Swiss Re to select new disputes panel

Reinsurer Swiss Re has launched a review of its insurance dispute resolution panel.

A beauty parade has already taken place, with the company yet to formally select the firms for the panel. Swiss Re UK general counsel Richard Buttle said the panel will be finalised in the coming weeks, adding that it is likely to consist of at least four insurance-focused law firms.

It is understood that Clyde & Co, CMS Cameron McKenna and Reynolds Porter Chamberlain are likely to take three of the spots, while the final place is expected to be awarded to a magic circle firm.

Allen & Overy is believed to be in the strongest position among the magic circle, as its insurance group already advises Swiss Re regularly for litigation and dispute resolution matters.

That said, Linklaters has built a robust relationship with the reinsurer after acting on the sale of Swiss Re’s building, dubbed the Gherkin, for £600m.

Clifford Chance and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer have both had dealings with Swiss Re in the past after sitting across the table from the reinsurer on a number of deals.

Clifford Chance’s most significant contact was while advising General Electric on the disposal of its international insurance and reinsurance operations to Swiss Re for $6.8bn (£3.3bn). Freshfields represented Zurich Financial Services when it divested part of it UK annuity to Swiss Re.