Insurance in Europe

Debevoise’s European Insurance Team Provides a Comprehensive Service to a Global Client Base

In Europe, Debevoise’s Insurance practice, centered on the London insurance market, continues the firm’s long history of advice rooted in a keen understanding of the sector, developed through decades of experience.

The practice advises leading insurers and reinsurers, new market participants, brokers and other financial institutions on sophisticated mergers & acquisitions, including insurance portfolio transfers, share acquisitions, corporate reorganisations and joint ventures, as well as on capital raises, and on regulatory issues in the UK and European insurance market. The practice also works with U.S., Asian and European clients, advising on cross-border transactions in the U.S., Latin America, Bermuda and Asia-Pacific, as well as in Europe. This global experience at the very top end of the market means the European team is highly familiar with the specific commercial and regulatory contexts of the sector across broad geographies.

In its M&A and capital markets experience in particular, the team is distinct. It fields teams few other firms can match to work simultaneously on M&A and capital market matters. In this way, clients benefit from a team able to handle regulatory issues, share acquisitions, equity raises, stock purchase agreements, reserve financings, reinsurance agreements and bank debt transactions, all in connection with a single transaction.

As well as its transactional strength, Debevoise’s European Insurance practice includes leading U.S. and UK-qualified tax, finance, regulatory and competition lawyers. The team’s experience in advising U.S., Asian and European clients on insurance transactions has given it valuable insight into the differences in approaches among various regimes. Clients rely on the team not just to track the latest regulatory developments, but also to help them design these transactions to address the changing regulatory environment.

The insurance team in Europe works closely with the firm’s private equity funds and transactional lawyers, using Debevoise’s established strength in these areas to advise clients on the growing interplay between these two sectors. This includes advising private equity and fund clients on investments into the insurance sector, as well as capital raisings and acquisitions of specific books of business.

Our range of services include advising clients on:

  • Cross-border insurance/asset management M&A
  • Share sales and business transfers (including transfers under Part VII of FSMA)
  • Corporate reorganisations
  • Regulatory capital and other capital raisings and financings
  • Bancassurance and other forms of distribution agreements
  • Insurance and reinsurance arrangements
  • BPA and longevity transfers
  • Issues arising under Solvency II
  • Governance and other regulatory issues

The multidisciplinary approach of the European Insurance practice has been consistently recognized by the major legal directories, with Chambers Global stating the firm’s “twin strongholds in the US and UK markets power an impressive M&A practice across the globe. Expertise in reinsurance deals, bond issuances and regulatory assignments rounds off the firm's insurance offering.” Chambers UK has described the practice as “commercial and client-friendly,” and notes that it “attracts particular notice for the quality of its advice on transactional and regulatory matters, and has developed an impressive client list.”