Financial Services

Insurance & Reinsurance

Understanding your insurance and reinsurance objectives

If the stakes are high, you can rely on King & Wood Mallesons for commercial and innovative legal solutions, tailored to your strategic priorities and approach to doing business.

Our market leading team are known for comprehensive front-end and back-end capability acting for both policyholders, insurers and reinsurers providing an insight, depth of industry knowledge and market leading experience difficult to match by other practitioners in Australia.

In acting for world leading insurers, reinsurers and their policy holders, our insurance and reinsurance practice provides our clients with an in-depth knowledge of the industry market and applicable regulatory frameworks as well as understanding key risks in Australia.

Identifying the core issues quickly

We know the key players in the market and understand the key current drivers in the sector. Our experience acting on ‘both sides of the fence’ has allowed KWM to develop an in-depth knowledge of the industry and understand key risks associated with in the financial services sector.

We can help clients focus on the crux of the matter, isolating the core issues, identifying the commercial and legal drivers of a matter and minimising uncertainty and risk. Whether the matter involves complex contentious or non-contentious insurance issues, we give pragmatic advice, with a clear recommendation about the best way forward – we will not sit on the fence on difficult issues.

We have one of the leading reinsurance practices in Australia

As key advisers to many participants in the reinsurance industry in Australia, we are unique compared to other advisors in our ability to bring you holistic, specialist expertise for all the issues relevant to reinsurance – both ‘business as usual’ and transactional – including negotiations, drafting, dispute resolution, governance and regulatory (including dealing with APRA).

Our insurance specialists cover both front-end and back-end reinsurance, each of which requires specific skill sets. Our transactional team has the governance and project management skills to ensure smooth delivery of our clients’ transactions, our regulatory team has a deep understanding of the regulatory framework underlying insurance products and our depth across dispute resolution, negotiations and drafting is unmatched in the market.

Regularly appointed to advise on complex and significant reinsurance matters of high profile, we have experience with a range of mortality and longevity risk transfer structures, including funded structures, buy-outs and buy-ins, unfunded structures, derivatives including longevity swaps, insurance and reinsurance and associated collateral arrangements and prudential capital implications.

We don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all approach – we’ll tailor a team to meet your needs.

For example, reinsurance often requires specialist advice on other areas including regulatory and governance. We have leading expertise in each of these specialist areas, and you will have ‘one-stop shop’ access to those resources as and when required.

Insurance & Reinsurance know-how

We have worked with the leading insurers and reinsurers in the market including

  • GIO Re
  • Munich Re
  • Swiss Re
  • Pacific Life Re
  • Challenger
  • NSW Government
  • Insurance Australia Group
  • AIG
  • QBE
  • Zurich
  • Avant
  • Suncorp
  • Captives

Insurers and reinsurers regularly face disputes

We help clients with the most commercially sensitive, high profile and strategically significant insurance and reinsurance disputes achieving excellent results which translates into value for our clients, building a reputation as Australia’s preferred advisers

Our experience spans the full spectrum of insurance matters, such as professional indemnity and D&O insurance, class actions, reinsurance matters, environmental contamination and natural disasters including advising multiple clients in relation to Industrial Special Risk insurance policy coverage in response to COVID-19.

With an ability to draw upon a deep team of litigation and arbitration specialists, with experience handling insurance disputes across a range of industries and jurisdictions, we ensure that disputes are resolved as quickly as possible while providing the best outcome for our clients.

We have a focus on resolving insurance disputes without litigation, utilising commercial negotiation and mediation where possible. Where litigation can’t be avoided, we are known for our pragmatic and commercial, yet hard-hitting, approach to resolving complex claims.

Areas of particular experience include

  • Professional indemnity
  • Directors' and officers' liabilities
  • ISR
  • Construction all risks
  • Product liability
  • Public liability
  • Reinsurance.

Navigating regulatory issues

Australia has one of the world’s most complex regulatory regimes for financial products. As evidenced by our thriving financial services and regulatory & investigations practices, our regulatory team has a thorough understanding of the regulatory framework underlying insurance products and our depth across dispute resolution, negotiations and drafting is unmatched in the market. We are one of very few firms who can advise on general, life and private health insurance.

We provide our clients with dedicated experts who will bring their insights gained from advising various financial institutions and relevant clients in other sectors on developing and managing robust risk frameworks.  We bring a balanced and comprehensive approach to detection and remediation responses, coupled with a deep understanding of regulatory requirements and commercial drivers. Our advisory work in these areas has been of particular importance over the last year due to the complex regulatory and compliance matters which continue to arise in light of the Royal Commission.

Our expertise in action

  • The Star: acting for The Star Entertainment Group Limited (and other entities in The Star group) in its high-profile claim against the insurers of its Industrial Special Risks (ISR) insurance policy for business interruption losses suffered in connection with COVID-19.
  • Royal Commission: We have been engaged by several financial services institutions to advise on the raft of legislative reforms proposed by the Government in response to the recommendations of the Royal Commission. This advice includes guidance regarding the compliance measures and processes which Australia’s financial services institutions should look to implement.
  • Captive insurance: Advising on captive insurance arrangements and disputes which requires a deep understanding of the law in many different areas, including insurance, reinsurance, financial services regulation and corporate governance including project management skills to coordinate responses from multiple jurisdictions in order to meet the tight timeframes often involved in establishing captive insurance arrangements.
  • ISR: Advising multiple clients in Australia and the South Pacific in relation to Industrial Special Risk (ISR) insurance policy coverage in response to COVID-19 and related insurance claims, including orders made by government affecting operations of businesses.
  • Telecommunications and energy retailer in Australia: KWM used a multidisciplinary team to advise the client, to make two separate insurance claims, manage the process with state revenue authorities and complete two significant transactions for the client.  KWM achieved a 100% recovery of fines imposed by regulatory authorities under the Statutory Liability Policy, and agreed a settlement with the W&I Insurer in respect of legacy losses incurred by the energy retailer  

Industry recognition

  • Chambers 2021 – Band 1 Insurance: Policy holder
  • Legal 500 2021 – Band 1 Insurance


Well placed, thanks to its multi-jurisdictional network of offices, to advise on insurance issues on an Asia-Pacific regional basis.

Chambers and Partners

exceptional knowledge of market practice in the insurance space

Chambers and Partners

Client's observation… they know and understand our business and the way in which we operate and work, including our pain points, which they help to alleviate where they can.

Chambers and Partners

King & Wood Mallesons is described by clients as ‘Australia’s market leading insurance practice’,… The team is able to act for both sides – policyholders, as well as insurers and reinsurers.

Legal 500

Thoroughness of advice – always well-researched and reliable. Responsive. Trusted advisers.

 Legal 500

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