Insurance & Reinsurance
Whether we are advising on insurance policies or reinsurance coverage, defending claims, pursuing recoveries, or dealing with complex regulatory issues, the unmatched depth of expertise and breadth of experience within our insurance and reinsurance team ensure our clients enjoy a service of the very highest quality. Quite simply, no law firm in Singapore understands the insurance industry better.
Led by lawyers with over 20 years’ experience in the industry who are consistently recognised by established publications as leaders in Insurance & Reinsurance law in Singapore, this specialist team provides a full range of legal services, including:
- Advising on and drafting insurance and reinsurance policies, treaties, intermediary arrangements and distribution agreements
- Claims and recoveries before domestic courts and arbitration tribunals
- Corporate (acquisition or sale of insurance and reinsurance businesses as well as portfolio transfers)
- Regulatory and licensing aspects in relation to both the general and life insurance business.
Cutting edge advice and cost-effective solutions
Our clients rely on our in-depth knowledge of the insurance industry for cutting-edge advice, cost-effective and creative solutions that require a good command of the law and regulations.
The team is able to call upon the expertise of other practice areas within our full service law firm and leverage on this advantage to create real value to our clients in our complete legal solution offering when they face an issue that relates to other areas of the law be it employment, tax, insolvency, shipping, international trade, financial services, energy and construction, to name a few.
On the claims and recoveries front, our lawyers’ involvement in almost every high-profile dispute and landmark case provides reassuring proof of our position as leading insurance and reinsurance law specialists.
In-depth knowledge, regional reach
Above all, the strength of this practice is built on our first-hand knowledge of the insurance industry, and the exceptional talent and commitment of a team dedicated to this specialised area of law.
As well as appearing before the Singapore courts, our lawyers are regularly involved in insurance-related arbitrations and before other tribunals across Asia, including Hong Kong, Malaysia and Indonesia.
WITHIN THIS PRACTICE
Insurance Claims and Recoveries
Time and again, our in-depth understanding of the insurance industry has given our clients the edge in handling insurance claims.
Our lawyers are frequently called upon to advise and are regularly involved in headline claims, complex and difficult policy issues and matters.
The team has earned a well-deserved reputation for its work across property and casualty insurance as well as speciality risks and financial lines.
Therefore whether it is a multi-faceted issue extending beyond coverage issues to allegations by third party claimants in relation to Liability Policies, to analysing causes of economic losses under Business Interruption insurance, complex technical engineering and construction jargon in relation to Contractor’s/ Erection All Risks, or the urgency that comes with product recalls under Product Liability insurance to the anxiety faced by insureds in a Professional Indemnity claim, we have encountered these and much more in the course of our team’s experience.
Across the range of work we handle – from advising foreign reinsurers on reinsurance treaties entered into with local cedants, through interpreting difficult policy wordings, to defending or pursuing claims – our lawyers’ immense expertise enables us to provide cutting edge advice and practical commercial solutions. Above all, that marks us out as a leader in the industry.
Notable cases include:
- Acting for insurers in the landmark High Court and Court of Appeal decisions in Stork Technology Services Asia Private Limited v First Capital Insurance Limited on the application of the condition precedent notice rule under Singapore insurance law.
- Acting for a Contractor’s All Risks insurer against its insured contractor of a skyscraper development which tilted in Singapore’s Central Business District, where the claim exceeded S$66 million.
- Acting for Korean insurers in their claim against a Lloyd’s syndicate reinsurer under an open obligatory reinsurance contract in the only reported decision in the Singapore courts on reinsurance law.
- Acting for MSIG Insurance (Singapore) Pte Ltd in defending a property damage and business interruption claim in excess of S$10 million where the Singapore court was asked, for the first time, to construe the phrase ‘unforeseen and sudden’ in an insuring clause of an all risk policy.
Corporate and Regulatory
Well-versed in the local legal and regulatory regime where familiarity with the prevailing policies of the regulator is essential, and well connected with industry-wide bodies and regulators, we are strongly placed to deliver a wide spectrum of service in corporate and regulatory insurance matters.
Our experience spans a wide range of issues and transactions, including advising on start-ups and registration of insurance and insurance broking business, drafting insurance business schemes of transfer and novations, advising on regulatory compliance issues, drafting of policy wordings, advising on innovative and new insurance products, as well as advising on novel insurance product distribution models.
Examples of our work in this area include:
- The acquisition of RSA’s general insurance business by Allied World Assurance Co and requisite court approved portfolio transfer.
- The acquisition of HSBC Insurance’s general insurance, employee benefits and group term life portfolios by AXA/AXA Life and requisite court approved transfers.
- The first re-domiciliation of a foreign company in Singapore, renamed Swiss Re Asia Limited, from Zurich, Switzerland and subsequent portfolio transfer of reinsurance business from Swiss Re Singapore branch.
- The first insurance-linked securities transaction in Singapore with the successful issuance of the AUD75million catastrophe bond sponsored by IAG Re in December 2018.
- Advising on the unique structure for Asia’s first regional disaster risk insurance facility known as the South East Asia Disaster Risk Insurance Facility (SEADRIF).
The team has advised and acted for reinsurers in coverage disputes with cedents in arbitrations in the region, including Malaysia and Indonesia.
We have advised reinsurers and retrocessionaires on contested issues under reinsurance and retrocession programmes due to the 2011 Thai floods as well as the 2010 riots in Bangkok, Thailand in relation to business interruption and property losses. We have also advised on the introduction of new insurance products in the Singapore market via facultative reinsurance and the optimal business model for foreign reinsurers to transact their business with Singapore depending on their business needs and commercial aim so as to achieve a business model that is optimal from both a legal and business perspective.