Insurance - Latin America-wide
THE FIRM Clyde & Co is a well-established force in this market, having been active in the region for more than 20 years. The firm has a particular emphasis on Brazil-related work, where it has recently advised on two of the country's largest-ever claims. The team recently acted for multiple claimants, including SulAmérica CIA Nacional De Seguros (associated with ING), in a landmark GBP550 million dispute with Enesa Engenharia, which resulted in changes to Brazilian law. Another key highlight saw the firm represent Zurich and Swiss Re, in addition to several other claimants, in a USD1 billion damages case relating to the Jirau Dam project in western Brazil.
Sources say: "This firm has a long track record in Latin America, meaning you expect to see them at the top of the rankings."
KEY INDIVIDUALS London-based Peter Hirst is widely applauded for his breadth of experience and extensive activity in this field. He is a registered foreign lawyer in Brazil and also advises on numerous matters throughout Asia, the Middle East and the USA.
Brazil-based Stirling Leech is fluent in both Spanish and Portuguese, and is well regarded by market commentators. He has considerable experience in shipping and energy matters, which greatly informs his insurance practice.
THE FIRM Most of this firm's insurance work falls on the contentious side, reflecting its impressive track record in arbitration. Based in London, the insurance team has an extensive client list that features Brit Insurance, Lexington Insurance and Antares Underwriting, among many other notable names. The team is especially active in the Andean region.
Sources say: "This firm provides very proactive and sound advice."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Sources agree that Christopher Cardona is "definitely one of the key players in the market." He is fluent in Spanish and has extensive experience in insurance and reinsurance matters. He takes the lead on the majority of the team's highlights.
Senior associate Rebecca Huggins is currently assisting Cardona on a major arbitration seated in Lima. She has substantial experience in representing clients from the London market.
THE FIRM This global insurance heavyweight has had an office in Mexico since 2004, and expanded its Latin American presence in November 2012 through its merger with Chilean firms SegurosLex and Amunategui y Cía. The practice is co-ordinated from London and represents a range of major insurers, including AXA, Zurich, QBE, Swiss Re and AIG.
Sources say: "DAC is an impressive player in this practice area with a real Latin America footprint."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Peers regard Hermes Marangos as a "very impressive" figure. He is qualified as a barrister and solicitor, and has more than 20 years' experience advising clients on issues in Latin America. He has been instructed on reinsurance cases by clients from a range of industries of late, including energy, heavy industry and agriculture.
Disputes partner Matthew Wescott frequently acts for clients throughout Latin America on insurance and reinsurance cases. His expertise also covers D&O and negligence claims.
THE FIRM This firm is perceived by sources to have the leading practice for aviation and maritime insurance matters. Its Latin American profile was given a major boost by the opening of its São Paulo branch in October 2011, which increasingly acts as a hub for its work in the region. It represents AIRES (now LAN Colombia), as well as the airline's insurers and reinsurers, in connection with multiple claims stemming from the crash of one of its B737 aircraft.
Sources say: "This firm is technically strong, with a far greater level of consistency in technical and practical ability than many of the competitors. The lawyers anticipate problems, communicate well in advance and come up with solutions that work for us."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Jonathan Bruce's practice focuses on energy, marine and shipping insurance. "He is particularly aware of delivering a good service and is always keen to find a resolution wherever possible," remarked one source.
São Paulo office head Jeremy Shebson was the lead partner on the AIRES aircraft crash claims matter mentioned above. According to clients, "he is very good at anticipating concerns and dealing with them."
Associate Geoffrey Conlin has recently relocated from London to work in the firm's Brazil office. Clients highlight his "very direct knowledge and understanding of the local markets besides all the insurance coverage issues."
THE FIRM This firm is regarded as a market leader in marine insurance and reinsurance, though it is also active in political risk, professional negligence and business interruption claims. It is currently advising ACE on its cyber policy wordings in Latin America. Among its other representations, it has acted for CCNI, CPT Empresas Maritimas, Favorita/Grupowong and Multinacional de Seguros.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Having practised in this arena over 30 years, Peter Rogan is "very well known in the insurance community," and continues to lead the Latin America group. His core areas of expertise are marine, professional indemnity and political risk.
Ian Chetwood represents clients in wet and dry shipping disputes across the globe and has a substantial track record in Latin America.
THE FIRM Political risk, public liability and financial institutions claims form the core of this practice. The firm's long-term association with Tauil & Chequer in Brazil offers clients significant support in that jurisdiction, as does the firm's comprehensive transactional experience in the region. The practice is praised by sources for its bench strength and in-depth understanding of relevant issues.
Sources say: "Their reports are very precise and comprehensive, and the team is also very timely - you hear from them before you have to worry about how the case has progressed."
KEY INDIVIDUALS David Chadwick heads the insurance and reinsurance group, and has considerable experience in political risk matters. He is currently advising an international insurer on a professional indemnity matter in Peru.
Of counsel Carlos Fane speaks fluent Spanish and plays a major role in many of the firm's highlight matters. Sources regard him as "a key player" in the market, and also highlight his impressive understanding of the differences between Latin American and Anglo-Saxon business culture.
THE FIRM This group principally acts for the London markets on Brazil-related claims. The scope of its expertise extends to large liability and property damage losses, as well as coverage advice and subrogation. It has recently acted for a number of well-known insurers on a series of high-value Brazilian losses.
Sources say: "The lawyers have repeatedly demonstrated an ability to get the best from other experts engaged in a claim, focusing their attention on the issues that matter."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Jonathan Hall "has an exceptional grasp of detail," observed sources, who also praised John Startin for his "wealth of technical knowledge and formidable intellect." Hall and Startin regularly act as co-lead partners on the firm's major insurance cases, with a particular focus on Brazil.
THE FIRM This group distinguishes itself in Latin America by working for the local market. The team is split between London, Madrid and Miami, and has recently been active on behalf of major insurers in Mexico, advising on an array of contentious and non-contentious matters.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Madrid partner Luis Alfonso Fernández is the key client contact.
THE FIRM The Miami branch of this global insurance practice has made impressive waves in the region since opening its doors in 2010. It acts for insurers, reinsurers and multinational carriers on the full range of contentious and non-contentious matters. It maintains close relationships with well-established local firms in Brazil, Mexico and Chile.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Alex Guillamont leads the team and has a growing international reputation for both insurance and reinsurance matters. He regularly advises clients on aspects of policy drafting, while his contentious work encompasses medical malpractice, political risk and professional indemnity.
Associate Michael Hennessy continues to attract considerable praise from market sources. His insurance practice has a particular focus on the energy, construction and shipping sectors.
THE FIRM This compact practice is steadily increasing its profile in the market. Its work has expanded considerably of late, with the group picking up mandates from Aegis, Ark and Catlin, as well as continuing its association with long-term client QBE. The majority of the work is handled from London but the team also includes partners based across the USA.
Sources say: "Sedgwick, Detert, Moran & Arnold would always be one of the firms we consider for Latin American insurance matters."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Mark Kendall advises on both contentious and non-contentious matters, with particular expertise in the energy, construction and utilities sectors. His recent Latin American experience also includes providing coverage advice to a major insurer following a significant property loss.
Special counsel Duncan Strachan focuses on insurance and reinsurance matters in the downstream oil and gas sector. He has particular experience of matters in Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil and Chile, and according to clients he is "very good at pushing claims through to fruition."