Sidley has built a dedicated international team of lawyers with intimate knowledge of and appreciation for the insurance and reinsurance industry and its unique issues and challenges. Recognized as a first-tier Insurance Law firm by Chambers USA and U.S. News – Best Lawyers®, Sidley offers clients a comprehensive understanding of the principles, customs and practices unique to the industry. While many of the transactions we handle on behalf of insurance clients involve sophisticated capital markets structures, our advice is grounded in our intimate knowledge of insurance industry regulations. Sidley litigators also serve the insurance industry, representing clients in reinsurance or retrocessional claims, consumer class actions, complex coverage cases, multi-jurisdictional direct claims, and white collar criminal defense and investigations. A few recent matters that demonstrate the depth and breadth of Sidley’s insurance industry experience follow:
- Represented ACE Ltd. in a venture with BlackRock, Inc. in connection with the organization and $800 million private placement of ABR Reinsurance Capital Holdings Ltd., a Bermuda-based reinsurance organization.
- Advised Munich Re on a £5 billion pension scheme longevity swap—the largest such UK transaction to date—with Aviva Life & Pensions UK Ltd to cover longevity liabilities relating to the Aviva Staff Pension Scheme.
- Obtained denial of class certification on behalf of Bankers Life and Casualty Company in a precedent-setting decision involving a “senior citizen annuity” class action.
- Represented Validus Reinsurance, Ltd. in its successful challenge (the first ever) to the Internal Revenue Service’s “cascading excise tax” theory, in which the D.C. District Court ruled that the U.S. federal excise tax does not apply to retrocession contracts between foreign reinsurers.
Regular clients include many of the largest insurance and reinsurance companies, brokers, banks, investment banking firms and regulatory agencies for which we provide regulatory, corporate, securities, mergers and acquisitions, securitization, derivatives, tax, reinsurance dispute resolution, class action defense, and other legal services.
Sidley lawyers have extensive experience in a wide range of domestic and international insurance and reinsurance transactions. We handle traditional corporate and financing transactions such as mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, joint ventures, reorganizations and restructurings, debt and equity financings, and complex investments. Our lawyers also structure and execute highly innovative transactions such as redundant life reserve (XXX and AXXX) and embedded value securitizations; natural catastrophe and catastrophic mortality-linked bonds, derivatives and sidecars; and the securitization of funding agreements, life and annuity contracts, and other insurance products.
With regard to dispute resolution, Sidley offers one of the few practices in the country dedicated to defending the insurance industry against the expanding array of class action claims, including retained asset accounts, vanishing premium, annuity interest crediting, modal premium, industrial life, premium GAP, annuity elder care, 401(k) “revenue sharing”, burial insurance, juvenile smoking, annuity elder care suitability, and credit insurance refunds. We also represent insurers, brokers and company executives in responding to investigations, insurance department inquiries and enforcement actions, congressional hearings, and other governmental inquiries.
Sidley lawyers have extensive knowledge and experience in nearly all aspects of insurance regulation, as well as the impact of statutory accounting and rating implications on the insurance industry. We provide advice on a broad range of insurance regulatory issues such as the production of insurance, market conduct compliance, regulation of insurance intermediaries (producers, third party administrators, managing general agents and reinsurance brokers), holding company regulation, credit for reinsurance requirements, invested asset regulation, overall solvency standards, risk-based and other capital requirements, and the regulation of captive insurers.