Operating both in London and New York, Sullivan has extensive experience advising and representing banks, insurance brokers, investment funds, traders, professionals and others on a wide variety of insurance-related issues and in insurance disputes.

The practice is unique in offering a multi-disciplinary, integrated insurance and dispute resolution service led by partner Marian Boyle in London, with New York-based Michael Sullivan (also a Registered Foreign Lawyer in England).

The team handles both transactional and contentious instructions and has extensive experience representing leading trade and commodities finance practitioners in a wide range of insurance transactions and disputes. These include London-based proceedings, arbitrations and mediations, the results of which inform the team’s approach to the drafting of commercial insurance contracts.

Policyholder Dispute Resolution

Insurance related disputes are an unwanted disruption and a distraction. We understand that if an insurer disputes your claim, or is slow to accept liability, your objective is to achieve an early and cost-effective resolution.

If a coverage dispute arises or looks likely, the insurance team at Sullivan will provide a rigorous analysis of your prospects of success, and strategic advice on effective claims handling. Wherever possible, we will help you to resolve your claim through negotiation and with a minimum of conflict, in order to preserve your relationships.

If negotiation fails, we vigorously deploy our experience, skill and tenacity on your behalf in pursuing your claim efficiently and economically. We regularly represent commercial and finance clients in coverage disputes throughout the world, including mediations, arbitrations supervised by the London Court of International Arbitration, the American Arbitration Association, and the International Chamber of Commerce, as well as in traditional litigation.

Policy wording Advice and Risk Management

Insurance plays a vital part in the risk management process of all organisations including risk/loss mitigation and risk allocation.

Yet it is often difficult for businesses to assess accurately the extent of the coverage offered by competing policies. If commercial policies are purchased solely on the basis of pricing, the result is often frustration and disappointment when a loss occurs, indemnification is sought, and the claim is delayed or denied.

To avoid this, you need advisers who understand not only the highly specialised insurance legal landscape but also how the insurance market operates in practice. Sullivan’s team are experts in this complex area and can advise you on how well your policy wording covers the risks to which you are exposed.

Firstly, we understand the underlying transaction. Sullivan has deep and broad experience in all manner of commercial and finance transactions. From construction, project and infrastructure to cross-border securitisations (where we represent some of the world’s largest financial institutions) - we regularly advise on the type of deals that you are looking to insure. We also have an unrivalled breadth of knowledge in trade and export finance (where the firm is a recognised market leader, having received numerous awards and industry accolades).

Secondly, we have extensive experience of how the insurance market operates and on the use of insurance as a means of risk transfer across a variety of finance activities (including project finance, construction, receivables finance, securitisation and tax credit transactions, as well as trade, commodity, supply chain and export credit finance).

In addition to supporting structured trade, commodity and pre-export financing, the team also advises on the insurance of corporate finance, energy, property, M&A and outsourcing transactions.

Marian Boyle and the team in London draft and interpret insurance policies and advise on wording improvements to achieve a robust risk transfer and limit the risks of a policy not responding. The team is also expert in the use of insurance as an eligible form of credit risk mitigation under the UK’s Capital Requirements Regulation and the EU’s equivalent capital requirements regimes.

Sullivan’s expertise in advising on policy wordings and the management of insurance claims and subrogation actions is complemented by the team’s experience in dealing with the complex issues arising from restructuring of distressed debts that are insured.

Our insurance advisory work also includes advising on sharing the benefits of coverage by way of co-assurance, joint insurance and loss payee structures. Our a strong track record in policyholder claims and coverage disputes gives us valuable insight, both into the way insurers operate in a claim scenario and how courts/arbitral panels will likely interpret policy wordings. This experience informs the rigorous approach we take to all our insurance contract-related drafting.

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