The Bermuda Form excess liability insurance policy was introduced in 1985, in response to a catastrophic reduction in global excess insurance capacity available to major corporation entities following the 1970s onslaught of pollution and toxic tort litigation in the U.S. Dispute resolution by means of binding arbitration in London or Bermuda was and remains an integral feature of the Form, which has become a mainstay option to national and international corporations.
Experienced lawyers have been advising Bermuda Form insurers, and acting for them in arbitrations and mediations, from the very beginning of the widespread use of the Bermuda Form in 1986. Our work for Bermuda Form insurers has encompassed a broad variety of catastrophic and mass/serial tort claims, including those derived from such industries as auto, pharmaceutical, agrichem, energy, utilities, building materials, transportation, medical devices, financial institutions and health care providers.
The common factor in these disparate claims is that these cases typically involved disputes measured in hundreds of millions of dollars. Our team has advised Bermuda Form insurers on a broad range of coverage issues arising from the diversity of the insured industries and the diversity of the claim specific circumstances. In short, we have advised Bermuda Form insurers in relation to the vast majority of the significant mass torts and catastrophic events that have taken place over the last 30 years, and possess an institutional history unchallenged by our competitors.
Experienced attorneys can provide a comprehensive service of the Bermuda Form market due to their broad, international footprint. Our offices in London and Bermuda are staffed by locally admitted attorneys, who are fully qualified and experienced to act for insurers in all manner of disputed insurance situations. It is important to have lawyers that are positioned to locally investigate the underlying facts and litigation status of mass tort litigation and catastrophic events efficiently and cost effectively.
When a U.S.-centered loss cannot be resolved informally and proceeds to a Bermuda- or London-based arbitration, Some attorneys are uniquely prepared to represent Bermuda Form insurers at this next step. They should be knowledgeable and experienced in the finer points of arbitrations under the authority of the law of those jurisdictions.
A firm’s focus first and foremost should be that of trial lawyers, which puts them in a premier position to assess and advise on the exposures arising from the massive North American-centered claims that the Bermuda Form insurers encounter.
A firm’s history in Bermuda Form dispute resolution goes back to the earliest use of the Bermuda Form. We acted as counsel for a Bermuda insurer in one of the very earliest arbitrations arising from the Form, and prevailed for that insurer. Other successful arbitrations under the Bermuda Form include:
- Arbitration award for insurer in a major agrichem loss
- Award for an insurer in a dispute over a complex environmental loss
- Award for an insurer in a large auto product liability loss
- Award for an insurer in an employee benefit coverage dispute
- Award for an insurer in a coverage dispute over a contraceptive drug
- Award for an insurer in an industrial pollution coverage dispute
- Award for an insurer in dispute over liability for mitigation costs, and pollution and defense costs
- Award for an insurer in a large building material loss
These awards have touched on a variety of issues, including the definition of occurrence, the application of the “maintenance deductible” as well as other expected and intended defenses, and the application of various exclusions under the Form.