Legal Business Blogs

Adviser review: AIG to roll out UK panel process to entire EMEA region

The legal team at American International Group (AIG) EMEA is to carry out wider panel assessments for Europe, Middle East and Africa, following the ongoing review of the insurer’s UK roster, which is due to complete at the end of March.

The panel cycle at AIG EMEA is divided into three groups: the UK, ‘EMEA one’ and ‘EMEA two’. EMEA one includes firms in countries such as France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, the Netherlands and Spain and includes A&L Goodbody, Clyde & Co, CMS Cameron McKenna, DAC Beachcroft, DLA Piper, Kennedys, Norton Rose Fulbright (NRF) and Pinsent Masons.

Meanwhile, EMEA two includes the Czech Republic, Finland, Portugal, Sweden and Norway and also includes Clydes, CMS and DLA alongside Baker McKenzie and Dentons.

While the review of UK firms concludes on 31 March, the deadline for EMEA one firms is 31 July and for EMEA two firms 30 November. The insurer will then move on to reviewing its Asia-Pacific (APAC) legal panel (excluding Japan) to round off the two-year cycle. The 2017/18 reviews will address all business functions other than the recently established panels for asset management and M&A insurance. AIG also reviewed and formalised its Japanese legal panel last year.

AIG’s Legal Operation Centre (LOC) recently formalised the relationships it has with law firms providing legal services to its asset management and M&A insurance teams across the UK, Europe the Middle East and Africa. There are 25 firms in total on these additional panels, including Berwin Leighton Paisner, Carey Olsen, Clifford Chance, CMS, Dentons, Eversheds, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Macfarlanes, Nabarro, NRF, Paul Hastings, Pinsents, Simmons & Simmons and Travers Smith.

‘Both business units are well established within AIG, as were their respective legal panels,’ said Patrick Fennelly, head of EMEA-APAC law firm management at AIG. He added that while the review largely involved formalising those existing arrangements, it factored in each unit’s longer-term goals.

‘The collaboration between AIG’s LOC, corporate legal and claims teams – as well as the various business functions – has resulted in the creation of robust and specialist legal panels capable of responding to all AIG’s external counsel needs.

We have formalised panels in the individual countries, mapped to our target operating model, and supported by the global footprint and network of all our panel firms.’

He added: ‘This allows us to fully understand who is capable of doing what and where, while recognising the importance of domestic firms, and what they bring to the business, as well as the need for firms with a global reach. I am confident that the business is well represented across the regions, with domestic, national and international firms.’

Chris Newby, AIG’s EMEA general counsel (GC) (pictured) added: ‘AIG EMEA’s legal panel strategy has been to build strong partnerships with its panel firms to ensure excellent legal services are provided to the business. I am very pleased with the progress we have made, the results achieved and we will continue to pursue this strategy through 2017/18.’