Commercial and Regulatory

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HWL Ebsworth understands that the day to day work conducted by an insurance company involves much more than merely reviewing and settling claims. Insurers operate in a highly controlled environment characterised by a complex regulations and prudential standards that impact on a wide array of activities including the development of new product offerings, product distribution channels and investment strategies.

Advances in technology and increased competition from other financial sectors will no doubt be seen by regulators as both an opportunity and challenge for insurers, serving to heighten the need for even closer scrutiny of industry practices and general market conduct.

As an important part of the financial sector, insurers are also significant financial intermediaries and important investors. Given that standing and the lessons of the recent global financial crisis, stricter legal and prudential supervision and ongoing regulatory reform are likely to be permanent features of the insurance industry.

HWL Ebsworth is across all of the vital touchpoints that its insurance clients, both life and general, need to be aware of to profitably operate in Australia’s competitive insurance market. We regularly assist our clients in the following areas:

  1. Reinsurance treaty issues and commutations;
  2. Policy drafting;
  3. Distribution design and documentation;
  4. Portfolio transfers and M&A;
  5. Regulatory consultation submissions;
  6. Breach reporting;
  7. Authorisation applications; and
  8. AFSL applications and advice.


  • Enstar Group: Advised and assisted its Australian regulated entities with the acquisitions of over 10 insurance portfolios;
  • TAL: Advised, drafted and assisted with the preparation of bespoke reinsurance wordings and documents for both its group and retail life insurance businesses;
  • Pacific International Insurance: Advised and managed the first migration of a regulated insurance company from a foreign jurisdiction into Australia. Assisted the entity in its regulatory applications both in Australia and in the foreign jurisdictions;
  • AXIS Specialty: Advised and assisted the transition of AXIS Specialty’s Australian branch to a run-off insurer. Assisted and advised on its finality solution, including assisting in the negotiation of an adverse development quota share treaty;
  • Life Insurance: Assisted in the establishment of the first APRA approved trust structure between an Australian licenced life insurer and an overseas reinsurer; and
  • Lloyd’s underwriters: Drafted the policy wordings for Lloyd’s syndicates offering the following lines of business in Australia:
    • Property;
    • Liability;
    • Cyber;
    • Professional Indemnity;
    • ISR; and
    • D&O.

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