Debevoise partner’s ties win Catlin instruction

Debevoise & Plimpton insurance partner Jeremy Hill has consolidated his relationship with insurance giant Catlin Group as he advises the US company on its offer for rival Wellington Underwriting.

Catlin announced last week (30 October) that it had made an offer to buy its Lloyd’s competitor in a deal valued at £591m.

The company’s general counsel Daniel Primer said he had instructed Hill on the proposed transaction. Hill built up his relationship with Catlin while at his former firm Ashurst, which previously carried out all of the insurer’s UK corporate work.

Hill also acted for Catlin in March this year on a £38m share placing on the London Stock Exchange, two years after joining Debevoise.

Meanwhile, Lovells corporate insurance partner Charles Rix is acting for Wellington on the potential acquisition.

Lovells has previously acted for Wellington on a host of deals, including the 2002 £448m launch of reinsurance company Wellington Re.

If successful, the Catlin-Wellington tie-up will create the largest Lloyd’s syndicate in terms of its underwriting capacity, as well as making the company one of the largest insurers by market value in the Lloyd’s market. The deal is also designed to grow Catlin’s US capabilities.

Both Wellington’s and Catlin’s boards approved the cash and shares offer.

The acquisition will see Catlin chief executive Stephen Catlin become chief executive of the enlarged group, with Wellington chief executive Preben Prebensen as his deputy.