Offshore Professional Risks

Sedgwick lawyers in our U.S. and London offices regularly act as coverage and monitoring counsel for insurers of offshore professional, fiduciary and financial institution risks, and as defense counsel for offshore insureds when appropriate. Sedgwick is uniquely placed to advise on matters of U.S. and English law, and we are familiar with the laws and procedures of many other offshore jurisdictions that follow English common law. We have considerable experience dealing with insurance claims and contentious matters arising out of Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, Mauritius and other offshore jurisdictions such as the Bahamas and Switzerland, in litigation, arbitration and mediation. 

To the extent that local or specialist counsel may be required to assist in any particular matter, we have strong working relationships with leading law firms and forensic accountants and other professionals in all of the offshore jurisdictions, and with the leading specialist QCs at the London Bar. 

Our U.S. offices, particularly Miami and New York, are conveniently located in close proximity and time zone to the Caribbean offshore jurisdictions, and our London office is well-placed to deal with matters in London, the Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Europe. When offshore professionals or financial institutions become involved in U.S. legal proceedings, our U.S. offices are able to assist. 

Our London office is highly ranked in Chambers U.K., with Edward Smerdon having “particular expertise in advising financial sector clients on professional indemnity matters.” Sedgwick has been described by The Legal 500 as a “dynamic, no-nonsense practice.” London partners Karen Morrish and Tristan Hall are also both recommended by the U.K. editions of The Legal 500 and Chambers.

In recognition of our significant experience and expertise in this area, our lawyers are regularly invited to give presentations to the market and to industry groups, and to contribute to expert publications on offshore legal and insurance issues.

Directors and Officers

  • Advising D&O insurers on claims asserted against directors and officers of offshore trading, holding, fund, investment and trust companies, including a variety of claims arising post-financial crisis 
  • Advising directors and officers of various Bermuda exempt companies on directors’ duties and rights of indemnity under Bermuda law 
  • Advising D&O insurers on liquidation claims and a U.S. securities class action against directors and officers of a Guernsey hedge fund managed by one of the world’s largest private equity groups 
  • Advising directors and officers of various Bermuda exempt companies on regulatory compliance and insolvency issues (including personal liability for fraudulent conveyances, fraudulent preferences, and insolvent trading) 
  • Advising directors and officers of various offshore fund companies on the specific duties, liabilities and conflicts of interest that arise in fund structures 
  • Advising D&O insurers on liquidation claims against directors and officers of a Cayman fund and criminal proceedings against a director of its FSA regulated investment manager

Trusts and Trustees

  • Advising various settlors, beneficiaries, protectors, guardians, and trustees of offshore trusts on a variety of matters arising in hostile litigation, including breach of trust and indemnity claims 
  • Advising various trustees, beneficiaries and guardians of Bermuda trusts on restructuring, administration, and variation applications, including Beddoes, Hastings-Bass and Public Trustee v. Cooper applications, and confidentiality and representation orders 
  • Advising various E&O insurers of offshore trustees on insurance coverage issues relating to professional negligence and breach of trust claims asserted against trustees 
  • Acting as monitoring and defense counsel for E&O insurers on substantial professional negligence and breach of trust claims in the Bermuda courts 
  • Acting as monitoring counsel for E&O insurers on substantial professional negligence and restitutionary claims asserted against offshore trustees in U.S. and Canadian courts 
  • Advising E&O insurers of trustees on subrogation and defense costs issues relating to trustees’ rights of indemnity against trust assets and beneficiaries

Accountants and Auditors

  • Advising various offshore and international firms of accountants and auditors on disclosure and reporting obligations to offshore and onshore regulators, as well as confidentiality obligations 
  • Advising various offshore and international firms of accountants on their discovery obligations under letters of request issued by onshore and other offshore courts 
  • Advising various U.S. firms of accountants and auditors and their E&O insurers on professional negligence claims arising out of services provided to offshore companies

Lawyers

  • Advising the E&O insurers of an offshore law firm on coverage issues arising out of a substantial breach of trust claim relating to the firm’s client accounts 
  • Advising an international offshore law firm on an alleged professional negligence claim arising out of a substantial commercial conveyancing transaction 
  • Advising a Jersey law firm and their E&O insurers on an alleged professional negligence claim arising out of alleged mishandling of a pension dispute 
  • Advising an offshore law firm and their E&O insurers on an alleged professional negligence claim arising out of a substantial residential conveyancing transaction 
  • Advising an offshore law firm and their E&O insurers on an alleged professional negligence claim arising out of alleged mishandling of high-value personal injury litigation 
  • Advising various U.S. law firms and their E&O insurers on professional negligence claims arising out of services provided to offshore companies

Fund Managers

  • Advising various offshore funds and fund managers on potential claims by investors and creditors for alleged professional negligence, including a variety of claims post-financial crisis, and claims arising out of alleged investment scheme frauds, such as Madoff, Petters, Manhattan Investment Fund, and Lancer Group
  • Advising E&O and D&O insurers on coverage issues arising out of the collapse of a group of offshore fund companies and fund managers
  • Advising E&O insurers of a U.K. fund manager whose funds, which were invested in Guernsey cells, were suspended by the FSA, resulting in enforcement proceedings and multiple investor claims
  • Advising E&O insurers on coverage issues arising out of a regulatory investigation and settlement of EPL claims against an offshore fund manager 
  • Advising fund administrators and fund custodians of offshore funds on potential claims for contribution and indemnity against funds and fund managers
  • Advising and representing offshore fund managers in response to regulatory investigations initiated by the BMA, FSA, SEC, CFTC and similar agencies

Fund Administrators

  • Advising E&O insurers of an offshore fund administrator on coverage issues arising out of claims for alleged professional negligence and fraud 
  • Advising international offshore fund administrators on alleged professional negligence claims arising out of the collapse of two very substantial hedge funds 
  • Advising international offshore fund administrators on standard terms and conditions of engagement, including limitations of liability and exculpation clauses

Banks and Fund Custodians

  • Advising E&O insurers of an international offshore bank in relation to U.S. criminal and regulatory proceedings arising out of a Ponzi scheme operated through the bank’s accounts 
  • Advising international fund custodians on alleged professional negligence claims arising out of the collapse of two very substantial hedge funds 
  • Advising international fund custodians on standard terms and conditions of engagement, including limitations of liability and exculpation clauses 
  • Advising and representing banks and financial institutions in regulatory investigations

Insurance Brokers, Insurers and Underwriting Agents

  • Advising E&O insurers on various professional negligence claims asserted against insurance brokers in Bermuda and other offshore jurisdictions 
  • Representing an underwriting agent in respect of lawsuits and arbitrations arising in Bermuda, the United States, and the United Kingdom following a massive reinsurance fraud and substantial underwriting losses 
  • Advising and representing Bermuda insurers and insurance brokers in regulatory investigations

Architects, Real Estate and Construction Professionals

  • Advising E&O insurers on alleged professional negligence claims against architects, construction professionals, and real estate agents in Bermuda and other offshore jurisdictions