Insurance: non-contentious in United States

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP's impressive roster of clients includes major insurers, reinsurers, asset management firms, private equity funds and other capital providers. In New York, John Vasily's practice focuses on significant US insurance M&A deals as well as transactions in emerging markets. He heads the practice jointly with Nicholas Potter who has significant experience in corporate transactions, including life insurance 'embedded value' and excess reserve financings. David Grosgold and Marilyn Lion are also recommended, and together lead the team in advising New York Life in its $6.3bn acquisition of Cigna's group life and disability insurance business. The arrival of Eric Dinallo, former Executive Vice President and General Counsel of the Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, in March 2020 has further strengthened the group's offerings.

Practice head(s):

Nicholas Potter; John Vasily

Other key lawyers:

David Grosgold; Marilyn Lion; Alexander Cochran; Eric Dinallo


‘Having worked in this space for some twenty years, The Debevoise Corporate Insurance / M&A team is a top-tier firm. They have the substantive knowledge for transactions in this space on a global basis (US, Europe, Asia and other emerging markets). In addition, they understand the business considerations on deals and know how to find creative solutions for thorny issues.’

‘John Vasily is a superior lawyer that understands what is important to us as a client, both from a risk tolerance perspective as well as the style of work that we appreciate as a company.’

Key clients

AXA Equitable Holdings

Blackstone Group

Carlyle Group

Constellation Insurance Holdings (a joint venture with Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan)

Covéa Group

Global Atlantic

GreyCastle Holdings

Intact Financial Corporation

Jackson National Life Insurance

New York Life

Prosperity Life

Prudential Financial

Prudential plc

PSP Investments

Resolution Life

Stone Point Capital

Third Point Reinsurance

Work highlights

  • Advising New York Life in its acquisition of Cigna’s group life and disability insurance business for $6.3bn.
  • Advising Global Atlantic Financial Group, a retirement and life insurance company with $70bn in investable assets, in a strategic transaction where KKR & Co. Inc. will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Global Atlantic.
  • Advised Blackstone as the largest shareholder of FGL Holdings (F&G) in the sale of F&G to Fidelity National Financial (FNL) for $2.7bn.

Eversheds Sutherland

Eversheds Sutherland's nationwide insurance team advises a diverse group of clients, ranging from national and global insurers and reinsurers to private equity funds. The firm has strong transactional and regulatory capabilities, which is further bolstered by its presence in Washington DC, placing it at the center of important regulatory initiatives. A particular area of strength for the firm is its expertise in the growing area of pension risk transfer transactions, with Cynthia Shoss and practice head  Ling Ling as highly skilled lawyers in this area. Also heading the practice are Bert Adams, who served as lead counsel for Empower Retirement in its $2.35bn acquisition of MassMutual Retirement Services Business, and John Pruitt, a longstanding trusted advisor to global and US national insurers and brokers. Also recommended are Jim Dwyer, a well-regarded insurance transaction practitioner, and compliance and regulatory specialist, Stephen Roth. All lawyers are based in New York apart from Roth, in Washington DC.

Practice head(s):

John Pruitt; Bert Adams; Ling Ling

Other key lawyers:

Cynthia Shoss; Jim Dwyer; Stephen Roth


‘The Eversheds Sutherland team are some of the best in the business in terms of being able to handle a broad swath of legal issues facing the insurance industry. They have one of the deepest benches of any law firm.’

‘Vast breadth and depth of experience assure a full and thorough analysis of the legal issues.’

‘Jim Dwyer is outstanding. He brings a pragmatic approach to providing excellent legal advice balanced with always understanding and trying to meet the business needs of the client. I would not undertake a large insurance/reinsurance transaction without him.’

Key clients

This team has represented so many of the companies in the insurance industry over so many years that it seldom adds new clients not previously served.

Advisor Group



Associated Electric & Gas Insurance Services

Aviva Life and Pensions UK

Capital One

Empower Retirement

Fairfax Financial

Further Global

Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company

Horace Mann Educators Corporation

Legal & General


Munich Re

Pacific Life

Pan American Life

Pension Insurance Corporation

Phoenix Life Limited

Royal & Sun Alliance

Security Benefit Life

Symetra Financial Corporation

Talcott Resolution


Venerable Annuity

Voya Financial

Western & Southern Life

Wilton Re

Zurich Insurance Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Empower Retirement in $2.35bn acquisition of MassMutual Retirement Services Business.
  • Represented Advisor Group in $1.3bn merger agreement with Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services.
  • Represented Voya Financial in a $1.25bn sale of individual life insurance to Resolution Life Group Holdings Ltd.

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP's insurance practice handles high-exposure M&A, capital markets and ILS transactional matters with a distinctive offering in reinsurance cessions through alternative risk transfer. The firm represents a broad range of clients including life and property-casualty insurers and reinsurers, commercial and investment banks, and private equity investors. In New York, practice group co-chair Alexander Dye focuses on M&A and capital markets transactions. Co-chair John Schwolsky is a well-regarded insurance transactional lawyer and represented The Allstate Corporation in its $4bn acquisition of National General Holdings Corp. Michael Groll has experience in sidecar transactions, catastrophe bonds, and ILS fund formations. Kara Baysinger and David Heales joined the team from Mayer Brown in April 2021.

Practice head(s):

Alexander Dye; John Schwolsky

Other key lawyers:

Kara Baysinger; Michael Groll; David Heales


‘Willkie’s corporate insurance practice is by far the best I have worked with. John Schwolsky, the Willkie partner who leads the practice, has over 30 years’ experience and is deeply knowledgeable about insurance M&A transactions.’

‘John Schwolsky occupies a “first among equals” position both as the head of Willkie’s insurance practice and among his peers at other U.S. firms. In my experience, he is simply the best there is in the insurance M&A world. His partner, Alex Dye, is also excellent, and has a calm, reasoned demeanor that, in my experience, has proven particularly attractive to public company boards of directors.’

‘The practice’s strength in insurance industry issues is unparalleled. It’s breadth as a general service practice is most impressive.’


Key clients

Allied World Assurance Company Holdings, Ltd

The Allstate Corporation

American International Group, Inc.

Aquiline Capital Partners

Assured Guaranty

CNO Financial

Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company

Equitable Holdings, Inc.

Fidelity National Financial, Inc.


Genworth Financial, Inc.

KKR & Co.

MetLife, Inc.

Mutual of Omaha

New York Life

Protective Life Corporation

QBE Insurance

Spinnaker Insurance Company

Stone Point Capital

TigerRisk Partners LLC

Versant Health

Voya Financial, Inc.

W.R. Berkley Corporation

Zurich Financial Services

Clifford Chance

The insurance team at Clifford Chance is best known for its advisory role in complex M&A transactions, the formation of new companies and capital raising, and insurtech. In the emerging area of insurtech, Nick Williams  recently advised the Winklevoss twins on their launch of a cryptocurrency captive insurer. Leading the practice is Gary Boss, who has extensive experience in cross-border M&A transactions, recently advising Watford Holdings on its multimillion-dollar sale to Arch Capital group, a Bermuda-based insurance company. Other key strengths include advice on innovative investment strategies; Analisa Dillingham is a specialist in this area and was promoted to partner in May 2020. The firm also has a strong talent pool of senior associates, with Dean Agnos and Kirsten Gaeta as ones to watch. All lawyers are based in New York.

Practice head(s):

Gary Boss

Other key lawyers:

Nick Williams; Analisa Dillingham; Dean Agnos; Kirsten Gaeta


‘Clifford Chance has great insurance knowledge and expertise. They are able to synthesize complex insurance-related legal issues and cut to the issues that matter. I know I’m getting the right level of partner attention and that they keep deal teams smaller.’

‘Broad and deep knowledge of the insurance industry and relevant issues for transaction execution. Experienced team with a long history working across numerous transactions with multiple counterparties. Excellent industry contacts. ’

‘Gary Boss stands out for his knowledge and strong industry contacts across a wide spectrum of firms and individuals. He is able to work through complicated situations and come to commercial solutions.’

‘Stand out team of strong lawyers across Insurance, M&A and other disciplines.’

‘Each of the individual lawyers and together as a cross-disciplinary team have been exemplary in their advice and service. They are timely in responding and always provide careful consideration and analysis to every matter whilst being entirely pragmatic and commercial. ’

‘Gary Boss and Analisa Dillingham- both partners. Both very technically competent and easy to reach. They are responsive and accurate with their work and assessments. They think broadly and are willing to listen to my thoughts and to react to them with solid legal work.’

‘The coordinated, multidisciplinary and multinational expertise this team is able to provide is unsurpassed by other pre-eminent firms. Ability to provide practical, business-oriented approaches to solve complex legal/regulatory matters.’

‘The team has unique expertise in the field of non-payment insurance which sets them apart from other law firms. Knowledge of policy documents, as well as the regulatory environment, allows them to confidently advise, clients, insurers and brokers alike.’

‘Excellent team and industry expertise. Very significant deal experience. Only a very few firms have this level of deal experience and industry knowledge’

‘The entire team is outstanding. Reliable, trustworthy, professional, incredibly smart and knowledgeable in their respective area of expertise.’

‘Gary Boss is our main CC partner, and he has never failed to provide excellent counsel himself and he enlists experts from other areas of the firm when applicable. He has a very well-honed commercial sense and a talent for distilling issues down to core elements so decisions can be made. — Key associates working for Gary are Dean Agnos and Kirsten Gaeta. Both work tirelessly and effectively. Per Chilstrom is our Securities Law partner and shepherded us through a long and difficult IPO/Direct Listing process magnificently. Michael Seaton is our Tax Law partner, and he has been invaluable with regard to Onshore/Offshore business issues that have tax implications. Howard Adler is a very knowledgeable Employment Law partner who helped us immensely not only during our private phase but also in designing our LTIP and other employment-related issues related to our being a public company. ’

Key clients

American International Group (AIG)

Apollo Global Management

Armour Group

Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance

Harrington Re

Legal & General Group plc / Banner Life Insurance Company and William Penn Life Insurance Company of New York

Premia Holdings Ltd.


The Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America-College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA)

Watford Holdings Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Advising Watford on its pending approximately $700m sale to Arch Capital Group Ltd. Watford and Arch have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Arch will acquire all the common shares of Watford in an all-cash transaction.
  • Advised Sedgwick on the sale of its group health peer review and independent medical examination assets to ExamWorks, LLC.
  • Advising Apollo with $312bn AUM, on many of its most significant and ongoing insurance and reinsurance transactions.

Mayer Brown

Mayer Brown's New York-based insurance team represents bidders in insurance M&A auction sales and advises on catastrophe bonds and insurance-linked securities deals. Co-head David Alberts regularly advises on multi-jurisdictional and cross-border regulatory issues as well as leading the firm's insurtech initiative. Stephen Rooney jointly leads the team and his practice focuses on securities offerings, structured finance and M&A. Kara Baysinger left for Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP in April 2021.

Practice head(s):

David Alberts; Stephen Rooney

Key clients

The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc.

AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company

Tokio Marine Holdings, Inc.

Peak Reinsurance

Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company

China Minsheng Investment Group International

State Farm Automobile Insurance Company

Zurich North America


Prosight Speciality Insurance Company

Work highlights

  • Acting as corporate and regulatory counsel to State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company on acquisition of GainsCo. Please see below for further information.
  • Advising various clients on significant insurance-linked securities offerings.
  • Represented Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company in its 144A/Regulation S offering of $1.35bn of surplus notes and Nationwide Financial Services, Inc. in its Rule 144A/Regulation S offering of $1bn 30-year senior notes guaranteed by Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.

Sidley Austin LLP

Sidley Austin LLP advises insurance industry clients on a wide range of matters, including domestic and cross-border M&A, venture capital investments and alternative transaction structures.  Jonathan Freedman  is the key contact in New York, where his practice focuses on transactional matters. Based in Chicago, Perry Shwachman  and Michael Goldman co-lead the firm's global insurance group, with the former specializing in the development of life insurance securitizations.

Practice head(s):

Michael Goldman; Perry Schwachman

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Freedman

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP's insurance group handles transactions involving life and annuity, property and casualty, health, title and reinsurance, and run-off. They represent leading insurance and reinsurance companies, private equity firms, and financial advisors and underwriters. In New York, Todd Freed heads the practice. Robert Sullivan retired.

Practice head(s):

Todd Freed

DLA Piper LLP (US)

DLA Piper LLP (US)‘s insurance practice houses a strong multi-disciplinary team with experience in corporate and commercial work to provide a full service offering to a broad client base that includes start-ups, established life and non-life insurers, financial institutions, capital providers and other insurance industry participants. Michael Murphy regularly represents clients in a wide range of transactions, with particular emphasis on reinsurance and insurance-related litigation and arbitration. In addition, the team advises clients on AI and machine learning, blockchain, intellectual property, and product development.

Practice head(s):

Michael Murphy


‘We are effectively served by Ben Schuman and David Dyson who function as an integrated and coordinated team. They provide us with quality legal service and the requisite work product is delivered to us error-free on a timely basis.’

Key clients





Hudson Structured Capital Management


International Australia Group

Ares Capital


Swiss Re

Work highlights

  • Advised Zurich Group on a number of technology related M&A and venture transactions which is an important new.
  • Advised a newly established PE/investor group (Pelican Ventures) and JC Flowers on a complex acquisition of insurance business at Lloyds (London).

King & Spalding LLP

King & Spalding LLP insurance team represents a variety of clients, including commercial and investment banks, private equity funds, major international insurers, reinsurers and financial services firms. In New York, Bernhardt Nadell leads the practice and is head of the life and property casualty transactional team. Nadell also handles regulatory matters and has over 22 years of experience in the area of insurance M&A, reinsurance and insurance finance.

Practice head(s):

Bernhardt Nadell

Other key lawyers:

Gary Ho


‘Mr Nadell Bernhardt – I think he is one of the best insurance lawyers in US in light of deep knowledge of insurance practice, his leadership to manage the team in a very tight timeframe, timeliness of advice and powerful negotiation skills.’

‘Great knowledge and experiences in the insurance-related transactions, M&A, and regulatory issues. A consistent and conservative approach to the legal and regulatory issues in the US (New York State). Client first and always making very good responses even in the different time zone. Significantly assisted our negotiation in the meetings with multi-parties Smooth communication in every occasion, in-person meeting, telco, web meeting and email. Intensive documentation work in a timely manner. Its insurance industry knowledge/experiences and quick responses/client first stance are exceptional among others’ 

‘Its collaboration with the Japanese law firm and negotiation skill was exceptional among others’

‘Bernhardt Nadell and Gary Ho are knowledgeable practitioners with strong industry expertise.’

Key clients

T&D Holdings, Inc./T&D United Capital North America Inc.

Atlas Merchant Capital

Vida Capital Inc.

Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank

Capital One

MAG Mutual Insurance Company

Nomura Holdings, Inc.

Catalina Holdings (Bermuda) Ltd

Arrowpoint Capital Corp.

Allstar Financial Group

Munich RE

ACON Investments

Trive Capital

Agam Capital

Värde Partners

Work highlights

  • Advised T&D Holdings, Inc./T&D United Capital North America Inc. in its and Carlyle’s acquisition from AIG of Fortitude Group Holdings, a Bermuda reinsurance group.
  • Advised MAG Mutual Insurance Company in its sponsored demutualization  of West Virginia Mutual Insurance Company.
  • Advised Arrowpoint Capital Corp. in the sale of Arrowood Surplus Lines Insurance Company to Transverse Insurance Group, LLC.

McDermott Will & Emery LLP

McDermott Will & Emery LLP‘s insurance team is involved in complex M&A transactional work, particularly in the carrier and broker space, renewal rights transactions, related deal financings, healthcare and sophisticated loss portfolio dispositions. Practice head Michael Halsband has extensive experience in the M&A space, as well as new company formation and capital raises. Michael Byrne, supported by the wider team also handles multi-jurisdictional and single-state regulatory transactional matters in addition to regulatory, compliance and enforcement issues. The insurance practice is spread across offices in New York, California, Washington DC and Chicago. Thomas Jones has retired.

Practice head(s):

Michael Halsband

Other key lawyers:

Michael Byrne

Key clients

Third Point Reinsurance Ltd.

Equinox Management Group, Inc.

Early, Cassidy & Schilling, LLC

IA Capital Group

GC Securities, a division of MMC Securities

Allianz Risk Transfer (Bermuda) Limited

TripAdvisor, Inc.

United States Travel Insurance Association (UStiA)

Californian Earthquake Authority

RWJBarnabas Health

Private equity fund manager

Transverse Insurance Group

Root, Inc.

International Underwriting Association of London

Partner Re

Choice Health Insurance LLC and National Direct Marketing LLC

Munich Re Digital Partners

W.R. Berkley


Swiss Re Capital Markets

Custodia Financial, LLC


American International Group (AIG)

State National Insurance Group



Privilege Underwriters Reciprocal Exchange



CSAA of Northern California

New Paradigm


Starr Companies


NORCAL Mutual Insurance Company (“NORCAL”)

Work highlights

  • Advised private equity fund manager with structuring, captive insurer tax and regulatory compliance advice in connection with the change of control of the retailer’s significant captive insurer as part of the acquisition of a leading U.S. automotive products retailer, with over 400 locations and 7000 employees.
  • Represented NORCAL Mutual Insurance Company, a California-based mutual insurance company providing medical professional liability insurance, risk management solutions and wellness resources to physicians, health care extenders, medical groups, hospitals, community clinics and allied health care facilities throughout the United States, in connection with its demutualization and sale to ProAssurance Corporation, a publicly-traded professional liability insurance company.
  • Represented the California Earthquake Authority as special counsel in its catastrophe bond program with Sutter Re Ltd., issuing $335m Series 2020-1 Principal-at-Risk Variable Rate Notes and $365 million Series 2020-2 Principal-at-Risk Variable Rate Notes.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP handle transactions in the property and casualty, life and annuity, health, brokerage and services subsectors of the insurance industry. The firm is particularly strong in advising on M&A transactions, with practice head Gary Horowitz focusing on this area, representing private equity firms with their investments in insurance holding companies, brokers and other intermediaries. Lee Meyerson jointly heads the practice and specializes in capital market transactions for financial institutions. Both lawyers are based in New York.

Practice head(s):

Gary Horowitz; Lee Meyerson

Key clients

AXIS Capital Holdings

CNO Financial Group, Inc.

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.

Sedgwick, Inc.

Sumitomo Life Insurance Company

The Travelers Companies, Inc.

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP advises life and annuity, health and managed care, financial guaranty, and property and casualty companies. Based in New York, Stephen Kotran is a key name, and the team has experience in insurance-related M&A, equity, risk transfer, and insurance regulatory, tax, and litigation matters.

Other key lawyers:

Stephen Kotran