Sedgwick’s reinsurance practice encompasses the world’s major reinsurance markets and almost all classes of business. Sedgwick lawyers’ practical experience in marketwide problems ranges from asbestos and environmental claims to film finance and workers’ compensation carve-out disputes to issues involving captives and other alternative risk structures. Our reinsurance lawyers have conducted numerous reinsurance arbitrations and been involved in related litigation in the U.S., London, Bermuda and Continental Europe. 

Sedgwick lawyers have been closely involved with reinsurers in a variety of tasks: establishing reserves for loss portfolios and individual large losses; conducting in-depth claims reviews and file inspections in various lines of business; drafting for facultative and treaty wordings; and endorsements to existing policies. We have guided the firm’s reinsurance clients toward achieving many successful commutations and other business terminations. Sedgwick lawyers also provide advice on excess and surplus lines regulatory issues and other regulatory and compliance issues facing reinsurers.

Sedgwick’s reinsurance practice is part of the firm’s Insurance Division, a firm-wide multidisciplinary collective of practice groups serving all facets of the insurance industry. Our clients come from all sectors of that industry and include some of the largest reinsurers in the business.

Reinsurance Dispute Resolution

In the area of dispute resolution, Sedgwick’s experience spanning over half a century and our reputation are second to none. Our attorneys have represented ceding companies and assuming reinsurers in numerous disputes in the U.S., Bermuda, London and continental Europe involving issues such as:

  • Horizontal versus vertical allocation
  • Aggregation and number of retention questions
  • Follow the fortunes and follow the settlements 
  • Claims control and cooperation 
  • Allocation between covered and uncovered claims 
  • Fronted and facultative arrangements, including “cut-through” issues
  • Conflicts of laws and multi-jurisdictional issues
  • Disputes over punitive damages coverage / extra-contractual obligations 
  • Fraud, nondisclosure and misrepresentation including rescission (avoidance)
  • Disputes over underwriting agency and pooling agreements
  • Run-off and insolvencies in various jurisdictions worldwide
  • Collection of reinsurance (or retrocession) recoverables
  • Breach of notice provisions and the duty of utmost good faith
  • Coverage for expense and interest obligations
  • Disputes involving the reinsurance of captive insurers and other alternative risk retention structure

Many of these cases have involved arbitration under ad hoc rules, national arbitration statutes, or trade association rules. We pride ourselves on our success in discreetly and expediently handling and resolving disputes through negotiation as well as alternative dispute resolution techniques, such as mediation.

Reinsurance Advisers

As reinsurance advisers, our services include:

  • Underwriting and claim reviews of both current and prospective ceding companies, including claims handling practices and risk management controls in a variety of lines, that include: healthcare, D&O, general liability, employment practices liability, lawyers, accountants, architects and engineers, and media liability
  • Providing reserve analyses of loss portfolios
  • Developing new products and programs
  • Monitoring complex (e.g., multi-party, multi-jurisdictional) claims
  • Drafting and interpreting facultative and obligatory reinsurance contracts or specific clauses
  • Negotiating, structuring and documenting commutations including commutation audits 
  • Advising on and implementing business transfers and schemes of arrangement 
  • Providing advice and representation on reinsurance regulatory and compliance issues