Insurance > Overview

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP’s insurance practice is supported by 20 different practices, including corporate, financial restructuring, intellectual property, private investment funds, labor, litigation, appellate, public law and policy (legislative), real estate and tax. The members of the insurance practice have strong and diverse backgrounds as insurance regulatory officials, in-house counsel to major insurance holding companies and long-time counsel to insurance and reinsurance companies in complex transactions and disputes. This experienced team advises and advocates for insurance companies offering a wide array of insurance, financial and other products and services to groups and individuals, including life insurance, annuities, health insurance, dental insurance, managed care plans, disability insurance, property and casualty insurance, directors and officers insurance, professional liability insurance, reinsurance, captive insurance, pension plans, mutual funds and investment management services. The team understands the investment and product sides of our insurance clients’ businesses, the complex regulatory environment in which they operate, the highly competitive nature of their businesses and the need to successfully but efficiently manage their complex litigation.

We frequently draw on Akin Gump’s full-service practices for thorough analysis and innovative solutions to client needs, such as:

Insurance Litigation

  • Class actions and other complex insurance litigation: In recent years, our insurance litigators have defended hundreds of cases brought against insurers and their insured, with exposure ranging from several million dollars to approximately $5 billion.
  • Securities litigation: Our national team of securities litigators represents life insurance companies in complex, high-exposure securities disputes.
  • Alleged industry conspiracy cases: Our insurance litigators defend insurance companies in cases alleging conspiracy, in alleged violation of civil RICO and other laws, with competitors and others.
  • Sales and marketing practices and bad faith litigation: We are the nationwide coordinating counsel for one of the largest insurance sellers in the United States, handling various cases pending throughout the country, including suits alleging bad faith denial of disability and employee benefit claims as well as class action lawsuits alleging misrepresentation in the marketing and sale of life insurance and variable annuity products.
  • Race-conscious underwriting litigation: We advise clients, litigate cases and lecture before insurance industry organizations on a wide range of underwriting discrimination issues, including redlining, credit scoring, claims payment practices and de facto discrimination.
  • Employee benefit litigation: We litigate ERISA claims relating to group insurance and investment products sold to pension plans and welfare benefit plans.
  • Reinsurance: Our attorneys actively engage in litigation, arbitration and counseling on behalf of clients involved in all manner of reinsurance and insurance insolvency disputes.
  • Insurance fraud and False Claims Act litigation: We represent insurance companies in cases alleging insurance fraud and False Claims Act violations based on the preparation and/or submission of fraudulent claims for payment to insurance companies.
  • Appellate litigation: Our nationally recognized Supreme Court and appellate practice briefs and argues dozens of cases every year in the United States Supreme Court, the federal courts of appeals, state supreme courts and state courts of appeal.

Financial Restructuring

Akin Gump is a market leader in the representation of informal bondholder committees and official committees of unsecured creditors, with particular experience representing insurance companies in their capacity as holders of publicly and privately placed notes. Our institutional private placements team has acted on behalf of insurers in many of the most significant cross-border unsecured private placements in recent years, and we have represented nearly all of the major investors in the cross-border institutional private placement market for nearly 25 years.

Public Law and Policy

Our public policy lawyers and advisors frequently work with legislators, industry trade associations and their individual members and various executive and administrative departments and agencies as advocates for the insurance industry. The legislative team actively monitors and influences state, federal and international legislative proceedings impacting the insurance industry.

Reinsurance Transactions

Akin Gump is widely regarded as a go-to firm for reinsurance transactions.  Our lawyers have helped many of the industry’s pioneers structure, operate and sell highly profitable reinsurance vehicles and assets.  We marry one of the industry’s most established funds practices with corporate and tax lawyers with extensive, specialized experience in reinsurance, including:

  • Formation and capitalization
  • Acquisitions and dispositions
  • Tax structuring
  • Corporate governance
  • Financing strategies

This experience enables us to devise structures that maximize opportunities for investment managers and reinsurers, including a permanent, stable capital source and ongoing fee stream, low-cost leverage, premium-to-book trading and potential tax advantages.

Our experience includes the longtime representations of Alterra Capital Holdings Limited (NASDAQ:ALTE) and its predecessor company, Max Capital Group (NASDAQ:MXGL), Greenlight Capital Re and WMIH Corp., the reinsurer formerly affiliated with Washington Mutual.