As globalisation increases, more companies are doing more business in more parts of the world. Entering new markets, particularly in Asia, is essential to business growth for many Australian and New Zealand companies. Yet the local environment can be difficult to navigate. In many emerging markets undergoing rapid growth, product licensing and operating regulations are also developing rapidly. You don’t want to be caught out.
Our team of trade and political risk lawyers have advised insurers and insured businesses on political risk claims across a myriad of industries – from financial and business services, through mining and energy, to cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.
We have helped clients where civil violence has affected operations, supply chains, travel and business continuity. We’re also advised on claims as the result of governmental expropriation of assets and where there has been restriction on the repatriation of funds.
Even in domestic markets, governments can be unpredictable. An increasing part of our teams work is in the domestic Australian and New Zealand markets, advising on claims where policy changes dramatically affect the business environment.
Some examples of where we have found workable resolutions for our clients are:
Arbitration proceedings involving seizure of property by militants in Iraq
Represented reinsurers in arbitration proceedings (under the ARIAS rules) arising out of a USD22 million claim made under a political violence insurance policy relating to the seizure of an insured property by militants in Iraq in 2015. The claim was withdrawn shortly after reinsurers issued arbitration proceedings seeking declaratory relief against insurers
Coverage advice on political violence and terrorism claims
Advised insurers on claims made under political violence and stand-alone terrorism insurance policies arising out of incidents involving militant groups in Iraq, Algeria and Nigeria.
Claims made on Kidnap and Ransom policies in the Middle East and Mexico
Advised insurers on claims made under kidnap and ransom policies relating to kidnappings which allegedly occurred in Syria and an alleged extortion by authorities in Mexico.
Government failure to pay for services
Advising on defence of a claim brought by an insured against insurers for losses allegedly suffered as a result of the Abu Dhabi government’s failure to pay for the supply of education services. Zurich Australian Insurance Limited v Cognition Education Limited  NZSC 188 (19 December 2014) – now the leading New Zealand authority and which brought New Zealand in line with the UNCITRAL Model Law.
Insuring against political risk is a dynamic, challenging issue for insurers, reinsurers, and businesses alike. When a claim is in dispute, you need lawyers with decades of experience standing alongside exporters and domestic businesses to find creative solutions when the business environment becomes unpredictable or dangerous.