The Yearbook & Directory of Ireland's international financial services industry
Thursday, 24th June 2021

William Fry

Practice Area: Insurance & Reinsurance

Profile: Our dedicated Insurance Department is consistently recognised as the market leader in Ireland on insurance (life and non-life) and reinsurance matters. This multi-disciplinary team has provided legal, regulatory and tax expertise in some of the largest and most complex (re)insurance transactions in recent years. Our specialist expertise covers all aspects of (re)insurance law and regulation and our clients include many of the largest domestic and international insurers and reinsurers.

As a full-service law firm we are able to draw extensively on our colleagues - expertise in M&A, tax, Competition & Regulation, Litigation & Dispute Resolution and other areas.
  • Areas of expertise include:
  • - Establishment / authorisation of new (re)insurance operations and strategic planning
  • - Mergers, acquisitions, disposals, joint ventures, re-structuring of businesses and Societas Europaea structures
  • - Court-sanctioned portfolio transfers and schemes of arrangements
  • - All prudential and conduct of business requirements under Solvency II including capital requirements, corporate and product governance, compliance and outsourcing
  • - Captive (re)insurance operations (life and non-life)
  • - Alternative risk transfer arrangements including insurance-linked securitisations (ILS)
  • - Insurance mediation activities and distribution channelsReinsurance / retrocession arrangements (including finite and financial reinsurance)
  • - Winding up and administration of insurers
  • - Regulatory investigations and enforcement actions
Awards: The William Fry insurance team is consistently rated "Band 1" and a leader in its field by publications including Chambers Europe, Legal 500, IFLR, "Who's Who of Insurance and Reinsurance Lawyers" and "World's Leading Insurance and Reinsurance Lawyers".

Members of the team including John Larkin, Eoin Caulfield and Owen O'Sullivan are individually ranked as "Leading Individuals" and as "Band 1".

The team prides itself on service excellence and a commercial and solution-oriented approach to its work.
Deals: Our experience includes advising/acting for:

Mergers and Acquisitions
Acting on the buy-side or sell-side in domestic and international deals including:
-Berkshire Hathaway (Columbia Insurance) on its acquisition of Hartford Life Europe
-SCOR on its acquisition of the mortality risk business of Transamerica Re
-RSA Insurance on its acquisitions of Europa Group, Sertus Insurance and Benchmark Underwriting
-Alterra/Harbor Point (now Markel) in its amalgamation with Max Capital

Restructurings and Portfolio Transfers
Domestic and cross-border restructurings and inward/outward transfers of (re)insurance books involving High Court and regulatory authorisations including:
-Allied World, Alterra (Markel), AXA and SCOR on Court sanctioned mergers of Irish insurance, reinsurance and hedging platforms
-Electrolux on the portfolio transfer of the non-life insurance business from its Irish captive to its Swedish captive
-Ericsson in the portfolio transfers of its insurance and reinsurance captive business to its non-life local carrier

Authorisations and New Establishments
The establishment of head office operations in Ireland selling on a freedom of services/freedom of establishment basis across EEA jurisdictions including recent set-ups involving:
-AXA Life Europe, AXA Life Invest and AXA Reinsurance Ireland
-Allianz Global Life

Insurance Linked Securitisations and Capital Markets
-SCOR on the various Atlas (I to VI) cat bond insurance linked securitisations
-Scottish Re on its Orkney II and Ballantyne Re securitised reinsurance structures
-AXA Cessions in its Osiris mortality cat bond programme

Run-offs and Winding-ups
-Berkshire Hathaway (Columbia Insurance) on its acquisition of Hartford Life Europe
-LCL Acquisitions (Charles Taylor Group) on its acquisition of Irish non-life insurance undertaking Santam Europe (in run off)
-Enstar on its acquisition of Citilife (now Laguna Life)



Larkin, John

Firm: William Fry
Position: Partner, Head of Insurance
Address: 2 Grand Canal Square, Dublin, 2
Phone: +353 1 639 5000; Direct:353 1 639 5225
Fax: +353 1 639 5333
Personal URL: