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Insurance & Reinsurance

With strategic leveraging of deep industry expertise, we enable our clients to traverse Canada’s complex, highly regulated insurance environment

Our unmatched nationwide portfolio of services provides insurance companies, other financial institutions, insurance agencies, brokerages and corporate clients with a roadmap to successfully navigate the complexities of the highly regulated Canadian insurance marketplace. With an uneven tapestry of national, provincial and territorial layers of legislation and regulation, our tested skills and experience smooth the path for our clients.

Our clients look to us for assistance with their most critical insurance and reinsurance transactions. We have deep industry expertise in complex insurance sector transactions, including M&A, capital transactions, public offerings, demutualizations, reinsurance transactions, transfers of books of business, corporate reorganizations and technology outsourcing. We have an established track record in obtaining complex regulatory approvals required to complete insurance transactions.

We help our clients enter and exit the Canadian insurance market. Our depth of experience permits us to effectively and efficiently obtain the regulatory approvals required to establish insurance companies, branches and subsidiaries of global insurance companies at the federal level and the required insurance licences at the provincial and territorial level. We assist Canadian and non-resident insurance agencies and brokerages establish their businesses and obtain the licences required to carry on their businesses.

Editing the Act provides unparalleled insight for real-world client projects

Nancy Carroll, Head of our National Insurance and Reinsurance Practice, is the long-time editor of the Consolidated Insurance Companies Act of Canada, Regulations and Guidelines, published by Thomson Reuters. This comprehensive reference on Canada’s insurance legislation and policies is widely used by regulators, insurance companies and lawyers. Our National Insurance and Reinsurance Group applies their deep knowledge of insurance law and regulatory practice into pioneering approaches to meet our clients’ needs.

As insurance regulation evolves we help our clients understand changing expectations and compliance requirements. We advise on a broad range of regulatory compliance matters including those involving corporate governance, risk management, product distribution, market conduct and compliance, outsourcing, anti-money laundering compliance, privacy law compliance and handling privacy breaches, cyber security, technology, insurtech, fintech, artificial intelligence, blockchain and tax law.

Our tax group has expertise in all aspects of the taxation of insurance operations, and works seamlessly with our corporate and regulatory team on the tax aspects of insurance transactions and the creation of new financial products.

As Canada's only major law firm providing insurance litigation and dispute resolution exclusively to corporate policyholders, we have the knowledge to represent you on coverage matters such as commercial general liability, directors and officers, errors and omissions, property and financial bond policies. 

Our lawyers provide skilled representation across jurisdictions and borders

Our industry expertise is supported by a national integrated delivery model, which affords us the agility and structure to advise you on federal and provincial regulatory issues. No matter where you are located, we can build a cross-functional team to meet your needs.

This combination of multi-disciplinary expertise and multi-jurisdictional reach allows us to assist you with insurance M&A and other domestic and cross-border transactions, such as raising capital in domestic and international capital markets and entering and exiting the Canadian insurance market.

Our team has acted on, and obtained regulatory approvals for, many of the country’s leading transactions involving insurance companies. Highlights include:

  • Desjardins Financial Group’s C$1.6 billion acquisition of State Farm Canada’s businesses in property and casualty and life insurance;
  • Desjardins’ acquisition of Western Financial Group, including Western Financial Insurance Company and Western Life Assurance Company;
  • E-L Financial Co. Ltd.’s sale of Dominion of Canada General Insurance to Travelers Co. Inc. for C$1.07 billion;
  • E-L Financial Services Limited’s purchase of Guardian Assurance Limited’s 19% interest in Empire Life’s holding company E-L Financial Services Limited for C$200 million;
  • Sun Life’s C$560 million acquisition of Bentall Kennedy;
  • OMERS’ acquisition of 29.9% of UK-based insurance company Brit plc from Fairfax;
  • Pacific Life Insurance Company’s acquisition of Manulife’s global life retrocession business with net life insurance in-force of US $106 billion;
  • Fairfax Financial in its C$100 million acquisition of Pethealth;
  • Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services’ C$77.6 million acquisition of a stake in Groupe Immobilier Ovation from SNC-Lavalin; and
  • Scotia Capital and Morgan Stanley’s C$2.6 billion subscription receipt offering in connection with Manulife’s C$4 billion acquisition of Standard Life.

We were appointed by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice to represent the eligible mutual policyholders of Economical Mutual Insurance Company in negotiations over $2 billion in expected demutualization benefits arising from Economical’s proposed demutualization.

Our lawyers and insurance practice are routinely recognised in publications such as Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business, DealMakers Monthly, IFLR 1000: Guide to the World's Leading Financial Law Firms, World’s Leading Insurance and Reinsurance Lawyers and other respected directories.