20 May 2021

RPC launches international network to expand global insurance platform

Global Access Lawyers will include member firms from the US, Canada, Australia and Continental Europe

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London-based law firm RPC is expanding its global insurance platform with the launch of a six-firm international network.  

The network, Global Access Lawyers, will include six firms from different countries with the aim of giving clients greater access to insurance law specialists across different international markets. 

Firms joining the network alongside RPC’s existing offices in the UK and Asia include Australia’s Colin Biggers & Paisley, Canadian firm Miller Thomson, Kennedy Van Der Laan in the Netherlands and MHN & Partners in France.  

Global Access will also include Chicago-based practice Hinshaw & Culbertson, which entered a formal alliance with RPC back in 2019. The firm said the success of its alliance with Hinshaw & Culbertson gave it the “confidence” to move forward with the establishment of Global Access in order to bring together more “like-minded” insurance practices to serve its international client base.  

The platform will boast a combined force of 2,000 lawyers across 43 offices with the sole purpose of making jurisdiction-specific legal advice across different markets more accessible for insurer clients. 

A crucial motivator behind the network launch was the London insurance market’s noticeable attraction as a “one stop shop” solution to international client work, the firm said.  

Other UK insurance-focused law firms, such as Clyde & Co, Kennedys and HFW, have tended towards large-scale international expansion efforts in recent years, while RPC maintained two international offices in Singapore and Hong Kong.  

Simon Laird, partner and global head of insurance at RPC, said the network will act as a “sounding board” for insurers, adding that the concept has been in the pipeline for some time and developed in line with client feedback.  

“In addition to the insight, we can provide our clients with access to the resources and capabilities of each firm in times of need, as well as continuing to work together on significant overseas and cross-border exposures,” he said.  

Laird added that the member firms already have many of the same clients, with the network providing an opportunity to increase collaboration and referral work.  

“It is the authenticity of it all that will end up being the most powerful force in delivering even better client service for insurers across the globe,” he added.  

In March, insurance-focused alliance Legalign Global boosted its roster by adding Vancouver-based Alexander Holburn to its ranks. Legalign, which counts the UK’s DAC Beachcroft as one of its founding members, now boasts more than 2,000 lawyers across five member firms in Germany, the UK, Canada, the US and Australia.  

Earlier this year, Dentons also strengthened its Canadian insurance coverage with the hiring of a nine-strong team from Cassels Brock & Blackwell, including five partners. The team will be spread across Dentons’ Toronto and Calgary offices and is led by regulatory specialist and longstanding Cassels partner Laurie LaPalme.  

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