Blaney McMurtry has a wealth of depth and experience in serving the insurance industry in all areas of coverage from corporate to litigation and everything in between.
We are counsel to our clients for their business needs, including an active corporate insurance group, which is involved in regulatory compliance, corporate governance and transactional work. As well, using the services of certain members of the Insurance Litigation group, the firm offers insurer clients assistance in the development of new or revised product lines including policy drafting and commentary, critical review of existing underwriting and input on new product development, drawing upon our knowledge of the latest judicial rulings in this area to assist with appropriate drafting solutions.
On the litigation side, we offer coverage counsel acting at all levels of trial and appeal. In between, we offer clients our counsel from the early stage of coverage investigation and opinion work through to drafting reservation of rights & position letters, directing ongoing coverage investigations, and providing ongoing advice on file handling issues, all with a view to the presentation of our client’s best case in coverage litigation or alternative dispute resolution where appropriate.
Our representation of insurer and reinsurer interests in coverage litigation includes acting for members of the industry in insurer/policyholder, insurer /insurer priority and insurer/reinsurer indemnity disputes. On the third party liability side, our coverage counsel services include advising clients on primary, umbrella, low, mid & high excess and multi-year, multi-tier “long tail” liability programs as well as employment practices, professional and errors & omission, directors & officers and entity exposures. On the first party indemnity side, we act for insurers in investigating and resolving commercial property, boiler & machinery and associated business interruption losses.
We act as national co-ordinating coverage counsel on liability programs and offer coverage counsel in the context of “cross-border” risks for insurers writing Canadian-based policies with policyholder exposures in the United States and other foreign jurisdictions. We are retained to co-ordinate with U.S. and other foreign coverage counsel where clients have multi-national policyholders with a diverse coverage program, particularly prevalent in the context of multi-jurisdiction class action litigation.
Apart from providing in-depth analysis and counsel on routine coverage issues in all areas of coverage, our breadth of other corporate and litigation services allows us to cost-effectively cross-consult in the firm’s various areas of expertise and experience to the ultimate benefit of the client’s interests in more novel coverage assignments. Thus, where a particular retainer warrants it and with the client’s prior approval, coverage counsel can draw upon expertise in corporate areas such as commercial transactions, tax, finance, real estate and intellectual property. In litigation and administrative law, counsel can access expertise in areas such as bankruptcy & insolvency, workers’ compensation, employment & labour practices, environmental compliance & remediation, and through our ACES group, architectural/ construction/ engineering services.
As the lawyer profiles accompanying this outline demonstrate, our coverage counsel are not only well-read but also contribute to the literature in the field. Blaney McMurtry has the benefit of three leading authors in the field of insurance coverage and insurance legislation. We also contribute regularly to topical legal journals, industry seminars and educational initiatives. In addition, we maintain memberships in leading Canadian and US organizations. Members have acted as consultants to the Insurance Bureau of Canada on matters of interest from a coverage perspective including Y2K, terrorism, e-commerce and mould related risks.