"THE ROWE ARBITRATION"
In 2000 Mrs Rowe was appointed by the ICC in Paris as umpire and third arbitrator in an international reinsurance arbitration in Bermuda. This arbitration was the subject of a 2003 UK Privy Council decision with important implications for the confidentiality of reinsurance arbitrations, especially in Bermuda.
The judgement was Associated Electric & Gas Insurance Services Ltd -v- European Reinsurance Company of Zurich (Bermuda)  UKPC 11 (29 January 2003).
Click on the heading above to read the decision in full.
COVERHOLDER AMENDS HIS PROCEDURES
On behalf of Lloyd’s Underwriters we carried out a review of the administration of a newly granted binding authority to establish the extent of the coverholder’s compliance with the binding authority wording and with Lloyd’s Binding Authority Regulations. We reported on omissions from the coverholder’s computer systems for risk and claim recording which prevented him from providing the information stipulated by underwriters, and on possible breaches by the coverholder of Lloyd’s marketing guidelines. The coverholder was provided with a copy of our report and was able to amend his procedures to ensure compliance with all Lloyd’s and underwriters’ requirements before the volume of business bound would have made such changes cumbersome or expensive.
CLAIM WITHDRAWN IN ITS ENTIRETY
Our clients, co-reinsurers on London Market excess of loss “per risk” reinsurance contracts written over three years, were presented with an annual aggregate of liability claims paid by a mutual fund protected by the reinsured as one loss to each year of the contract. We analysed the wordings and the claims and provided an opinion as to the correct interpretation of the contract and of coverage, and placed our analysis firmly in the context of current market practice. Using this analysis, our clients’ solicitors succeeded in persuading the reinsured to withdraw the claims in their entirety.
ARBITRATION AWARD IN CLIENT'S FAVOUR
Phillippa Rowe provided an expert opinion, and gave oral evidence at a Toronto arbitration hearing, on the function and interpretation of the hours clause in a catastrophe excess of loss contract. The arbitrators said in their award that “ .. witnesses, ...all with considerable experience in their fields ... gave evidence in a forthright and articulate manner.” and found entirely in our clients’ favour in their decision which agreed almost exactly with Phillippa’s analysis.
EXPERT EVIDENCE ACCEPTED
Mrs Rowe provided expert evidence to several of the Names’ Action Groups on the proper standards to be applied in estimating and setting a Lloyd’s syndicate’s Reinsurance to Close, and gave oral evidence on the subject in the High Court in the Merrett case. The judge, Cresswell J. said: “I formed the impression that [Mrs Rowe] was a sincere and generally reliable witness.” and “I preferred Mrs Rowe’s evidence to that of [two other witnesses].” The decision in the Merrett case, and the consequent evaluation of the strength of other Action Group’s claims were significant factors in the structuring of the Lloyd’s Reconstruction and Renewal settlement leading to the formation of Equitas, and permitting the on-going Lloyd’s market to continue business.
CORRECT TREATY BALANCES AGREED
A major run-off manager and one of its cedants were unable to agree on the balances owed to the cedant under a proportional aviation treaty. Close analysis of the technical accounts revealed that, unknown to the reinsurer, the cedant had included IBNR figures in so-called “outstanding losses”, and that the balances failed to acknowledge that some amounts in claims reserves were already held by the cedant. Using our analysis, the parties were able to agree the correct amount under discussion, and reach a commutation based on that figure.
REINSURANCE RECOVERIES IDENTIFIED
We conducted a complete analysis of a reinsured's outstanding claims and of the coverage under its entire reinsurance programme. We identified almost US$1,000,000 of recoveries missed through erroneous coding of claims advices received, enabling our client to collect the previously unrecognised recoveries.
On behalf of a major London market reinsurer we conducted a file review of all open claims on a book of professional indemnity business, confirming accuracy of reserves and verifying that coverage was correctly applied. We then collected and analysed the paid and incurred claims figured to calculate the probable IBNR on the account and recommended a commtation value of approximately £2M for reinsurers. The reinsured was unwilling to agree a commutation, but some three years later the finally settled figure, over two years of a ccount, was within £25,000 of our original suggestion.