Insurance includes both contentious and non-contentious insurance and reinsurance matters. On the contentious side, this includes claims litigation, broker’s negligence and both “facultative” and “treaty” reinsurance disputes. There is also an element of professional negligence issues arising from insurance disputes. On the non-contentious side, this includes all forms of M&A, capital raisings, de-mutualization and other regulatory issues.
Many insurance lawyers spend as much as 15 hours a week writing letters to claimants, attorneys, commissioners, physicians, agents, senior management, and others. If an insurance professional is an unskilled writer, it will show up in every letter, report, proposal, Power Point presentation, manual, email, and memo.
Solving Drafting/ Editing Problems:
- A Formal Structure Is Not a Bad Thing – There is a pervasive myth that a formal structure for writing will “cramp your style.” Nothing could be further from the truth. From Bach to Bartok, some of the greatest musical composers have achieved sublime effects by using formal structures to ground and organize creative product. Every insurance coverage opinion ever written has followed the same basic structure: (1) factual background; (2) description of coverage; (3) coverage
analysis; and (4) conclusions and recommendations for further handling. Far from creating a confining structure for coverage analysis, having a structured format for analyzing insurance coverage disputes helps you to organize your material and frees you to be creative and to work within this structure much as a classical composer may improvise within the familiar forms of a symphony or concerto.
- Don’t Jump to Conclusions – A lawyer often starts with preconceptions about whether a claim is covered. Some of this may come from your initial conversations and communications with your client. Bias may also arise from similar cases that you have handled in the past. As understandable as such preconceptions and bias may be, they are poisonous to an objective coverage analysis. A good coverage analyst must enter a project with an open mind and resist making judgments about
coverage until the end of the opinion. Neither legal analysis nor your writing should be undertaken to support a pre- conceived conclusion. Your writing does not flow from pre-conceived conclusions about whether there is coverage. Rather, your final conclusions and recommendations flow naturally from the process of working through the facts and analyzing them in the context of the operative policy provisions and relevant jurisprudence.
Legal Writing Resources:
- Legal Writing EU’s free Commercial Law Glossary – 250 of the most frequent and important words and phrases. Also used as a Twitter daily vocabulary practice tool.
- https://briefcatch.com – BriefCatch is a Word plug-in that offers editing suggestions that you can implement in real time. The program not only catches common mistakes but spots editing and advocacy opportunities that many lawyers and other writers miss.
- https://www.law360.com/articles/806593?utm_source=LexisNexis&utm_medium=LegalNewsRoom&utm_campaign=articles_search – (PAYWALL) – 5 Tips To Strengthen Your Insurance Legal Writing
- https://content.naic.org/cipr_key_issues.htm – National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Key Issues in Insurance Law.
- https://www.coverageopinions.info – Coverage Opinions Today, Impact on Counsel’s Opinions Tomorrow.
Courses & Employers:
- https://www.qmul.ac.uk/postgraduate/taught/coursefinder/courses/insurance-law-llm – Study at the first UK university to offer a specialist LLM in Insurance Law. Work within The Insurance Law Institute, which supports high-quality teaching and research in all areas of Insurance Law
- https://www.law.uconn.edu/admissions/master-of-laws-admissions/insurance-llm/llm-insurance-law – This LLM in Insurance Law program is the top destination for lawyers and students from the U.S. and around the world who seek serious graduate training in insurance and financial services law. The location in historic Hartford, Connecticut – the famed “insurance capital” and
headquarters to some of the largest global insurance companies is a key factor.
- https://www.cov.com/en/practices-and-industries/practices/litigation-and-investigations/insurance-recovery – For more than 30 years, Covington has been successfully assisting corporate policyholders maximize their available insurance coverage. They help policyholders recover insurance— both in the U.S. and abroad—for a wide variety of claims, including mass-
tort liabilities, property and business interruption losses, marine, and D&O, E&O, and many other types of exposures.
- https://www.mayerbrown.com/en/capabilities/industries/insurance/insurance-tax?tab=overview – This tax practice covers every aspect of corporate, partnership and individual taxation in the United States, Europe and Asia, including taxation of cross-border transactions and state and local issues. The team includes sub-practices in transactions, consulting and planning, audits,
administrative appeals and litigation, and government relations.
Social Media Groups: