BTG Legal has over 50 years of expertise in advising insurance clients.
A large team of Professionals is fully dedicated to insurance and reinsurance, focused on dispute resolution, regulatory, cross border transactions and insurance finance.
Regarding dispute resolution, we assist clients in handling complex and sizeable disputes in the pre-contentious phase and throughout all the dispute resolution procedures, mediation, ADR/arbitration, court litigation (including before the Supreme Court).
Regarding regulatory matters, we provide assistance to domestic and foreign operators throughout the whole business chain (authorization process, corporate governance, product development, distribution, special transactions).
We use to monitor the market and to keep clients abreast of any development in the Italian legislation applicable to insurance companies.
We have considerable experience in assembling teams with specialised skills as well as multi-jurisdictional teams for specific cross-border issues.
The Firm provides assistance in financial lines and D&O disputes on behalf of insurers and reinsurers.
Our practice covers directors & officers liability, financial institutions, and management and employment practices liability, for Italian and international insurers and reinsurers. We also advise on policy coverage, risk assessment, dispute resolution and monitor underlying claims.
Our Professionals have great litigation experience over many years of court disputes with highly satisfactory results, close cooperation with insurers experts and commercial approach in settlement of meritorious claims to minimize legal fees where a court litigation appears no longer necessary.
On the non-contentious side, our lawyers work with clients on policy drafting and advise international clients looking to access the London insurance market.
Our Professionals are also well known speakers at D&O and Financial Institution conferences, and contribute to publications.
We have recently advised:
- Lloyd’s Syndicates in relation to several complex D&O and PI cases;
- Foreign insurers on a multi-jurisdictional dispute resolution including coverage litigation in relation to global re/insurance programmes, including D&Os of listed international groups;
- European reinsurers in respect of a complex regulatory investigation of an Italian Telco;
- on D&O coverage issues arising out of the current high profile banking “scandals”.
BTG Legal has provided professional indemnity advice for more than 50 years. We have managed numerous matters of all values and complexities.
BTG Legal provides counseling, representation and advocacy services to insurers in areas including:
- attorney and judicial professional responsibility and legal malpractice;
- accountants’ liability;
- insurance agents and brokers’ liability;
- liability of business and financial planners and consultants;
- Financial advisers’ and intermediaries’ liability;
- Architects’ and Engineers’ liability;
- Contractors’ responsibility.
Liability of Financial Intermediaries
BTG Legal has resolved numerous matters of all values and complexities concerning financial intermediary liability.
- Banks and financial institutions
- Financial advisers and intermediaries
- Insurance brokers
We advise in relation to claims against all types of financial institutions, including International banking groups; Private banks; Hedge funds; Stockbrokers; Stock exchanges; Publicly listed corporations in managed investment and finance.
In addition to coverage advice and monitoring claims, we draft policy wordings and produce guides for claims handlers on topical issues.
Medical Negligence / Healthcare
Our Professionals has a deep experience of medmal cases.
It is our philosophy to defend vigorously all non-meritorious claims. Equally important is our early identification of claims that represent some exposure to our clients, and our ability to determine the extent of that exposure. This determination frequently involves locating and identifying qualified physicians, nurses, and other health-care specialists who can provide expert testimony to defend against malpractice claims when a trial becomes necessary.
On the other hand we are also strong believers of settling meritorious claims under best possible terms and conditions. There are several “right times” in the handling of a claim to activate a negotiation effort and to pursue it. We are very attentive not to miss any of such opportunities.
We work with individual physicians, as well as risk managers for our institutional clients and assist them in minimizing exposure to malpractice claims. This involvement includes reviews of various policies and procedures and conducting risk management seminars.
In this sector, we assist insurers and reinsurers on:
- Review of insurance policy wording;
- Risk assessment.
Our Professionals have acquired a deep experience about cyber risk issues.
As member of GILC, we are part of an international program with the aim of granting a global assistance in connection with “global risks”.
Our international cyber risks team has extensive experience advising on coverage issues and the latest developments in the cyber risk area.
We can assist insurers and reinsurers on :
- coverage issues
- Policy drafting and wording
- Reducing exposure to new and unforeseen risks
- Compliance with international data regulations
- Reporting data breaches
- Cloud computing issues
- International best practice
Our Professionals are constantly invited to speak at seminars and conferences on cyber risk issues.
Our Professionals advises insurers and reinsurers on complex cases of alleged product liability concerning a range of sectors including consumer goods, food and beverages, cosmetics, chemicals, vehicles technology, medical devices and pharmaceuticals.
We have a deep knowledge of product liability and product recall.
We also defend clients in a wide range of product sectors against claims from individuals and from groups.
Our advice and participation goes beyond the courtroom and, as with product recalls, extends to managing all aspects of problems, including the media, for the ultimate benefit of the client’s business.
Our global network enables us to coordinate product liability claims across jurisdictions to avoid any detrimental pursuit of conflicting strategies.
We have provided assistance in connection with :
- a number of Italian and international insurance companies in lawsuits concerning product liability;
- a toy manufacturer on the recall of baby toys;
- a € 50 million coverage dispute arising from substantial product liability claims involving defective aviation propulsion units;
- a product recall in connection with the contamination of foodstuff.
The Firm provides assistance in GL disputes on behalf of insurers and reinsurers, as well as public and private bodies. Our Professionals have an extensive experience with legal issues concerning personal injury, property damage, premises liability and economic loss. Our years of experience gained through a defense-directed practice allow us to quickly and correctly analyse issues, risks, and exposures for litigation.
The Firm assists primary insurers in general liability claims on behalf of their insured public municipalities and other public bodies in several Italian regions, as well as concessionaries of public services. We are active in the Casualty and Personal Injury sectors and in all classes of business classified as International Casualty. In this area of insurance, the Firm is also active in the assistance of insurers and reinsurers in defending claims in the context of binders related to the tourism industry (Travel insurance Policy) and in Property Casualty, including natural catastrophes, where we marked a remarkable experience being involved in the major recent Italian casualties and natural disasters on behalf of the London insurance market.
We recently assisted the primary insurers of an Italian municipality following slides and flooding which caused the loss of entire residential building; a public municipality in a class action for damages related to carbon dioxide prolonged urban emissions; a public school in bullying actions perpetrated by some school mates against others, public bodies in incidents caused by wild animals on public roads as well as a large Italian municipality in a series of claims promoted by residents following a major overflow and consequential flooding of a river in the area.
Our GL experts have great litigation experience over many years of court disputes with highly satisfactory results, close cooperation with insurers experts and commercial approach in settlement of meritorious claims to minimize legal fees where a court litigation appears no longer necessary.
The Firm has a bespoke and consolidated tradition in the marine and transport legal sector, assisting cargo, hull and P&I insurers in claims and arrest actions through the Italian territory in the context of marine casualties and general litigation. We assist Owners, carrier and their insurers in liability claims throughout the entire logistic chain (sea, land and air), also in connection with storage and logistic handling damages. We assist cargo insurers in recovery action in Italy particularly in CMR claims.
Some of our partners served as Officers the Italian Navy acquiring specific knowledge and expertise in the handling and management of marine casualties and pollution accidents.
Some of the cases in which the Firm was recently involved include the assistance of a US multinational corporation in a case where a large turbine was damaged en route from Egypt to Italy; the interests of the hull insurers following a collision in the Messina Straits; the interests of a Korean ship-owner in a pollution incident in Italian territorial waters; the cargo interests in an arrest action against an Italian ship owner following the loss of cargo of crude oil in Nigeria in a piracy hijacking; the interests of an IG P&I Club following death incidents on board commercial ships or related to damages arising out of collision with fixed objects.
Life products and Complex
We have extensive experience advising insurers, reinsurers and financial institutions when writing new types of business. Our Professionals provide assistance on structuring and distribution of specific insurance products (e.g. insurance products for the protection of credit – personal protection insurance – insurance policies offering post-sale warranty).
The Firm also advises in lawsuits and ADR proceedings concerning life insurance products.
We have recently assisted:
- a major Italian life insurance operator, in relation to a number of disputes regarding coverage under life insurance policies and alleged breaches of information duties with consumers;
- a leading Italian life insurance company in several disputes filed throughout Italy by individuals in relation to defaulted index-linked policies further to Lehman Brothers bankruptcy, involving liability allegations against the banks that placed the policies on the market.
Policy Wording Revisions, Coverage
Our Firm assists regularly various Italian and foreign insurance companies in drafting and/or reviewing policy wording and general conditions of insurance (mandatory or illegal terms, policy drafting in line with up-to-date legal decisions, etc.) and in drafting and/or reviewing pre-contractual forms and questionnaires and information notes.
BTG usually assists insurers on drafting of product literature, prospectuses, promotional materials, transparency and fairness to customers. We advise also on policy coverage and risk assessment.
The Firm advises, on regularly basis, insurance intermediaries acting in Italy on distribution agreements and insurance mediation issues; service agreements with call centers, cooperation agreements among intermediaries; distance selling techniques.
We also provide assistance in the participation in market surveys promoted by the Italian Insurance Supervisory Authority and advice and support in connection with surveys or audits conducted by the Italian Authority.
We assist intermediaries in compliance with the new rules on registration with IVASS, mandatory training, courses and disclosure.
We have recently assisted:
- an Italian insurance intermediary in a number of proceedings related to the breach of contractual obligations deriving from sub-agency agreements;
- an Italian reinsurer on a cross-border reinsurance case against a British broker relating to misrepresentations and non-disclosure of relevant information as pertaining to a reinsurance treaty;
- a foreign insurer on a number of matters relating to the breach of contractual obligations deriving from brokerage contracts as well as to insurer’s Risk Management Programme in Italy;
- a leading international broker on a dispute with an Italian insurance broker regarding coverage under marine risk policies;
- a foreign broker on a complex case of suspect fraud involving also domestic brokers.
Credit and political risks, surety
The Firm assists Italian and foreign primary insurers in consulting and advising coverage issues related to credit risk as well as in disputes against their assureds or third parties.
In particular, the Firm assists in the process of identification and evaluation of risks from a legal perspective and, more generally, in preparing feasibility projects customized on different possible scenarios applied to the insured’s business activity. Assists insurers and insureds in case of payment defaults following insolvency of the debtor and negotiation of moratorium agreements related to payments, embargoes and other likewise international restrictions determined by governments and public bodies freezing regular supply of goods and services or investments of financial nature.
Among those cases recently dealt with, we mention the following:
- Legal assistance in Court of primary insurers in relation to guarantee actions against the Guarantor in procurement contracts;
- Legal pre-litigation assistance in relation to credit risk policies and to policies connected with the “risk of confiscation and construction of materials and plants” in the context of foreign sub contracts;
- Legal assistance in Court of primary insurers in connection with credit risk policies against payment default risks of commercial invoices;
- Out and In Court assistance of a primary insurer in relation to Joint Venture guarantees such as Bid Bond; Performance Bond; Maintenance Bond; Supply and Service Bond;
- Legal assistance in connection with disputes arising out of warranty bonds to guarantee contractually defined performances;
- Legal assistance in credit collection activity – in Italy and abroad – both in and out of court, including any issue related to insurance premiums as well;
- Assistance in negotiating and settling issues related to subrogation;
- Court assistance on behalf of insurers in cases of fraudulent or abusive enforcement of performance bonds or surety, including pre litigation remedial actions such as freezing orders or court injunctions;
- Advice on issues related to the nature of the credit (whether privileged or not) in the context of bankruptcy procedures;
- Court assistance on behalf of insurers in the context of opposition to Court injunctions required by the assured following insolvency of foreign opponents parties;
- Assistance during phrasing and negotiation of guarantees and bonds and in any enforcement phase of the same;
- Assistance during any conciliation or mediation procedure related to policy disputes.
In the context of the political risk insurance, our Firm assists the insurer and the assured in events of political nature leading to company’s assets confiscation or to the threat of this occurring, including funds transfer freezing (profits, dividends or international transfers), governmental oppositions, damages to property following riots, civil wars or import-export Government restrictions imposed upon suppliers and clients.
In such activity, the Firm avails, where necessary and agreed with Clients, of the expertise of its international partners within the Global Insurance Law Connect network, having similar expertise in their own respective jurisdictions within the political risk context. The Firm is also named in some international insurance binder as consultant for Italy in Kidnap & Ransom covers and cooperates actively with domestic and international intelligence companies specialized in such sector. For more information on this area of business, please contact Alberto Batini in the London office.
We advise on domestic and cross-border insurance regulations, conduct of business including regulation of general insurance, life assurance and reinsurance companies; insurance intermediaries; development and sale of non-life, life and investment products, taxation; drafting of distribution, agency, outsourcing and other business agreements, as well as on AML, data protection and consumer law issues.
Furthermore, we have a considerable experience in all regulatory and corporate issues affecting the start of an insurance/reinsurance business in Italy by foreign operators, where we assist clients in their regulatory relations with IVASS, the set-up of entities and branches, business models, corporate governance, regulatory compliance, requirements of approved persons, intragroup relations, special transactions (including, M&A, portfolio transfers, business reorganizations, run-off, closure of operations, etc.). The team assists also insurance companies in framing distribution channels (including bank assurance), relations with intermediaries, distance selling techniques.
We assist insurance companies in all product design issues, including relations with the Italian Stock Exchange Regulator CONSOB, periodical review of product literature, structure of innovative products with financial contents, use of technical reserves, etc. Finally, the team also assists in all matters with EIOPA and the EU.
We advise insurance and non-insurance entities on the impact of Solvency II on their business (including their non-European operations).
The team is fully integrated and supported by other external bespoke experts as regards financial services, tax or employment issues.
RUN OFF PORTFOLIOS, LEGACY AND COMMUTATIONS
The Firm assists Italian and foreign insurance companies and funds in the context of run off portfolios transfers. Said assistance includes the preliminary review and inspection of the existing reserves (on random or ordered basis) as submitted by the Cedents through dedicated due diligence as well as the consequential claims handling, following the transfer of accounts, both in and out of court.
At the same time, the Firm gained a consolidated experience in the negotiation of insurance commutations with the insureds within legacy transactions finalized to obtain a rapid reduction of the reserves and consequential release of financial securities. The Firm recently assisted, among others, in insurance legacy deals, including commutations, on behalf of primary foreign insurers in a medical malpractice portfolio.