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HARRISMARTIN REINSURANCE SUMMIT: FRESH PERSPECTIVES ON THE REINSURANCE FRONT

August 22nd, 2011 Arbitration Practice and Procedure, Events, Reinsurance Arbitration, Reinsurance Claims, Reinsurance Mediation Comments Off on HARRISMARTIN REINSURANCE SUMMIT: FRESH PERSPECTIVES ON THE REINSURANCE FRONT By Philip J. Loree Jr.

The frequency of reinsurance disputes, like most things in the insurance industry, is cyclical in nature, and over the last three or four years or so, the number of new disputes each year has declined fairly significantly compared to 1990 through 2005 levels.  I don’t have statistics to back that statement up, but it is informed by personal experience and numerous discussions with industry participants and their service providers.

Reduced dispute frequency is good news for the industry, but it doesn’t mean that industry executives should assume that reinsurance disputes are a thing of the past, ignore important developments that bear on their resolution, or become less proactive in their efforts to prevent them.  Keeping apprised of recent, pertinent reinsurance- and dispute-resolution-related legal, regulatory and economic developments is particularly important today, because there have been – and will likely continue to be – many that may bear on the nature and frequency of future reinsurance disputes.

To that end, a number of experienced industry executives and  in-house counsel, and a small group of outside counsel, have joined forces with HarrisMartin Publishing to put together a two-day conference designed to survey important, recent developments concerning reinsurance and reinsurance dispute resolution.  The conference — entitled “Reinsurance Summit:  Fresh Perspectives on the Reinsurance Front” — is scheduled to take place at the Lowes Philadelphia Hotel on September 22-23, 2011.

It promises to be an excellent opportunity to keep abreast of what’s happening in the world of reinsurance and reinsurance-dispute-resolution, network with friends and colleagues, and earn CLE credits if you need them.  Admission is $895.00, but HarrisMartin is offering a $100.00 discount to those who register by September 2, 2011.  Registration, CLE and hotel information is here (HarrisMartin has negotiated a reduced, $199.00 per night hotel rate for conference attendees).

Here’s the program as described by HarrisMartin:

Day 1, Thursday, September 22, 2011

8:15 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.

WELCOME BY CO-CHAIRS

Edward K. Lenci, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, NewYork

Leslie J. Davis, Vice President & Assistant General Counsel, General Re, and Senior Vice President & General Counsel, US Aviation Underwriters, Stamford, CT

Wendy R. Taylor, Vice President and Associate Counsel, Chubb & Son, a division of Federal Insurance Company, Warren, NJ

8:30 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.

STATUTORY AND REGULATORY UPDATE: DODD-FRANK, THE NON-ADMITTED AND REINSURANCE REFORM ACT,  AND THE FEDERAL INSURANCE OFFICE

• Title V of the Dodd Frank Act: A discussion of the major interests lobbying for this legislation and against it, how and when the reinsurance provisions will be implemented and enforced, and the likely practical impact on reinsurance transactions.

• The Non-admitted and Reinsurance Reform Act: A discussion of issues relating to preemption, the future role of the NAIC, the changes to the significance of an insurer’s state of domicile, and how states and ceding companies may respond.

• The Federal Insurance Office: A discussion of this new office, “covered agreements,” the influence of Solvency II and international governing bodies, and the impact on state law, including a discussion of federalism and constitutionality.

Moderator:

A. Lindsay Doering, Law Office of A. Lindsay Doering, Philadelphia

Panel:

Patrick H. Cantilo, Cantilo & Bennett LLP, Austin, TX

Kimberly M. Welsh, Vice President and Assistant General Counsel, Reinsurance Association of America, Washington, D.C.

Daniel Schelp, Managing Attorney, National Association of Insurance Commissioners

9:45 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

THE JUDICIAL SCRUTINY OF ARBITRAL AWARDS

Over the last few years, courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, have decided a number of controversial cases concerning the power of courts to vacate arbitral awards on the grounds of excess-of-powers, evident partiality and procedural misconduct. Several of those cases involved arbitrations concerning reinsurance disputes. This panel will discuss recent developments pertinent to judicial review of arbitral awards, including outcome-based review, arbitral authority to award attorney fees and costs, adequacy of arbitrator disclosures, arbitrator qualifications, and arbitral “due process.” Among the controversial cases the panel will discuss are:

Stolt-Nielsen, S.A. v. AnimalFeeds Int’l Corp. (U.S. Supreme Court)

AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion (U.S. Supreme Court)

Reliastar Life Ins. Co. v. EMC Nat’l Life Co. (2nd Circuit)

PMA Capital Ins. Co. v. Platinum Underwriters Bermuda, Ltd. (3rd Circuit)

Dealer Computer Services, Inc. v. Dub Herring Ford, et al. (6th Circuit)

Trustmark Ins. Co. v. John Hancock Life Ins. Co. (7th Circuit)

Scandinavian Re Co. Ltd. v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co. (S.D.N.Y.) (appeal pending)

Amerisure Mut. Ins. Co., et al. v. GLOBAL Reins. Corp. of Am. (Ill. App. 1st Dist.)

Panel:

Philip J. Loree Jr., Loree & Loree, Manhasset, NY

John M. Nonna, Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP, NewYork

Richard Faulkner, Blume, Faulkner, Skeen & Northam, PLLC, Richardson, TX

10:45 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

REFRESHMENT BREAK

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

REINSURANCE CONTRACT WORDING: BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU ASK FOR!

Reinsurance contract wording is changing, due in part to the increasingly global nature of reinsurance and the competing regulatory requirements of different jurisdictions around the world. As a result, seemingly straightforward requests may have unintended consequences. Some of the complex clauses and issues that this panel will discuss include:

• Governing Law, Jurisdiction and Venue: Enforceability of choice of law; the legacy of Wasa v. Lexington; the impact on arbitrators’ power; application of procedural law; and the possible collision of governing law with the negotiated and paid for coverage for punitive damages, ECO/XPL.

• Economic and Trade Sanctions: The recent rise in demand for sanction exclusionary language and the ramifications of wordings currently circulating, including a comparison of the traditional territorial exclusion, the US/OFAC exclusionary wording and the London Market exclusionary wording; the counter forces of anti-blocking legislation; and highlights of trade sanction programs, including discussion of particular countries and jurisdictions).

• Claims Cooperation: An examination of different clauses, why they are requested, how they help or hinder the parties, and the differences between the U.S. and U.K/Europe.

• Commutations and Sunset: Loss notice provisions; Mandatory or permissive commutations; formalized contractual commutation methodologies; appraisal provisions; actuarial arbitrations.

Panel:

Wendy R. Taylor, Vice President and Associate Counsel, Chubb & Son, a division of Federal Insurance Company, Warren, NJ

Myra E. Lobel, Managing Director, Guy Carpenter & Company LLC, NewYork

David A. Silva, Mound CottonWollan & Greengrass, New York

David N. Kragseth, Senior Contract Wording Specialist, Munich Reinsurance America, Inc., Princeton, NJ

12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

LUNCH

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

WHAT, EXACTLY, IS BAD FAITH IN REINSURANCE?

The duty of utmost good faith is a two-way street. Two in-house attorneys will explore the duties and obligations of cedents and reinsurers with respect to underwriting, presentation and acceptance of the risk, renewals, claim handling, claim presentation, and arbitration or litigation.

Panel:

Leslie J. Davis, Vice President & Assistant General Counsel, General Re, and Senior Vice President & General Counsel, US Aviation Underwriters, Stamford, CT

Susan Grondine-Dauwer, General Counsel,R&Q USA, Boston

Jeanne M. Kohler, Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge LLP, New York

2:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.

REFRESHMENT BREAK

2:45 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.

DISPUTE RESOLUTION ALTERNATIVES: LITIGATION, MEDIATION, ARBITRATION

In-house counsel will share insights and address the “pros and cons” of the litigation, arbitration and mediation of reinsurance disputes as well as alternative arbitral rules and fora, such as offered by AIRROC.  Moderated by Bina T. Dagar, this panel will deliver a balanced view of cedent and assumed perspectives to ADR. The discussions will include:

• Options available to resolve reinsurance disputes

• Benfits and challenges posed by each alternative

Ad Hoc vs. institutional arbitration/mediation

• Organizations as clearinghouses – ReMedi, AAA, AIRROC, ARIAS, CPR and JAMS

Attendees will be asked to complete a Zoomerang survey ahead of the Conference to be incorporated into the presentation.

Moderator:

Bina T. Dagar, Ameya Consulting, LLC, Livingston,NJ

Panel: Steven Agosta, General Counsel, XLRe America, Stamford, CT

Scott P. Birrell, Vice President and Associate General Counsel, Travelers Insurance Co., Hartford, CT

Anthony Vidovich, Vice President & Assistant General Counsel, Director of Reinsurance Law, The Hartford, Hartford, CT

Michael Zeller, Vice President, Reinsurance Services Division, AIG, Inc., New York

3:45 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

THE VERY MODEL OF A REINSURANCE ARBITRATOR: INDUSTRY EXECUTIVES SPEAK OUT

The in-house counsel on our faculty will serve on this panel, to be moderated by Fritz K. Huszagh of Hinshaw & Culbertson in Chicago. Among the issues the panelists will address, from the insurers’ and reinsurers’ perspectives, in this potentially lively session are:

• What qualifications should an ideal arbitrator and umpire have?

• What disclosures should they make?

• Is there any value to “certification” of arbitrators and umpires?

• If so, what factors should be considered in the certification process?

• Should arbitrators accept conflicting assignments?

• What is a fair fee for arbitrators and umpires?

• Which expenses are proper and which are not?

• Should arbitrators and umpires be paid non-refundable retainers?

• Should they be paid hearing cancellation fees?

Moderator:

Fritz K. Huszagh, Hinshaw & Culbertson, Chicago

Panel:

Steven Agosta, General Counsel, XL Re America, Stamford, CT

Scott P. Birrell, Vice President and Associate General Counsel, Travelers Insurance Co., Hartford, CT

Ali E. Rifai, General Counsel, Zurich Insurance CMB Division, and former Interim General Counsel, Zurich Insurance Middle East Region

Susan Grondine-Dauwer, General Counsel, R&Q USA, Boston

Leslie J. Davis, Vice President & Assistant General Counsel, General Re, and Senior Vice President & General Counsel, US Aviation Underwriters, Stamford, CT

Thomas Freudenstein, COO, GLOBAL Reinsurance Corporation of America and Director and Attorney at GLOBALE Rückversicherungs-AG, New York and Cologne, Germany

Myra E. Lobel, Managing Director, Guy Carpenter & Company LLC, NewYork

Anthony Vidovich, Vice President & Assistant General Counsel, Director of Reinsurance Law, The Hartford, Hartford, CT

Michael Zeller, Vice President, Reinsurance Services Division, AIG, Inc., NewYork

5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

NETWORKING COCKTAIL RECEPTION

Day 2, Friday, September 23, 2011

7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.

CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST

8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS FOR LAWYERS SERVING AS UMPIRES AND ARBITRATORS

An interactive talk on how state rules concerning the ethical obligations of lawyers impact lawyers who are serving as umpires and arbitrators.

Daniel E. Tranen, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP,Boston

9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

DEVELOPMENTS IN REINSURANCE AROUND THE WORLD

In an ever-increasingly globalized economy, businesspersons and lawyers need to know what’s happening around the world. Each panelist will cover a different region of the world, providing crucial information about current market trends, governmental regulations, resolution of disputes and the like. (A Refreshment break will be held during this panel from 10:30 – 10:45 a.m.)

Panel:

UK: Peter W. Ambler, Managing Director, Towers Watson (Re)Insurance Brokers Ltd., London

Europe: Thomas Freudenstein, COO, GLOBAL Reinsurance Corp. of America and Director and Attorney at GLOBALE Rückversicherungs-AG, New York & Cologne, Germany

Latin America: M. Machua Millett, Senior Vice President, Senior Advisory Specialist and Global GPL Team Leader, Marsh USA Inc., Boston

Middle East: Ali E. Rifai, General Counsel, Zurich Insurance CMB Division, and former Interim General Counsel, Zurich Insurance Middle East Region

Canada: Stuart S. Carruthers, Stikeman Elliott, Toronto

I hope to see you there!

         

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