Insurance & Reinsurance

Our dedicated Insurance Department is consistently regarded as the market leader in Ireland on insurance (both life and non-life) and reinsurance matters.  This multi-disciplinary team has provided legal, regulatory and tax expertise in some of the largest and most complex insurance transactions in recent years.  Our head of practice, John Larkin, is a member of An Taoiseach's (Irish Prime Minister's) IFSC Insurance Group.

The practice represents clients in all sectors of the insurance industry.

Areas of expertise include:

  • Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures
  • Licensing and authorisation of new operations including side-cars
  • Passporting of insurance and reinsurance activities
  • Restructuring and portfolio transfers
  • Risk securitisations (life and non-life)
  • Redomiciles, cross border mergers and acquisitions
  • Assisting clients on Solvency II compliance issues
  • Regulatory investigations
  • Insurance litigation and dispute resolution
  • Key document review and product advisory work
  • Compliance and corporate governance
  • Captive operations
  • Authorisation and supervision of intermediaries

As a full-service law firm we are able to draw extensively on our colleagues’ expertise in M&A, tax, Competition & Regulation, Litigation & Dispute Resolution and other areas.

Our experience includes advising/acting for:

Mergers and Acquisitions

Acting on the buy-side or sell-side in domestic and international deals including:

  • Berkshire Hathaway (Columbia Insurance) on its acquisition of Hartford Life Europe
  • SCOR on its acquisition of the mortality risk business of Transamerica Re
  • RSA Insurance on its acquisitions of Europa Group, Sertus Insurance and Benchmark Underwriting
  • Alterra/Harbor Point (now Markel) in its amalgamation with Max Capital
  • Enstar on its acquisition of Citilife Financial (now Laguna Life) from Citigroup 
  • 123.ie and its vendors on its acquisition by RSA Insurance
  • NPG Wealth Management (JC Flowers) on its acquisition of Combined Life Assurance Company of Europe from ACE Group
  • Vivas Health vendors on its sale to Aviva Insurance
  • Reinsurance Group of America (RGA) on the acquisition on a renewals basis of the life accident and health business of XL Re
  • IPC Re in relation to its merger with Validus, and previous amalgamation plan involving Max Capital
  • Wellpoint on the acquisition of DeCare Dental
  • Carlyle Group on its acquisition of the motor assist business RAC Group from Aviva 

Restructurings and Portfolio Transfers

Domestic and cross-border restructurings and inward/outward transfers of (re)insurance books involving High Court and regulatory authorisations including:

  • Allied World, Alterra (Markel), AXA and SCOR on Court sanctioned mergers of Irish insurance, reinsurance and hedging platforms
  • Electrolux on the portfolio transfer of the non-life insurance business from its Irish captive to its Swedish captive
  • Ericsson in the portfolio transfers of its insurance and reinsurance captive business to its non-life local carrier 
  • Scottish Re on the portfolio transfer of its Irish business to its Cayman Islands affiliate
  • Darta Saving Life and Allianz on the portfolio transfer of German branch life business
  • Oney on the portfolio transfer of its PPI portfolio to its Malta insurance platform 

Authorisations and New Establishments

The establishment of head office operations in Ireland selling on a freedom of services/freedom of establishment basis across EEA jurisdictions including recent set-ups involving:

  • AXA Life Europe, AXA Life Invest and AXA Reinsurance Ireland
  • Allianz Global Life
  • MetLife
  • Fidelity Worldwide Investment (FIL)
  • Wüstenrot & Württembergische
  • R&V Lebensversicherung 
  • WIPRO
  • Santander Insurance
  • Ironshore

Insurance Linked Securitisations and Capital Markets

  • SCOR on the various Atlas (I to VI) cat bond insurance linked securitisations
  • Scottish Re on its Orkney II and Ballantyne Re securitised reinsurance structures
  • AXA Cessions in its Osiris mortality cat bond programme
  • AXA as sponsor of Calypso Capital in its European windstorm debt issuance
  • EDF as sponsor of Pylon II

Run-offs and Winding-ups

  • Berkshire Hathaway (Columbia Insurance) on its acquisition of Hartford Life Europe
  • LCL Acquisitions (Charles Taylor Group) on its acquisition of Irish non-life insurance undertaking Santam Europe (in run off)
  • Enstar on its acquisition of Citilife (now Laguna Life)
  • Capricorn Insurance, IAG Re (Australia) (and others) on schemes leading to the surrender back of (re)insurance authorisations to the Central Bank of Ireland

General Advisory and Other Regulatory Work

  • Various authorised (re)insurers on on-going legal and regulatory aspects, including dialogue with the Central Bank of Ireland on areas such as product development and corporate governance best practice and potentially contentious matters such as on-site visits, administrative sanctions and enforcement.

Contentious Insurance

  • Advising various professional firms regarding professional indemnity claims including stockbrokers, accountancy and consultancy firms, real estate and valuation firms, and international insurance brokers
  • Acting for a major Irish insurer in relation to professional indemnity and public products liability cases.  Subrogated claims against third parties, property damage and business interruption policies
  • Advising on the coverage and policy wording of various insurance policies for bodies in the financial services sector including reinsurance, catastrophe insurance, D&O and combined business & liability insurance

We are consistently ranked as one of the leading insurance and reinsurance law firms in Ireland.

Department

"The lawyers are by our side in a fast and evolving regulatory landscape; it doesn't feel like working with an anonymous corporate law firm. They are very solution-oriented and pragmatic in their approach. Their depth of knowledge and willingness to turn things around in a tight timeframe are fabulous." "The team provides comprehensive and effective advice on complex transactions, which are completed on time and within budget."
Chambers Europe, 2015 - Insurance

 

William Fry is ‘a known centre of insurance expertise’.
Legal 500 EMEA, 2015 - Insurance

"The team is impressive. It is in tune with what I want, responsive and gets great results."   "The lawyers are incredibly knowledgeable, but not at all arrogant. It is an authority in our industry."  
Chambers Europe, 2014 - Insurance

 
Sources say: "With this firm we can pick up the phone and get things done very quickly." "Lawyers here delivered what they said they would and when they said they would. They are very consistent – all the work is excellent and they are easy to do business with."
Chambers Europe, 2013 - Insurance

 

William Fry has ‘high industry knowledge and interaction’ and is the firm of choice for many transactions.
Legal 500 EMEA, 2013 - Insurance

 

Sources say: 'The team will work all hours to make sure we get what we need in the time.' 'It is a tight-knit team that is full of integrity and works to provide the best for its clients.'
Chambers Europe, 2012 - Insurance

 

William Fry is an ‘expert in its field’.
Legal 500 EMEA, 2012 - Insurance

 

Team

John Larkin
John Larkin ‘provides practical solutions’.
Legal 500 EMEA, 2015 - Insurance

"There is nothing about insurance that he doesn't know. He is a great guy to go to when you have a problem because he will always give you time and make sure you get support and attention."
Chambers Europe, 2015 - Insurance

 

Department head John Larkin "is focused, solution-driven and commercially minded. He has great industry knowledge," enthuse clients.
Chambers Europe, 2014 - Insurance

John Larkin's "knowledge of insurance law is second to none. He understands the marketplace and really combines that with his pragmatism. He is easy to deal with and not a time waster."
Chambers Europe, 2013 - Insurance

 

Clients value John Larkin's 'fantastic network – he knows everyone in the business in Ireland and further afield.'
Chambers Europe, 2012 - Insurance

 

Clients highlight team head John Larkin for his ‘keen understanding of the financial services environment’.
Legal 500 EMEA, 2012 - Insurance

 

Owen O'Sullivan
Sources regard Owen O'Sullivan as "pragmatic and a deal maker. He is a great litigator." He heads the dispute resolution team.
Chambers Europe, 2014 - Insurance

 

Owen O'Sullivan is praised for his "prompt, enthusiastic and responsive approach."
Chambers Europe, 2013 - Insurance

 

Owen O'Sullivan is lauded as 'very calm and businesslike. He can see what the issues are and will deal with them sensibly.'
Chambers Europe, 2012 - Insurance

 

Eoin Caulfield
Eoin Caulfield ‘provides practical solutions’.
Legal 500 EMEA, 2015 - Insurance

Eoin's "ability to cut through complicated issues and arrive at an opinion. He is practical, prompt and thorough, making everything easy."
Chambers Europe, 2015 - Insurance

 

Eoin Caulfield is praised as "pragmatic, understands everything about the area, and provides practical and solution-oriented advice." He recently advised Allied World Assurance on the proposed merger by acquisition of its insurance and reinsurance platforms to form a single carrier.
Chambers Europe, 2014 - Insurance

Eoin Caulfield is described as "exceptionally knowledgeable about the sector and insurance start-ups as well as any regulatory and commercial issues that may affect insurance companies."
Chambers Europe, 2013 - Insurance

 

Eoin Caulfield is highly valued by clients, who say 'he is approachable and knowledgeable, with an exceptional understanding of the European insurance market.'
Chambers Europe, 2012 - Insurance

 

Clients highlight Eoin Caulfield as being ‘a pillar of support’.
Legal 500 EMEA, 2012 - Insurance

Key Contacts

John Larkin Partner

Eoin Caulfield Partner

View All