Along with the ascendancy of Latin America’s economy in the past decade, insurance issues have arisen that are unique to that vast and booming region. Changes are taking place across the region and the challenge for insurers is to adapt to local regulation and markets. Global insurance companies need legal counselors with thorough knowledge of Latin American, English and American law and venues, as well as experience in the idiosyncrasies of the local markets. The firm’s international capabilities have followed a natural progression in responding to the needs of our clients – including to Latin America.
Our team has extensive experience assisting and working alongside of global insurers and reinsurers writing commercial casualty and property, energy, terrorism and other specialty policies for insureds based in or doing business in Latin America. We handle complex coverage disputes in the property, casualty, energy, mining, construction and utilities sectors across Latin America.
Sedgwick lawyers have extensive experience in handling coverage cases and managing Latin American proceedings for our insurer clients. Members of our team are fluent in Spanish and/or Portuguese, have worked extensively in the region, and have many contacts in Central and South America. Our clients recognize that our attorneys are informed about the political and economic atmosphere across Latin America, and that they factor the realities of the region into the pragmatic advice given to our clients. We also have strong relationships with local counsel, which we have developed over many years.
The team in the London office, which opened in the mid-1980s, continues – as it has for decades – to represent London Market insurers in connection with losses in Latin America. Lawyers in the London office are ranked by Chambers, the leading legal directory, for their insurance work in Latin America, and commentators have noted the team’s “strong regional knowledge.” To better serve our clients with business interests in Latin America, Sedgwick opened an office in Miami in 2013. This makes our firm ideally situated to advise insurers and reinsurers facing issues and opportunities in Central and South America and facing litigation in Florida, a growing venue for insurance coverage disputes.
Sedgwick’s Insurance Practices comprise one of the largest international teams of trial lawyers and coverage advisors dedicated to serving the global insurance industry. Sedgwick is the only law firm with full service offices in the three leading insurance hubs: the United States, London and Bermuda.
Latin American Insurance Experience
- Advising insurers in connection with a gas explosion at a Venezuelan oil refinery, one of the worst refinery disasters in recent history. Our representation included investigating the incident for London Market retrocessionaires and analyzing potential exposures.
- Advising insurers in connection with an oil spillage from two Venezuelan pipelines. Sedgwick was appointed by London-based underwriters to consider the cause of the rupture, the environmental implications, and the coverage response.
- Advising insurers in connection with a major property loss at a Venezuelan mine. We advised London Market underwriters on their exposure by conducting a detailed analysis of the coverage and quantum aspects.
- Advising London Market reinsurers on coverage and adjustment issues in relation to a $140 million property damage and business interruption claim following a fire at a power station in Chile.
- Advising a large Ecuadorian insurer in relation to delay in start-up claim on a major pipeline in Ecuador. The action was brought by the local insured and involved litigation in London with UK and European reinsurers.
- Advising London Market reinsurers in connection with a class action brought in Colombia by 250 claimants for business interruption and damage to the local environment following the construction of a hydroelectric dam.
- Acting for leading US insurer in a dispute with London reinsurers arising from defects in the world’s largest nitrogen-producing plant in Mexico.
- Acting for a major German reinsurer in a claim involving a dam breach in Ecuador.
- Advising London Market reinsurers on operation of rebellion exclusion, potential aggregation issues and claims control following a terrorist attack on an oil pipeline in Colombia, resulting in multiple deaths and property damage.
- Litigating matters involving marine claims in Honduras and Guatemala.
- Litigating product defect matters in Colombia.
- Litigating in Florida and successfully defending a claim against a Lloyd’s broker by a Costa Rican insurance company.