International Insurance Arbitration

Sedgwick lawyers represent insurers and reinsurers in arbitrations on complex coverage questions involving significant exposure. The issues vary widely, but include questions of nondisclosure and misrepresentation in the formation of contracts and the interpretation of complex contract language. Sedgwick’s work encompasses a broad variety of catastrophic and mass/serial tort claims, including those derived from such industries as auto, pharmaceutical, agrichem, energy, utilities, building and packaging materials, transportation, medical devices, financial services and healthcare.

Our lawyers have expertise in arbitrations governed by the English Arbitration Act, United Nations Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration, American Arbitration Association Rules, and International Chamber of Commerce Rules, as well as under various ad hoc and local arbitration rules, such as the ARIAS U.K. Rules and Lloyd’s Arbitration Scheme. 

Arbitrations handled by our lawyers focus on insurance/reinsurance issues and concern all major classes of business, including general liability, professional liability (including D&O, E&O and financial institutions), product liability, property, environmental liability, marine, cargo, satellites, personal accident and U.S. workers’ compensation reinsurance. Sedgwick is frequently involved in arbitrations arising from structured and captive insurance arrangements.

The Bermuda Form excess liability insurance policy was introduced in 1985 in response to a catastrophic reduction in global excess insurance capacity available to major corporation entities. This followed an onslaught of pollution and toxic tort litigation in the U.S. in the 1970s. Our team has advised insurers on a broad range of coverage issues arising from the unique features of the Form. This includes the definition of occurrence, the application of the “maintenance deductible,” as well as other expected and intended defenses and the application of various exclusions.

Similar forms have been adopted by domestic U.S., London and continental European based product and general liability insurers. The common factor is that claims are typically valued in the tens or hundreds of millions. With its presence in the U.S. and London, Sedgwick is ideally suited to handling disputes under the form, which are typically governed by New York law and subject to arbitration in London or Bermuda.

Sedgwick provides a comprehensive service due to our broad, international footprint. Our London office is staffed by locally admitted lawyers who are fully qualified and experienced to act for insurers in all manner of disputed insurance situations. Sedgwick also has full-service offices in U.S. cities located in major litigation centers. We are positioned to locally investigate the underlying facts and litigation status of mass tort litigation and catastrophic events efficiently and cost effectively, providing a seamless service across time zones.

Representative Experience

Successful arbitrations include:

  • Arbitration award for insurer in a major agrichem loss
  • Award for an insurer in a dispute over a complex environmental loss
  • Award for an insurer in a large auto product liability loss
  • Award for an insurer in an employee benefit coverage dispute
  • Award for an insurer in a coverage dispute over a contraceptive drug
  • Award for an insurer in an industrial pollution coverage dispute
  • Award for an insurer in dispute over liability for mitigation costs, and pollution and defense costs
  • Award for an insurer in a large building material loss

Sedgwick’s International Insurance Arbitration Practice is part of the firm’s Insurance Division, one of the largest international teams of lawyers and business advisors dedicated to the institutional concerns and success of the insurance industry. Our clients cover the spectrum of the insurance industry and include some of the largest insurers and reinsurers in the business.