McDermott Expands Services In Insurance Industry; Provides Deeper Transaction Expertise In Niche Sector


McDermott Will & Emery, a leading international law firm, announced that eight new partners have joined the newly-created Insurance Transactions and Regulation Group.

Andrea Best, Dan Brown, H. Michael Byrne, Thomas Dawson, John Finston, Parimah Hassouri, Michael Halsband and John Mulhern will dramatically expand the Firm’s capabilities in the insurance, transaction and regulation sector.

This international group of Partners will be based in the Firm’s New York, San Francisco and London offices.

“We are excited to land this wonderful team. They are first-class lawyers and will help us grow in a very important vertical. One thing we know: Clients want lawyers with deep industry knowledge and expertise—and no one is better than this group,” said Ira Coleman, Chairman of McDermott.

“This group has worked together for many years and has extensive experience and an outstanding reputation in the insurance industry. They are the right team to serve as the cornerstone of our new Insurance Transactions and Regulation Group,” said Harris Siskind, global head of McDermott’s Transactions Practice Group.

“McDermott offers a unique platform that allows our team to grow and enhance our capabilities across different practices,” said Michael Halsband, the new global leader of McDermott’s Insurance Transactions and Regulation Group. “We are excited to bring a new focus to the firm and provide clients with a full-scale service for all their insurance-focused transactions and regulatory needs, whether that be US-based or internationally.”

McDermott continues to be on the move, adding almost 20 partners in the past month alone.

New Partners:

Andrea T. Best (London) advises clients on insurance regulatory compliance throughout the United States. She works with insurers, reinsurers, intermediaries, brokers, trade associations and others in the insurance market.

Andrea actively monitors state insurance-related legislative and regulatory developments and works extensively with London, Bermuda and European insurance market participants regarding non-admitted insurance and reinsurance transactions in the United States, including regulatory advice on structuring InsurTech, sharing economy and gig economy insurance programs in the United States. Andrea also counsels managing general agents and other entities looking to establish operations in the United States.

Dan Brown (San Francisco) represents insurance companies, start-ups, agents, brokers and other stakeholders in all aspects of the admitted, exempt and surplus lines insurance markets in the United States.

Dan advises alien or foreign insurers on how to comply with various state laws in placing business; early-stage and developed InsurTech entities on regulatory and corporate issues; insureds on exempt and specialty lines; producers on licensing, placement and premium tax issues, including digitization of the process; and insureds on coverage and placement issues. He advises London market participants on how to comply with US insurance laws, either by becoming admitted insurers or by using a variety of methods to cover US risks without being licensed.

H. Michael (Mike) Byrne (New York) has extensive experience in complex insurance transactional, regulatory and InsurTech matters. He advises US and international insurers and reinsurers, investors, producers and technology companies on a broad range of matters, including obtaining regulatory approvals for M&A; change of control and affiliate transactions; forming, licensing and structuring business operations; drafting and negotiating agreements; M&A involving producers and service providers; and developing and obtaining approvals for unique products. He delivers practical and business-focused counsel on novel issues.

Mike frequently presents on InsurTech and excess and surplus lines. He maintains a broad practice across the US with a global client base and network

Thomas M. Dawson (New York) represents US and non-US insurers on regulatory, licensing and corporate matters.
Tom advises legal industry participants on a wide variety of regulatory and transactional matters, including cybersecurity compliance, InsurTech ventures and Holding Company Act filings. He has helped clients form, acquire and invest in US insurers, reinsurers and intermediaries. He counsels non-insurers on advertising, licensing and marketing generally, and provides regulatory compliance advice to service contract issuers and other specialty product providers.

Tom has guided non-US insurers and reinsurers in the London market, Europe, Bermuda and Asia for more than 25 years, helping them obtain and maintain surplus lines and reinsurer approvals, as well as monitoring state and federal legislation.

John F. Finston (San Francisco) is a former general counsel and deputy insurance commissioner for the State of California. He advises clients on insurance-related financial transactions, with a focus on highlighting and resolving insurance regulatory issues.

John represents reinsurance companies, insurance companies and insurance associations in mergers and acquisitions, transactional business restructuring, insolvency and regulatory matters. He has extensive experience in transactional matters and frequently advises corporate clients with respect to their rights against insurance company receivers and property/casualty insurance guaranty funds in the event of the insolvency of their insurers.

Michael R. Halsband (New York) has more than 25 years of leadership experience in the insurance and reinsurance industry, including in investment banking and capital markets.

His wide-ranging experience includes insurance broker and carrier M&A, new company formation, capital raises and new product development (principally for InsurTech startups); complex structured (re)insurance transactions; insurance-linked securities (ILS); distressed portfolio run-off administration and general corporate insurance regulatory matters.

Parimah Hassouri (New York) advises US and international insurers on a wide range of insurance regulatory and corporate matters. She has represented clients operating in the life, property and casualty, financial guaranty, mortgage guaranty and title insurance industries.

In addition, Parimah assists clients with regulatory filings associated with mergers, acquisitions and other changes in corporate structure, including mutual holding company conversions and demutualizations. She also assists with the formation and licensing of insurance companies, and routinely assists clients with corporate governance and compliance issues.

John P. Mulhern (New York) represents clients in insurance regulatory, business planning and transaction matters at the state and federal level in the United States as well as internationally, with particular focus on cross-border trade. He has extensive experience representing insurers, reinsurers, captives, intermediaries, brokers, start-ups, commercial insurance buyers, trade associations, alternative markets and other participants in the insurance marketplace.

About McDermott

McDermott Will & Emery partners with leaders around the world to fuel missions, knock down barriers and shape markets. With more than 20 locations on three continents, our team works seamlessly across practices, industries and geographies to deliver highly effective—and often unexpected—solutions that propel success. More than 1,100 lawyers strong, we bring our personal passion and legal prowess to bear in every matter for our clients and the people they serve.

Media Contacts