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  1. Insurance: non-contentious
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Leading lawyers

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Commended for its ‘solution-orientated approach’, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP has ‘a noteworthy ability to get the right outcome for its clients in a commercial fashion’ and the team advises on high-stakes insurance M&A, as well as regulatory matters, pension risk transfers and private equity investments. Nicholas Potter, who heads the team with John Vasily, advised CF Corporation and The Blackstone Group on the $1.8bn all-cash acquisition of Fidelity & Guaranty Life. Marilyn Lion advised Wilton Re on its acquisition of Aegon Transamerica’s two largest US run-off businesses. Vasily, Potter and others also advised AXA on its proposed IPO of interests in its US life insurance business, including AXA Financial and AXA Equitable. E. Drew Dutton, who is based across the New York and Hong Kong offices, worked alongside a cross-office team in advising AIG on the sale of its Japanese life insurance business to FWD. Alexander Cochran, Thomas Kelly and David Grosgold are also noted. All named individuals are based in New York unless otherwise stated.

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP is praised for its experience in cross-border M&A and capital markets transactions, as well as its strong regulatory capabilities. Stephen Kotran, who has ‘great technical skills’, Robert DeLaMater and Marion Leydier led advice for China Oceanwide Holdings Group on its $2.7bn acquisition of Genworth Financial. Andrew Gerlach represented GSO Capital Partners as part of an investor group providing equity financing in connection with CF Corporation’s $1.8bn acquisition of Fidelity & Guaranty Life, and also represents AIG, alongside Heather Coleman, in multiple matters involving Hamilton Insurance Group, including its memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Hamilton Insurance Group and Two Sigma Insurance Quantified, an independent affiliate of Two Sigma Investments, to expand their partnership with a view to leading the data-driven evolution of underwriting. William Torchiana, who is based across the New York and Paris offices, is also recommended. Named lawyers are based in New York unless otherwise stated.

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP’s ‘impressive’ transactional and regulatory department advises on a range of high-value M&A and capital markets mandates and is noted for its experience in alternative risk transfer solutions. Department co-head John Schwolsky led advice for MetLife in connection with the formation, capitalization and spin-off of its US retail life insurance and annuity operations, which culminated in the spin-off of its subsidiary Brighthouse Financial. Schwolsky is also advising Assurant in its $2.5bn deal to acquire The Warranty Group. Michael Groll and Rajab Abbassi are representing Aetna in its $1.45bn definitive agreement to sell its US group life and disability business to The Hartford. Department co-head Alexander Dye is advising Genworth Financial on its agreement to be acquired by China Oceanwide Holdings Group. Representing Allied World Assurance Company Holdings in its merger with Fairfax Financial Holdings was another highlight for the team. Gregory Astrachan, senior counsel Donald Henderson, Vladimir Nicenko, Allison Tam and Matthew Stern are also recommended among the New York-based team.

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IP specialist Finnegan detail how their collaborative approach makes for a unique culture which is designed to allow them to work with clients in a way which is cognizant of the challenges facing all companies today.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP is a ‘go-to’ firm for complex insurance and reinsurance transactions. The team also advises on regulatory matters, statutory accounting issues, risk-based capital, and other financial implications for insurance companies. Practice head Todd Freed, Jon Hlafter and Dwight Yoo advised Endurance Specialty Holdings, a publicly traded provider of property and casualty insurance and reinsurance, on its $6.3bn acquisition by Sompo Holdings, and Michael Homison is advising Centene Corporation on its pending $3.8bn acquisition of substantially all of the assets of Fidelis Care, a New York-based non-profit insurer. Freed, Homison and Robert Sullivan also advised Liberty Mutual Insurance Company on its $3bn acquisition of Ironshore from Fosun International. Advising The Warranty Group and its parent company TPG Capital on its $2.5bn acquisition by Assurant was another highlight for the team, as was advising Fidelity & Guaranty Life on its $1.8bn acquisition by CF Corporation. All individuals mentioned are based in New York.

Eversheds Sutherland’s transactional and regulatory team has a ‘strong reinsurance practice’, is adept at pension risk transfer mandates, and is applauded for its ‘exceptional industry knowledge and business acumen’. It represented Nationwide in its acquisition of Jefferson National Financial Corporation. The Committee of Annuity Insurers is also a client. Bert Adams, James Dwyer and the ‘brilliant’ Atlanta-based Scott Burton in Atlanta are recommended, as are Ling Ling, who has ‘deep knowledge and extensive experience in reinsurance’, counsel Matthew Hazlett, who is ‘very responsive’, and of counsel David Massey in Washington DC. Cynthia Shoss and Stephen Roth, who is also based in Washington DC, lead the team. Named individuals are based in New York unless otherwise indicated.

Mayer Brown handles international transactional mandates for global insurance players and is active in M&A, corporate finance and capital raising transactions in the insurance sector. The team is particularly adept at catastrophe bond transactions, advising insurers and reinsurers, banks and other financial institutions, insurance brokers, and investors such as private equity firms, hedge funds and dedicated funds. Department heads David Alberts and Stephen Rooney in New York led advice for The Hartford on its acquisition of Aetna’s US group life and disability business for $1.45bn. Alberts and Richard Spitzer represented Armour Group in the formation of a new insurance fund for run-off insurance investments in collaboration with Credit Suisse Asset Management. Munich Re, Beazley, The Hartford Financial Services Group, Catalina Holdings and AllLife are also clients. Lawrence Hamilton in Chicago, Francis Monaco and Magnus Karlberg are also recommended. Named lawyers are based in New York unless otherwise stated. James Woods has left the firm.

Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP’s ‘reliable and responsive’ team handles transactions and regulatory matters in the insurance industry, as well as related capital markets matters, and its ‘industry and regulatory knowledge is top notch’. It is advising Atlas Merchant Capital as co-lead investor in the pending acquisition of Talcott Resolution, the run-off life insurance and annuity division of The Hartford, and advised Atlas Merchant Capital and its fund, Atlas Merchant Capital Fund, on their equity investment in Somerset Reinsurance. In New York, department head Bernhardt Nadell stands out for his ‘thoroughness and for his attention to detail’, while Michele Jacobson, who ‘grasps difficult concepts quickly’, Robert Lewin, who handles regulatory matters, and Bradley Kulman, who is noted for transactional matters, are also recommended.

Clifford Chance is experienced across domestic and international capital markets, complex M&A and regulatory mandates. Gary Boss, who co-heads the US insurance group with Nicholas Williams, advised on the creation of Harrington Reinsurance Holdings and its wholly owned subsidiary Harrington Re. Boss also advised Assurant on its acquisition of Green Tree Insurance Agency, and handled the formation and capital raise of KaylaRe Holdings and its wholly owned subsidiary KaylaRe Ltd. Senior counsel Paul Meyer, who handles insurance company investment and regulatory matters, capital markets expert Per Chilstrom, and associate Analisa Dillingham are also recommended. The team has been bolstered by the arrivals of transactional lawyer Joseph Cosentino, who re-joined the firm from Greenberg Traurig, LLP, and regulatory specialist Alice Kane, who joined as counsel from Duane Morris LLP. All lawyers mentioned are based in the New York office.

DLA Piper LLP (US) handles a range of complex transactions, including capital markets, joint ventures and M&A, and regulatory mandates in the insurance space. It is noted for its experience in advising insurance companies and those entering the insurance market on all aspects of capital investment and digital strategy. David Luce advised Swiss Re, as initial purchaser, in a $175m catastrophe bond offering sponsored by Security First Insurance Company, and advised Primerica in a $3.4bn disposition, by way of a highly structured, fully collateralized bulk reinsurance transaction, which transferred Primerica’s pre-IPO back book of insurance policies from Citi to Swiss Re. Global head of insurance transactions and regulation William Marcoux advised Blackstone on the formation of, and initial $600m capital raise for, Harrington Re, a joint venture between Blackstone and Axis Capital. Global chair of insurance and reinsurance Michael Murphy, tax expert Gerald Rokoff, Paul Chen in San Francisco, and of counsel Carl Poedtke in Chicago are key contacts. Former deputy general counsel at AIG Nicholas Kourides joined the team in 2017 as senior counsel. Named attorneys are based in New York unless otherwise stated.

Dentons is a ‘fantastic choice for regulatory matters’ and houses a nationwide spread of expertise for insurance regulatory mandates. It advises Luxottica on its insurance operations, including advising its managed vision care company EyeMed Vision Care on a range of regulatory and compliance matters, and assists AXA Equitable’s public policy group with a variety of regulatory issues. The team also advises multiple insurers on market conduct examinations and investigations. Prudential, Swiss Re, Chubb and Cigna are also clients. Kara Baysinger, who is based across the Chicago and San Francisco offices, co-heads the team with Bruce Baty in Kansas City. Matt Gaul in New York, Los Angeles-based Stephanie Duchene and recently promoted counsel Kate Morgan in San Francisco are also key contacts. Dan Brown joined Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP in 2017.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP regularly handles high-value and complex insurance industry M&A and capital markets transactions. Gary Horowitz, who heads the team with Lee Meyerson, advised KKR and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) on their $4.3bn joint acquisition of USI Insurance Services (USI), and, alongside Elizabeth Cooper and Steven DeLott, advised KKR on the investment in Focus Financial Partners by an investor group led by Stone Point Capital and KKR. Kenneth Wallach and Hui Lin advised AssuredPartners on its inaugural bond offering of $500m. Patrick Naughton and Lesley Peng are also recommended among the New York-based team.

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP is experienced across capital markets and M&A transactions in the insurance sector and it is noted for its cross-border expertise. The team also renders regulatory advice. Key clients include Sumitomo Life Insurance Company. In New York, corporate governance head Joseph Hall, senior counsel Richard Sandler, Phillip Mills, who is noted for M&A deals, and Jason Kyrwood, who co-heads the credit (bank finance) group, are key contacts.

Foley & Lardner LLP handles a range of regulatory and transactional mandates in the insurance sector. Thomas Hrdlick represented Hannover Finance in connection with its acquisition of The Omaha Indemnity Company from Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company. In Tallahassee, Thomas Maida advised Anthem in connection with obtaining Florida regulatory approval of its acquisition of Cigna, and Austin Neal advised Prepared Holdings and Broadcrest on the acquisition and recapitalization of Prepared Insurance Company. Ethan Lenz heads the team; Kevin Fitzgerald is also recommended. Named lawyers are based in Milwaukee unless otherwise stated.

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