse in the sector. Their advice always factors all of this.’

‘Anand Singh is exceptional at breaking down an issue and laying it out for you to appreciate the legal challenges. He is extremely approachable and explains the pros and cons of an action in a simple manner which can be further explained to business. Providing workable solutions is his forte.’

‘The insurance team is user-friendly, pro-active and have a thorough knowledge of insurance law across the region. They provide a great service to foreign (English) lawyers who need advice on the application of local law to losses and claims which occur in the region.’

‘Simon Isgar is very helpful, responsive and has a good commercial understanding of how the local insurance markets, as well as the insurance market in London, operate.’

Key clients

Munich Re

AIG

Al Hilal Takaful

Assicurazioni Generali S.p.A. (Generali)

Bupa Global & UK

HDFC Life & Re

Policybazaar India

Al Rajhi Takaful KSA

Abdul Latif Jameel, KSA

Neuron

Work highlights

  • Advised Siraj Holding on its purchase of Al Hilal Takaful.
  • Advised Policybazaar India on its creation of an insurance brokerage in the UAE.
  • Advised Healthcare International UK on the structuring of its Middle East business, setting up a Category 4 entity in the DIFC.

Ince

At Ince, Mohamed El Hawawy is active in a range of coverage disputes, as well as providing pre-dispute advice on matters ranging from Covid-19 to D&O insurance. Clients include international and regional insurers, as well as local insured businesses. It has a strong caseload of maritime matters, reflecting the firm's strength in the London market.

Practice head(s):

Mohamed El Hawawy; Khalid Hamed

Key clients

Global Underwriting Limited

The New India Assurance Co Limited

Work highlights

  • Providing coverage and liability defence advice to Global Underwriting Limited in respect of a claim made by a cargo owner against the insured for the theft of cargo during transportation.
  • Representing The New India Assurance Co in a policy coverage dispute under a marine hull break-up policy after a tow line moving a vessel from Africa to India for scrappage broke, leaving the vessel floating off the coast of Durban.

Norton Rose Fulbright

In addition to advising warranties and indemnity insurers on deals as part of her M&A practice, Norton Rose Fulbright's Adjou Ait Ben Idir and contentious insurance specialist counsel Shabnam Karim (the latter having joined from Clyde & Co LLP in January 2020) advise insurers on policy coverage issues, corporate acquisitions and regulatory issues in the space.

Practice head(s):

Adjou Ait Ben Idir

Other key lawyers:

Shabnam Karim