International law firm Bird & Bird has acted for EY on the establishment of a joint venture with Guardtime, one of the world's leading blockchain solutions companies, which has the potential to transform the $30 billion global marine hull insurance industry.
The joint venture company, InsurchainConnect Limited, has developed a platform named "Insurwave" that leverages blockchain and distributed ledger technologies, Microsoft Azure infrastructure and ACORD data standards.
The platform aims to transform how global businesses in the marine hull insurance industry manage risk across their organizations, and how they work with brokers and (re)insurers.
A.P. Møller-Maersk, Microsoft and insurance industry leaders Willis Towers Watson, XL Catlin, MS Amlin and ACORD are initial users of the Insurwave platform, which EY announced on 28 May 2018 is now in commercial use.
The Bird & Bird team was led by partner and co-head of the firm's International Commercial Group, Simon Shooter, with support on the corporate aspects from Corporate Associate, Tom Rees.
Simon Shooter, Partner and Co-Head of International Commercial Group, Bird & Bird says:
“It has been fascinating being part of the team that has brought this ground breaking blockchain solution to the insurance marketplace. We have thoroughly enjoyed working with EY and Guardtime and wish InsurchainConnect every success. ”
Shaun Crawford, EY Global Insurance Leader, says:
“It is a proud moment for a number of heavy weight industry participants to be live with a genuine end-to-end blockchain platform in the specialty insurance market. All parties have worked extraordinarily hard, as a closely knit team, to get to this exciting milestone. To move from proof of concept just a year ago to a fully functioning platform that is delivering immediate value to clients feels exceptional.”
“Bird & Bird brought significant experience to the creation of this new business entity and their professional advice was invaluable as we brought a complex eco system of industry participants together within a credible legal framework.”
Mike Gault, Guardtime CEO, says:
“The team at Bird and Bird were outstanding throughout the process and added tremendous value in helping us think through the many challenges in creating a joint venture with a Big Four auditing company.”