|Austria :||Hubert Tramposch|
|Belgium :||Isabelle Perrel, Annick Van Malderghem|
|France :||Amelia Brault|
|Germany :||Detlef Brummer|
|Ireland :||Margaret Carey|
|Italy :||Alessandro Giorgetti|
|Norway :||Eivind Kogstad, Trond Werner Lunde|
|Spain & Portugal:||Enrique Belzuz Fernandez (President)|
|Sweden :||Christer A. Holm|
|The Netherlands :||Bertjan de Lange (Treasurer)|
|Turkey :||Gulay Koc, Jale Keskin|
|UK :||Bill Perry (Vice-President), David Brackenbury (Marketing and Communications Director)|
Bruce Barze – Alabama
Cathy Greer – Colorado
Alex Pencu / Chris Major – Connecticut
Robert Scott Newman / Joel Adler – Florida
Robert J. Bates Jr. – Illinois
Joe O”neil – Pennsylvania
David Rheney – South Carolina
Michael Connelly (Secretary) – Texas
(The ARC Group)
Jamie Trimble – Toronto
James Dowler – Vancouver
The meeting was called to order at 09:10 am.
The President Enrique Belzuz welcomed Members to the meeting. He introduced the scene and explained the format of the Agenda and the package of documents that Members had received. Bob Bates also welcomed Members to Chicago and hoped that everyone was enjoying their visits to his city.
Kaya & Partners (Turkey)
Turpel & Schank (Luxembourg)
Pantelidis Law Offices (Greece)
Dia Consult (Bulgaria)
Detlef Brummer and Bruce Barze expressed regret that they would have to leave the meeting early.
Welcome to new Members
The President welcomed the new Members to the Group. Since the London meeting, the Group have elected Bin Shabib and Associates LLP, Members for the UAE and Wells, Anderson & Race, LLC, Members for Colorado, USA.
Cathy Greer introduced Wells Anderson. They are Denver based, with 18 lawyers working in a broad range of practices in Products Liability, Construction, Transportation, Civil Rights and Appelate work, as well as an important insurance coverage and litigation team. Cathy said that she was delighted to be in Insuralex and looks forward to introducing Michael Brooks whose practice is largely insurance based.
Michael Kortbawi introduced Bin Shabib. They have 4 offices in the UAE, as well as offices in Oman and Beirut. They have plans to open offices in Saudi Arabia, Libya and the Kurdish part of Iraq. Their insurance business is growing. Recent matters include representing ACE in Oman, representing the RSA in settlements of fire claims in Egypt after the revolution there and assisting the Reinsurance Group of America in getting licences.
Members who have left
Enrique explained that the Members for Brazil and New York, USA had left Insuralex. Rodrigo Crespo had left Stussi Neves and that firm were no longer largely involved in Insurance law and coverage. Goldberg Segalla had opened a London office in competition with the UK Member. They had not appreciated that the rules precluded this and when it became apparent that no accommodation was possible, they professionally recognised the situation and voluntarily withdrew from the Group.
It was noted that both jurisdictions are important and the officers are making efforts to find suitable replacement Members.
All Members reported on their firms and provided updates on firm structure and significant cases.
Jamie Trimble introduced the ARC Group and gave us a good overview of what they have been doing recently. Their Membership is stable and they intend to raise their profile with the London Market, as well as improve their existing relationships with the American carriers for whom they are working. The Group are working on two particularly large claims at the moment: a gas explosion in a Toronto suburb and a C$1Bn fire at the Alberta oil sands project.
References were made to some collaborations between firms:
Belzuz Abocados with Soulie Coste-Floret;
Soulie Coste-Floret and Carter Perry Bailey are cooperating on a major case;
Mulyaert and Soulie Coste-Floret have referred business to their firm;
Grooterhorst and Soulie Coste-Floret are working together on a case involving a French Company and German Insurer;
Marlow Connell from Florida indicated that they had worked with Bates Carey Nicoliades and DFMG in Ireland;
Hubert Tramposch said that his relationship with Van Ameyde, the Loss Adjusters was working well and suggested targeting them with Streefkerk in the Netherlands;
Norelid Holm are working with Soulie Coste-Floret on a product liability matter concerning faulty train brakes.
Feedback from Members on Seminar
Everyone agreed that the Seminar and associated events had been extremely successful. The hard work of Bob Bates and his team was very much appreciated and recognised. Also the quality of the speakers was universally praised.
Points that were raised included:
The attendance from the market was lower thasn desired.
It was suggested that individual Members try to invite at least one guest to these events;
We should use London contacts to introduce guests;
A paper should be handed out to guests with a paragraph about each Member;
A “Save the Date” should be circulated several months before event, even before speakers are confirmed, if necessary;
We need to check before the meeting to ensure that the technology works;
The guest list should be circulated to Members before the meeting;
A PDF copy of our current Brochure should be sent to all attendees of our events;
Guidelines and a checklist should be prepared and sent to the Hosting Firm;
The format of the programme should take account of the venue. In London, it would be best for a late afternoon event followed by the cocktail reception, but in other venues a longer programme may be appropriate;
Material about the meeting should be on the Insuralex Website;
Sub-Committees could be set up to discuss challenges in the industry and to discuss our business in a wider context.
Minutes of the Insuralex Mid Term Meeting, held in London
These minutes were presented, discussed and were Approved.
The meeting was then adjourned for the lunch break; then resumed.
Presentation on the new Insuralex Website
Enrique gave Members a detailed presentation of the new website and explained that the Officers had made quite detailed revisions to the wording and format during their meeting. The website will therefore change from the draft version that he was examining at the meeting.
There was a detailed conversation on changes that were needed to the website. DB took detailed notes on all the observations made and these remarks have been passed to the Website designers.
David Brackenbury – Marketing Presentation
David made a presentation of his activities in Insuralex over the 15 months since he joined the Group. Separate marketing reports on visits to the Market in London and overseas were supplied to members.
The report from David was welcomed and a number of points were made:
When we have meetings with Insurers or other members of the Market, there should be proper follow up. If the visit was about Insuralex, then the Group should follow up; if it was an individual firm, then that firm should follow up:
Repeat meetings are an important part of marketing and it was pointed out that David has five hours to devote to each Member which is paid for by the Group. Hours in excess will be billed to the individual firm.
The important thing is to get onto Panels of Insurers and Reinsurers and for that we should have an identifiable product to offer. DB’s idea of Catastrophe teams was liked and other areas might include Fine Arts and Specie and Reinsurance. It was agreed that the new Board addresses these matters soon.
It was stated that a major part of DB’s duties is to research how Underwiters’ Panels are organised and who may be responsible. Additionally it was pointed out that getting on Panels was not always the hardest bit and relationships have to be maintained to get assignments.
The new contact database for Members’ use will be accessible on the website and Members are encouraged to share contacts as far as they possibly can. The new Board will establish a protocol for the access and use of this information.
It was understood and agreed that information on contacts was held by the Insuralex Group in trust and should be handled very carefully.
It was agreed that DB should circulate the information that he has available. Enrique said that it will be possible to add referral information to the new Website when it is up and running.
Rule 8: 8.3 and 8.10
There was a discussion, led by Michael Connelly on the interpretation of the above rules in the light of the departure of Goldberg Segalla from the Group. It was noted that in some jurisdictions (USA, the Middle East) firms often have offices in multiple jurisdictions. It was proposed that if any firm were opening a new office this should be raised with the Group in advance. There were no changes proposed to the Rules as such at this time – Agreed.
Candidates for Membership
Potential Candidates for the USA have been identified in New York, Massachusetts, California, Rhode Island, West Virginia, Louisiana and Wisconsin. Candidates are under active consideration for Washington and New Jersey.
Brazil, Mexico, South Korea, India, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, South Africa and also Bermuda, which was particularly recommended by Irsheid Tayab of Bin Shabib, who have good contacts there, were considered to be jurisdictions deserving priority for recruitment of new Members.
Kogstad Lunde may be able to recommend a practice in Denmark.
Switzerland was discussed. In view of the language and business situation in the Country, it was considered a difficult country in which to find a suitable Member but efforts should continue.
Enrique offered to assist the Board in Latin America and suggested that other Members may like to assist in other areas.
Bill said that the new Board would be addressing these matters in a systematic fashion.
Eastern Europe Countries Working Group
Alex Giorgetti introduced this item. There have been difficulties with the Working Group.However, the Group is refocusing its efforts.
Alex said that it would be a good idea to visit the Hydra Conference in Greece, and also the Sinioa and Sarajevo meetings. These two meetings attract a lot of Turks, Slavs and Russian delegates and he recommends that we attend as Insuralex next year. There is a problem getting smaller firms in Central Europe to join Groups such as Insuralex, as there is a perceived danger that they might lose referral business.
William Sturge from Carter Perry Bailey will assist with this Group.
Bill said that the Group should market itself in a more systematic way and have a prioritised strategy for growth. The Board will be addressing this.
Alex said that we should have marketing material to take to such meetings.It might be a good idea to have a handout with one case illustrated per Member.
There was a discussion about whether Questionnaires to potential members should be sent out by the Working Group. The previous decision that they could be, so long as the Board was informed, was reaffirmed. Sending a Questionnaire is no indication of probable approval of membership.
Bertjan de Lange presented the Financial Reports and Budget for 2011-2012.
It was suggested that any budget surplus might be better carryied into a Reserve Account for future financial needs. The Board will consider this.
The Accounts will be audited in the future, and so it was advised that the reporting format may be changed in the future.
Bill Perry confirmed that following the decision at the Midterm Meeting, the Board had obtained £ 1 million of liability cover for the Officers at a cost of £2,000 plus tax p.a.
Election of Officers 2012 – 2014 (Rule 10.1)
Christer Holm was duly proposed as Secretary – Elected
Bertjan de Lange was duly proposed as Treasurer – Elected
Michael Connelly was duly proposed as Vice-President – Elected
Bill Perry was duly confirmed as President pursuant to Rule 10.2 – Elected
Bill Perry then took the Chair
Bill expressed his thanks for the hard work that Enrique had put in over his term as President and, to the applause of all Members, presented him with a plaque memorialising his service to the Group. He expressed his confidence in the new Board. He will be working with the Board to expand the Group’s size of Membership and influence in the Insurance Markets that we serve.
Future Meetings, Venues and Speakers
Bill spoke of working more closely with the ARC Group. He would consider with Jamie the question of changes to the Midterm meeting dates to fit in with their schedule.
It was agreed that the format of the London Midterm Meeting would be a one to one and a half hour presentation late afternoon forllowed by a cocktail reception. This format will fit in to the London Market’s requirements for timings.
As a topic, Bill suggested that a topic that is of interest might be out of the recent Leslie and Godwin case, where the duty of Brokers and Underwriters to keep documentation for “as long as necessary” was confirmed. Unfortunately, this had not happened in the particular case. This was considered to be an excellent, but provocative theme, so should be handled with care.
Preparations will be made for the London MTM, with the Save the Date being sent before the Market goes quiet for the summer holidays.
Any Other Business
Proposed and Agreed that the Official address of the Group is now the office of the Vice-President
There was a discussion of possible venues for the Annual Meeting. It was agreed that the venues should be as diffuse as possible, but it would be better for meetings to be held where there is significant insurance activity. Some potential venues were identified: New York, Bermuda, Paris, Dubai and possibly Sofia were mentioned
It was agreed that the agreement of the hosting firm should be obtained before a venue was chosen.
It was agreed that the Midterm Meeting should usually be in London, but perhaps Paris or Munich should be considered at times.
It was oberved that the Lloyd’s Events were a good way of marketing the Group, but it should be remembered that we need to market in areas where there may not be any Lloyd’s Events.
Other meetings that take place in the Insurance / Legal worlds were considered to be good forums to promote the Insuralex Group. The IADC Corporate Counsel College and the International Fine Art and Specie Insurance Conference (IFASIC) were both commended to Members for attendance.
It was pointed out that the IADC holds Regional Events and it may be worthwhile Insuralex considering doing the same as the Group expands.
In concluding the meeting, the President, the Board and all Members expressed their thanks to Bob Bates and all his colleagues who had made us so welcome in Chicago, as well as being of such great assistance during the meetings during our stay.
There was no further business and after thanking all Members for their contributions, the meeting was closed by the President at 1715 hrs.