Record attendance for Kennedys Hot Topics Seminar
After a three-year pandemic hiatus, the international law firm Kennedys’ Hot Topics Seminar returned with a record attendance at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute’s Tradewinds Auditorium.
The event attracted nearly 150 representatives from Bermuda’s insurance and reinsurance sectors.
Mark Chudleigh, managing partner of Kennedys’ Bermuda office, said it was an emotional return for him and his colleagues.
He said: “To see our friends, clients and colleagues all together again in one place was truly a wonderful sight.”
The 19th event since the first Hot Topics Seminar in 2001 had to be postponed four times due to Covid-related difficulties.
In all, 14 Kennedys lawyers from Bermuda, the United States and Britain spoke on a range of topics to an audience of underwriters, claims professionals and others.
Kennedys London and Chicago lawyers discussed the United States opioid epidemic and the resulting wave of litigation against pharmaceutical manufacturers, distributors and pharmacies which has seen multibillion-dollar settlements, but with most of the litigation still to be resolved.
Recent economic disruption has seen an increasing number of complex bankruptcy issues affecting the resolution of insurance claims, a topic covered by Kennedys lawyers from Delaware, Bermuda and New Jersey.
Other topics included developments and potential reforms in relation to “Bermuda Form” arbitrations, the standard means of resolving coverage disputes between Bermuda insurers and policyholders, and construction defect claims which included a look at the Surfside building collapse in Miami Beach resulting in the deaths of 98 people.
Kennedys’ cyber specialists spoke on emerging data privacy and cybersecurity issues, including new US data protection legislation.
Kennedys’ coverage experts from New York and Chicago addressed recent trends in breach of duty and other claims against company directors and officers.
Mr Chudleigh said he was struck by how the Bermuda market had grown and diversified over the three years since the last Hot Topics Seminar, with several new insurers being established and a growing claims community in response to an ever-developing claims landscape.
He said: “There is always something new in insurance and we are seeing a range of significant emerging issues and developing loss scenarios affecting the market but, as always, the Bermuda market is well placed to respond to the challenges.”