For more than 35 years, Butler Rubin’s Reinsurance practice has provided trusted, experienced counsel in reinsurance disputes on behalf of ceding insurers, assuming reinsurers, underwriting agencies and claims managers. The firm’s experience makes available to clients Butler Rubin’s unsurpassed knowledge of the intricacies of reinsurance custom and practice and the commercial relationships upon which participants in the industry depend. Our practice includes more than 15 trial lawyers who have devoted their practices to reinsurance-related matters. In May 2016, Butler Rubin was recognized for the eleventh consecutive year as a #1 firm for “Insurance: Dispute Resolution: Reinsurance: Illinois” by Chambers USA.
In 2004, Butler Rubin created Women in Reinsurance (WIR) to discuss how the reinsurance industry was evolving and how women could play a dynamic role in the future of the field. WIR regularly sponsors events of interest to professional women in the reinsurance industry and fosters networking and information sharing.
With each reinsurance arbitration or litigation, our approach involves four critical factors:
1) Investigation – We believe that an early investigation of the facts and the law is critical to the development of an effective litigation strategy and maximizes our client’s position. Beyond effective investigation to identify and review relevant documents and interviews of key witnesses, it also requires critical and considered thinking about the key elements of each party’s case and a determination of how the facts and law support or undermine those elements.
2) Strategy – We develop a litigation strategy based on the results of our investigation, crafting our strategy around the facts rather than forcing the facts to fit into a pre-conceived strategy.
3) Success – Because we have been preparing for trial since day one of the case, we are ready to take a matter to trial if it cannot be satisfactorily resolved at the preliminary stages.
4) Partnership – A strong partnership between our lawyers and our clients is the foundation of our work. We understand the business of reinsurance and use that knowledge to assist clients in defining their litigation objectives such that we can custom design our case strategy to achieve those goals.
We litigate and arbitrate reinsurance matters in courtrooms, before arbitration panels and in the courts of appeal. To assist our reinsurance clients, we provide a variety of counseling services including preparation of contracts, trust documents, and commutation agreements including advising on asset transfers, disclosures, ceding logic and notices to reinsurers. We also provide counseling on other non-litigation aspects of reinsurance relationships.
Our experience trying and arguing cases includes expertise in a number of issue-specific areas:
- Litigation – trials and appeals, including misrepresentation; risk transfer; brokerage; contract interpretation; and custom and practice.
- Arbitration – including the enforceability and scope of arbitration provisions; selection, qualification and disqualification of arbitrators; propriety of pre-hearing security; access to records, reinsurance audits and other discovery issues; trial and confirmation of arbitration awards, including appeals.
- Underwriting Disputes – including misrepresentation and omissions; utmost good faith; general underwriting administration; individual underwriting decisions; warranties and exclusions; contract interpretation; and reinsurance spirals.
- Reserving, Claims Handling and Allocation Disputes – propriety of different reserving practices and actuarial methods; claims handling; late notice of claims; recoverability and allocation of asbestos, environmental and toxic losses.
- Finite Reinsurance Disputes – including misrepresentation and omissions; risk transfer; the placement and pricing of finite reinsurance contracts; and interpretation of provisions commonly found in finite reinsurance contracts such as sublimits, funds held clauses, special termination clauses, reset clauses and access to records clauses.
- Agency Disputes – including brokerage; misrepresentation and omissions; responsibility for supervision; the authority of various types of agents and the propriety of their actions; and the termination of insurance and reinsurance agencies.
- Insolvency Disputes – ownership of common account excess of loss recoveries; availability of set-offs; interpretation and enforceability of cut-through clauses; ownership of letters of credit and trust instruments; and creditor standing to pursue causes of action against third parties.
Comments from Clients and Contacts as Reported to Chambers USA
- “Butler Rubin is the best in the reinsurance industry.”
- “Longstanding experience and knowledge of the most sophisticated industry issues.”
- “Particular expertise in complex reinsurance arbitrations.”
- “Very accessible and responsive lawyers who are not afraid to tell you what you may not want to hear.”
- “Clients are impressed by the team’s depth, with strong junior litigators behind impressive senior partners.”
- “A more experienced and client-friendly group than the competition.”
- “Clients are delighted with the service they receive from these lawyers: they know what the standard procedures are and can approach things from a new angle.”
- “A nice combination of smart and highly skilled lawyers with good judgment.”
- “Thoughtful, intelligent and meticulous.”
- “Experienced in handling high-value and sophisticated reinsurance litigation and arbitration on behalf of some of the most prominent reinsurers in the market on both a local and national level.”
- “A boutique firm of reliable experts who are our right hand for day-to-day advice, arbitrations and dispute resolution.”
- “The group really does have an exceptional teamwork ethic and the lawyers work really well together.”
Other Industry Accolades
- Named a “hidden gem” – BTI Consulting Group’s Power Rankings
- Cited for delivering superior client service – BTI Consulting Group’s A-Team Report
- Named a “Go-To” Law Firm for the Top 500 Companies – Incisive/American Lawyer Media
- Recognized among the “Best Law Firms” – U.S. News Media Group and Best Lawyers
- Illinois Super Lawyers – Law Bulletin Publishing Group
- Leaders in their Fields – Best Lawyers
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