Legal Business

Clifford Chance, BLP and DLA among firms named on AIG’s new UK roster

Clifford Chance, BLP and DLA among firms named on AIG’s new UK roster

Clifford Chance, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Berwin Leighton Paisner and DLA Piper are among firms named on American International Group’s (AIG) new UK panel arrangement.

The insurance giant has named 29 firms in total, with Clyde & Co, Eversheds Sutherland and Macfarlanes also making the list.

The panel will last for two years and the process was managed by Patrick Fennelly, director and head of EMEA and APAC law firm management at AIG’s Legal Operations Centre. Fennelly also reports into Chris Newby (pictured) AIG’s EMEA general counsel (GC).

In March Legal Business revealed that the legal team at AIG was to carry out wider panel assessments for Europe, Middle East and Africa following the completion of the UK review.

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 UK review was finalised on 31 March this year, 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 declined to comment.

kathryn.mccann@legalease.co.uk

Read more in: ‘A buyers’ market – The trends and traumas in adviser reviews’

The full list of panel firms is as follows:

Berwin Leighton Paisner

Bond Dickinson

BTO

Carey Olsen

Chadbourne & Parke

Clifford Chance

Clyde & Co

CMS

DAC Beachcroft

Dentons

DLA Piper

Eversheds Sutherland

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Holman Fenwick Willan

Kennedys

Macfarlanes

Mayer Brown

Mills & Reeve

Murphy & O’Rawe

Nabarro

Norton Rose Fulbright

Paul Hastings

Pinsent Masons

Plexus

RPC

Roose & Partners

Simmons & Simmons

Travers Smith

Weightmans

Legal Business

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

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.’

kathryn.mccann@legalease.co.uk

Legal Business

AIG rolls out UK panel review process to entire EMEA region

AIG rolls out UK panel review  process to entire EMEA region

Insurer to look at Asia once Europe assessment ends

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 kicked off last month and is due to complete at the end of March.

Legal Business

Law firms avoid ‘dangerous precedent’ as High Court clarifies PII rules in landmark dispute against insurer AIG

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A client of City-based law firm Royds has been granted a landmark ruling over an insurance-related dispute against insurer AIG with the High Court clarifying the Solicitors’ Minimum Terms of Cover rules.

The High Court ruling found that hundreds of liability claims brought by individuals could not be aggregated into a single claim if they were independent of each other although arose from similar acts or omissions.

The case AIG Europe Ltd v OC320301 LLP & Ors concerned over 200 individuals – represented by Royds – who had invested their money in holiday property schemes in Turkey and Morocco but had subsequently lost that money as a result of alleged negligence of the now defunct International Law Partnership LLP.

AIG turned to Mayer Brown on the dispute and argued that the limit of indemnity for all claims under their policy should be capped at £3m, as outlined by the Solicitors’ Minimum Terms of Cover (MTC), approved by the Law Society in 2005. It would have meant that the hundreds of claims could be aggregated into one claim with AIG on the hook for £3m. However under the High Court’s ruling the liability of the claims will be worth their individual value – totalling £11m.

Commenting on the decision, Richard Woodman, a partner at Royds, said the case was very important as not only did it directly affect clients’ ability to recover losses, but an adverse finding could have put law firms at financial risk.

‘If AIG had been successful, then the claims would have been aggregated and the maximum recovery would have been limited to £3m, when in fact over £11m was lost in total. We are obviously delighted therefore, that the argument was rejected by the Judge. Today’s result is also welcome news for the legal profession, as AIG’s interpretation of the Minimum Terms of Cover would have set a very dangerous precedent and placed law firms at financial risk if insurance firms had refused to cover multiple claims with high aggregate values.’

Royds instructed Tom Leech QC, of Herbert Smith Freehills, and Edward Risso-Gill of Thomas More Chambers while Ben Hubble QC, Carl Troman and Peter Morcos of 4 New Square instructed by Mayer Brown, acted for AIG Europe.

kathryn.mccann@legalease.co.uk

Legal Business

‘Phase two’: AIG reviews UK panel and establishes 64-strong European roster

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American insurance giant AIG has carried out a review of its UK-based legal panel and established a new 64-member roster to cover the company’s European operations across 12 countries.

Both reviews were carried out at the same time by the company’s Legal Operations Center. The UK panel review, which was primarily a housekeeping exercise around the 25-firm panel established in 2013, took three months, while the Continental roster took a year due to the size and volume of firms and the administration involved.

Firms on the UK panel were selected in ‘Phase one’ of the process in 2013 and include Bond Dickinson, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Linklaters and Norton Rose Fulbright. This round, ‘Phase two’, reviewed the original terms and conditions of the UK roster, as well as finalising the continental panel of 63 firms.

Speaking to Legal Business, EMEA general counsel Chris Newby (pictured) said: ‘Our commitment to those 25 firms was really to build long-term strategic relationships. This has really been a review of rates and getting more strategically positioned around value-added services. We’ve put systems in place to capture all the value-added services we are getting so we can give the law firms credit and we’ve got a centralised database of everything that is going on. It was not a panel review to cull and shrink it – it wasn’t done with that strategic purpose.’

According to Newby, the nature of the continental insurance market means there isn’t a great deal of crossover between the two panels and the majority of the 64 firms are specialist or local to the different jurisdictions in Europe.

The company operates on a two-year cycle for reviews and Newby used a reverse auction for a second time to help set rates. He added: ‘It wasn’t an exercise in expecting rates to go down. In most cases we used the reverse auction process to let the market find its right rate. In most areas rates stayed the same and in certain areas they came down because of the way the market is – people thought they could charge less. As a process it lets the legal market set the price and I think it is the fairest and most transparent way of doing it.’

kathryn.mccann@legalease.co.uk

Legal Business

‘Phase two’: AIG reviews UK panel and establishes 64-strong European roster

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American insurance giant AIG has carried out a review of its UK-based legal panel and established a new 64-member roster to cover the company’s European operations across 12 countries.

Both reviews were carried out at the same time by the company’s Legal Operations Center. The UK panel review, which was primarily a housekeeping exercise around the 25-firm panel established in 2013, took three months, while the Continental roster took a year due to the size and volume of firms and the administration involved.

Legal Business

Emily Cane: Associate Counsel for EMEA commercial lines, AIG

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According to one nomination in support of Emily Cane’s inclusion in this year’s report, she is ‘regarded as indispensable to the legal team and worth ten people’.

A former Norton Rose associate, who qualified into the firm’s corporate and regulatory insurance team, Cane joined AIG in January 2010, working for EMEA GC Chris Newby.

Newby is certainly impressed: ‘Emily has displayed not only legal acumen but tremendous adaptability, taking on a variety of increasingly senior and complex roles over the years. She has tackled each with pragmatism and legal zeal to provide legal services to the financial lines, Global Risk Solutions and the EMEA-wide group.’

Some of Cane’s most noteworthy roles include advising on transactions with FTSE 100 companies and developing AIG financial lines products as well as global captive reinsurance programmes, sanctions issues and multinational matters.

Legal Business

AIG

  • EMEA general counsel: Chris Newby.
  • Group general counsel: Thomas Russo.
  • Team headcount: 1,200 in legal, regulatory and company secretarial, including 85 lawyers in Europe.

Talk of innovation is widespread among in-house legal teams but at AIG, the team genuinely stands out for delivering on a number of fronts with little fanfare despite being a company that has faced wrenching change in recent years.

Under the helm in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) of understated general counsel (GC) Chris Newby, the AIG legal team last year worked with McKinsey to implement a Lean Six Sigma (LSS) efficient working model, which it completed in December after a 14-week programme. While LSS will be rolled out across different departments and jurisdictions within AIG EMEA, legal is the only function to have completed it. Newby comments: ‘I put in a bid for why I thought it would be a good exercise for legal to do and the chief executive and New York legal supported the initiative.’

AIG’s legal team expects to save 20% of time currently spent on day-to-day tasks. They will ‘reinvest’ 10% of that time, while the other 10% will go towards helping AIG lawyers achieve a better work/life balance.

Having analysed where duplication of tasks exists, the team is rolling out European-wide standard operating procedures and Newby has already overseen an initiative to educate the AIG business about what the legal team does and introduce service-level agreements. These latest initiatives follow the introduction in 2013 of an independent ‘legal operations centre’ to obtain better metrics and performance indicators on external legal counsel. In the same year, Newby outsourced much of AIG’s volume work to Bond Dickinson, freeing up in-house lawyers to work on more strategic issues. He is currently trialling automated non-disclosure agreements in conjunction with Bond Dickinson.

Other key team members include deputy GC Europe, Kirsty Middleton, and UK head of legal, Neil Braakenburg.

Legal Business

Profile: Chris Newby, AIG

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As AIG’s general counsel for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Chris Newby appears extraordinarily calm for a man in charge of a burgeoning portion of a $65.7bn business, that was described as on the brink of failure a couple of years ago.

Now, happily labelled as the ‘largest turnaround in corporate history’, things could easily have turned out very differently at New York-headquartered AIG. Newby’s apparent poise masks the prolonged period of extreme uncertainty and hard work that it took to get there. It’s unsurprising that he is still cautious, commenting: ‘There is no doubt there are signs of economic recovery, but we inevitably still face challenges.’

Legal Business

Ever reducing panels: AIG reveals new look firm line-up

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The in-house trend towards panel downsizing is again in evidence as AIG today (26 September) revealed a 25-strong list of advisers with a view to ultimately reducing that number to as little as single figures.

Phase one of AIG’s Europe Middle East and Africa (EMEA) regional legal panel review – covering AIG’s claims and corporate legal panels for the UK and its nine largest European operations – has seen firms including Linklaters, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, CMS Cameron McKenna, Clyde & Co, DAC Beachcroft and Kennedys reappointed.

Other firms awarded a place on the panel, following the review led by EMEA general counsel Chris Newby, include BLP, Bond Dickinson, DLA Piper and Simmons & Simmons.

Following the merger of AIG’s European and UK businesses in December last year, the insurance giant has also introduced a Legal Operations Centre (LOC), with the objective of achieving centralised management of the legal panel for AIG’s EMEA businesses.

Newby said: ‘We are aiming to partner with fewer law firms across EMEA and build broader and deeper relationships with these firms. Our objective is to manage our law firm relationships centrally and to ensure an excellent legal service to all areas of the business – claims, underwriting and corporate.

‘Having set up an excellent structure, the next stage is to improve the way we manage our legal panel. Better management information and closer working relationships will help us to drive efficiencies and, more importantly, improve quality of service. For example we may choose to adopt alternative fee arrangements connected to the delivery of business objectives. We see the potential for further consolidation in the future but we are currently focused on quality of service.’

francesca.fanshawe@legalease.co.uk

UK LAW FIRMS APPOINTED:

Linklaters

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Berwin Leighton Paisner

Mayer Brown

Bond Dickinson

Mills & Reeve

BTO

Morrison & Foerster

Chadbourne & Parke

Murphy & O’Rawe

Clyde & Co

Norton Rose Fulbright

CMS Cameron McKenna

Plexus

DAC Beachcroft

Robin Simon

DLA Piper

RPC

Simmons & Simmons

Hill Dickinson

Simpson & Marwick

Holman Fenwick Willan

Travers Smith

Kennedys

Weightmans