Practice/Industry Group Overview
Sutherland’s insurance regulatory attorneys help clients analyze and apply complex and evolving regulations across state and international lines and at the federal level.
With over 50 years of insurance industry experience and more than 125 lawyers serving clients across the sector, Sutherland’s comprehensive understanding of the regulatory landscape and our clients’ businesses enables us to devise strategies that achieve our clients' strategic goals. Sutherland advises clients on all aspects of current and proposed state and federal legislation and regulation affecting mergers and acquisitions, demutualizations, insurance holding companies, product development, compliance, investments, corporate governance, redomestications, reinsurance and enterprise risk management (ERM). We closely monitor developments and maintain a comprehensive understanding of the regulatory issues that affect insurance companies and producers in operational, transactional, finance and products, corporate finance and securities, tax and litigation matters.
Increasingly, the state-based insurance regulation system in the United States must be understood in the context of international regulatory developments and markets. Sutherland helps insurance companies strategically navigate the London and the Lloyd’s markets, Bermuda, Zurich and other insurance market hubs.
Our clients include some of the largest U.S. life and property and casualty insurers, as well as major multinational insurers and reinsurers. We represent insurers before state insurance departments, the International Insurance Department (IID) of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), the SEC’s Division of Investment Management, the Commodities and Futures Exchange Commission (CFTC), the Department of Labor (DOL), the Treasury Department’s Federal Insurance Office (FIO) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). We also represent clients in investigations and enforcement actions brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), state departments of insurance and attorneys general. Members of our practice group include former senior attorneys with the SEC, FINRA and the Department of Justice (DOJ), as well as former in-house counsel at leading insurance companies. We have also represented state insurance comissioners and attorneys general.
Real-world experience. Our attorneys include former state and federal regulators, former general counsel for multinational insurers and banks and attorneys who have served the insurance industry for decades.
Industry participation. We actively participate in the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, the Association of Life Insurance Counsel (ALIC), the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI), the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, the NAIC, the Life Insurance Council of New York (LICONY), the National Organization of Life and Health Guaranty Associations (NOLHGA) and other industry groups. Our attorneys are often invited to present on recent regulatory developments at national association meetings.
Thought leaders. Sutherland attorneys write and edit the PLC Multi-jurisdictional Guide to Insurance and Reinsurance: United States, as well as the Insurance Regulation Answer Book, a high-level overview of the legal and regulatory framework governing the insurance industry in the United States, which is published by the Practising Law Institute.
Strong state-level ties. Our attorneys have longstanding relationships with the professional staff in the financial analysis and examinations, legal and enforcement functions in all of the major commercial states for insurers and have represented state insurance commissioners and attorneys general.
Policy-setting experience. We draft laws and regulations and shepherd them through the regulatory and legislative processes. We have represented regulators on major transactions, helping to shape the policies that govern such transactions thereafter and enhancing our credibility with regulators when our clients are insurers.
Range. Sutherland’s Insurance Practice Group, which numbers more than 125 attorneys, advises companies in all of the insurance sectors—life, health, property and casualty, title, workers compensation, captives, reinsurers—on all types of matters, including transactions, regulation, product design, risk management, compliance, solvency and insolvency issues, market conduct examinations, investments, governance, litigation and taxation.
Global clients. Our attorneys work with international insurers operating within the U.S. insurance markets. We represent foreign insurers before state insurance departments and the IID and closely monitor U.S. legislative and regulatory developments affecting multinational insurance clients.
Legal project management. Sutherland’s unique project management initiative aims to help in-house attorneys with project scoping, budget management and improved communications across teams working on insurance regulatory and other matters.
Nuts and Bolts
Sutherland attorneys advise clients on all aspects of current and proposed state and federal legislation and regulation affecting:
- Mergers and acquisitions
- Demutualizations and other conversions and restructurings
- Insurance holding companies
- Product design, development and marketing
- Corporate governance
- Enterprise risk management (ERM)
- Own risk and solvency assessment (ORSA)
Our experience includes advising and assisting with:
- Listing with the IID
- Compliance with the Non-Admitted and Reinsurance Reform Act (NRRA) chapter within the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act
- Strategies to qualify for reduced reinsurance collateral
We also represent clients before:
- State insurance departments
- International Insurance Department (IID)
- National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC)
- U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
- SEC’s Division of Investment Management
- Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)
- Commodities and Futures Exchange Commission (CFTC)
- Department of Labor (DOL)
- Treasury Department’s Federal Insurance Office (FIO)
- Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
- Attorneys general
Sutherland attorneys understand the unique challenges and opportunities that clients in the insurance industry face. We help clients take advantage of opportunities and manage challenges so they achieve their business goals.
Sutherland represents insurer in a major internal investigation and settlement negotiations.
We worked with an insurer throughout the investigation and negotiated settlements in multiple states when rates charged allegedly exceeded those permitted under filed plans.
Sutherland attorney represented Security Benefit in a sponsored demutualization.
During the financial crisis, Security Benefit Mutual Holding Company was carefully guided through the regulatory approval process and subsequent transaction, successfully completing a sponsored demutualization by Guggenheim Partners.
Sutherland counsels U.S. insurer on creating an offshore segregated accounts company.
Sutherland counsels a NYSE-listed insurer in establishing and operating a Bermuda-domiciled segregated accounts company.