Top lawyers update Bermuda Form guide
Leading lawyers from global law firms Kennedys and Clyde & Co, and Essex Court Chambers, have co-authored a significantly updated edition of an award-winning guide that assists senior claims officers and general counsels of insurers who provide coverage under the “Bermuda Form” insurance policy.
David Scorey QC, of Essex Court Chambers, Richard Geddes, a partner in the Chicago office of Kennedys CMK (as Kennedys is known in the US) and Chris Harris, consultant at Clyde & Co, have worked collaboratively on this latest version following the success of the first edition, which was joint winner of the British Insurance Lawyers’ Association Book Prize in 2012.
The Bermuda Form was developed in Bermuda in 1985 by the companies then known as Ace and XL working in conjunction with brokers Marsh and Aon. The policy played an important role in the development of Bermuda’s insurance market and has become an industry standard on which such insurance is written.
The Bermuda Form was intended to fill an urgent market need following the collapse of the North American excess liability insurance market in the early 1980s due to policy wordings that did not track well with then emerging exposures to pollution and other toxic tort liabilities, and due to inconsistent and unpredictable judicial interpretations of policies in US courts.
The Form, originally adopted by a new generation of Bermudian insurers, and since then frequently used by UK and European-based insurers, continues to provide a sustainable and valuable risk management option for corporations with significant and complex risk exposures.
Bermuda Form arbitrations have since been conducted in London or Bermuda for more than 20 years and represent hugely detailed, complex, lengthy and expensive pieces of litigation.
Written by Mr Scorey, Mr Geddes and Mr Harris, a team of practitioners with extensive first-hand experience of the Bermuda Form policy and related arbitrations, The Bermuda Form — Interpretation and Dispute Resolution of Excess Liability Insurance analyses competing arguments and constructions used in Bermuda Form arbitrations.
Providing analysis and interpretation on the construction of the Bermuda Form, this latest edition includes an update on new decisions and regulatory law in New York and England, including AstraZeneca versus Ace and XL, as well as coverage of recent trends in arbitration, the discussion of new endorsements relating to proof of liability and defence costs, and more detailed coverage of developing areas such as; the SELIC and hybrid forms, the “all sums” doctrine, advertising liability, and post policy injury and damage.
Mr Geddes said: “This latest edition is an invaluable guide, even for experienced practitioners in this complex area of law, adding significantly to the growing bank of analysis, interpretation and construction of the Bermuda Form.
“The first edition proved to be a valuable reference tool to support lawyers, risk managers, claims handlers and general counsels and I firmly believe that this updated version will prove even more helpful.”
Mr Harris said: “Since the publication of our first edition in 2011, the Bermuda Form has continued to play a vital role in many liability insurance programmes.
“In the new edition, the authors have endeavoured to address significant developments across the field, and we hope that our efforts will assist all those involved with the form.”
Mr Scorey added: “We all owe a debt of gratitude to those in Bermuda who have supported this project. The Bermuda Form is the keystone of the international insurance market. We hope that, in a modest way, the book promotes greater understanding of the intricacies of the form and sheds some light on its more esoteric aspects.”
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