June 10, 2016

Onshore Energy Conference 2016

Clyde & Co were proud to be a sponsor of the inaugural Onshore Energy Conference, Dubai, which took place on 18 May 2016.

The event was well attended by insurers, brokers, insurance buyers and relevant service providers.  There was a strong focus on issues facing the insurance market in the Middle East and the conference featured much informed debate. 

Clyde & Co hosted one of the breakout sessions and presented (Alfred Thornton, Angela Flaherty and Saud Alsaab) a session titled "Policy wordings – looking through different lenses". The session focused on key jurisdictional differences relevant to policy interpretation in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and outlined factors that influence claims handling in the GCC.

During the session it was highlighted that many standard market wordings commonly used for the underwriting of GCC energy insurance risks are produced in London on the basis of common law legal principles. These policy wordings are often intended to be interpreted in accordance with English law, with disputes being resolved by the English Courts.  It was noted that due to jurisdictional, language, and procedural differences, differing issues arose when claims are adjusted and wordings are interpreted in the GCC civil states, the common law courts in the Middle East (such as the DIFC Court) and Saudi Arabia. 

Clyde & Co is one of the largest international law firms in the GCC region with over 170 specialist lawyers and paralegals operating from Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the UAE, Doha in Qatar and Riyadh in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The three Clyde & Co speakers accordingly drew from Clyde & Co's extensive regional insurance experience to compare and highlight the impact on policy interpretation that arises from differences in approach by the GCC Courts, and how differences in legislation and the application of legal principles influence policy interpretation.

The speakers, who have extensive experience with GCC energy insurance claims, were able to refer to various unique practical issues they had experienced when dealing with energy insurance claims in the GCC. The conference delegates helpfully contributed to the discussion sharing their experiences and questions on issues such as causation, translations, time bar, local evidence rules and follow the settlements clauses in reinsurance policies.      

Clyde & Co's in-depth local expertise and experience has given us an insight into the types of recurring issues which are common when dealing with Middle Eastern energy insurance claims. We were pleased to have shared such insights with the attendees of the Onshore Energy Conference.  We frequently assist insurers with establishing their presence in the region and with the full spectrum of associated regulatory issues.  We are able to assist with prevention of unexpected issues at the claims stage by tailoring policy wordings for the region and, once a claim does occur, by staying one step ahead during the claims handling process and avoiding potential pitfalls.