Insurance Regulatory & Transactions
Since the Firm’s founding in 1951, its Insurance Regulatory and Transactions practice has set it apart from the typical insurance defense law firm. It began with founders Will C. Thompson and Vernon Coe representing one of the most prominent insurance trade associations in Texas, which led to Mr. Coe’s major role in redrafting the insurance laws into what is now known as the Insurance Code of Texas of 1951. Soon thereafter, David B. Irons joined the firm, after having served as one member of the three-member State Board of Insurance of Texas, the predecessor to the Texas Department of Insurance. These three men have left a legacy to all of us who have followed them.
Both then and now, Thompson Coe’s Insurance Regulatory and Transactions group is one of the most experienced insurance industry practice groups in the entire United States. We have the depth and breadth of insurance background and knowledge to provide reliable and efficient legal advice and assistance for all insurance business and regulatory matters. We have substantial experience in both property and casualty and life and health matters, and we provide assistance to all types of insurance entities, including insurance companies, brokers, agents, reinsurers, risk retention groups, risk purchasing groups, premium finance companies, HMOs, self-insureds, and insurance industry trade associations. It is hard to imagine that there is an area of insurance law with which the firm has not dealt in the almost 60 years of our experience. Our clients range from publicly traded insurance companies to family owned insurance agencies. We also work with other businesses not part of the insurance industry that have or want insurance subsidiaries or that have other insurance-related issues.
Notable is the fact that seven of the practice group’s eight attorneys have 25 years or more experience with the insurance industry. Our members include a former Commissioner of Workers’ Compensation in Texas, a former Chief of Staff to the Commissioner of Insurance of Texas, two former in-house counsels to insurers, and directors of insurance companies. Chambers USA has recognized two of our group’s members as “leading insurance lawyers” in Texas, and another group member has been recognized for years as one of the Best Lawyers in America in insurance law by Best Lawyers.
Practice Highlights: Insurance Regulatory and Transaction Attorney
- Seven of eight attorneys with 25 years or more experience in insurance
- Our eighth attorney is a former Commissioner of Workers’ Compensation who was also Chief of Staff at the Texas Department of Insurance
- Two attorneys recognized as “Leading Insurance Lawyers” by Chambers USA
- Both Property/Casualty and Life/Health knowledge and experience.
Represented an insurance holding company in the formation of an insurance company and affiliated managing general agency, negotiated bank loans of $30 million for its capitalization, drafted related managing general agency and production agreements, and assisted with admissions and licensing in six additional states.
Thompson Coe’s insurance regulatory services are comprehensive and are provided by experienced insurance industry lawyers. Because of our depth and breadth of experience, and our tradition of representation of the insurance industry, we are able to provide effective representation in an efficient manner for the benefit of our clients. Our relationships with regulators and our firm’s reputation often facilitate access to the decision-makers to help resolve our clients’ concerns. We help our clients with compliance issues in dealing with the numerous statutes and regulations which impact them, and represent our clients in hearings and in disputes with state regulators in responding to claims, complaints and inquiries. If regulators proceed with administrative actions against our clients, we provide full defense through trial and appeal.
Our insurance regulatory services include:
- Formations, admissions, and dissolutions of insurance companies
- Licensing of agents, premium finance companies, third party administrators, managing general agencies, surplus lines agents, and other types of entities
- Product evaluation and form filing
- Assistance with financial examinations and market conduct examinations
- Holding company transactions
- Reinsurance agreements
- Insolvency and guaranty fund issues
- Subpoenas received from Insurance Departments and offices of Attorneys General
- Redomestication issues
- Excess and surplus lines insurers
- Risk retention groups and risk purchasing groups
- Contested case hearings
- Enforcement and compliance matters
- Captive insurers
- Rate hearings.
We have handled numerous multi-million dollar insurance company and insurance agency acquisitions, preparing the documents and obtaining all regulatory approvals.
Thompson Coe’s insurance clients can depend on the firm’s Insurance Regulatory and Transactions group to handle their transactional as well as their regulatory needs. We handle business and other transactional services at both the insurance company and insurance agent level, whether it be formations of new entities, mergers and acquisitions of companies, acquisitions of blocks of business, reorganizations or the like. The firm has tax capabilities to help with any tax issues that arise and the firm’s Labor and Employment practice group is available to assist with any employment issues, including drafting or reviewing employment agreements and dealing with non-compete issues. We represent both the property and casualty and the life and health industries, including both insurers and their agents. We prepare reinsurance agreements, general agency agreements, agency agreements, portfolio transfer agreements, employment agreements, and all other types of contracts needed by insurance companies, agents, or other insurance related entities. Our knowledge and experience with insurance matters gives our attorneys the abilities to spot potential future issues that could appear on the horizon and allow our clients to plan for, rather than react to, potentially impactful events. We understand the business of insurance.
We defended and avoided all charges which were threatened against a multi-line, Fortune 500 insurance holding company by the Texas Attorney General relating to the use of credit scoring.
Thompson Coe’s Insurance Regulatory and Transactions group works directly with Thompson Coe’s Insurance Litigation and Coverage and Appellate groups in a broad range of litigation and regulatory disputes. The combined depth of these groups allows Thompson Coe to provide comprehensive and unparalleled representation to the insurance industry.
Summary: A Complete Understanding
Thompson Coe serves its insurance clients by offering a complete understanding of the regulatory challenges they face. Insurance is one of the most heavily regulated business sectors in the U.S. Because we know how both the insurance industry and government work, and because we have ongoing relationships with regulators and have years of experience on which to draw, we can provide our clients with reliable, comprehensive and practical legal solutions to the insurance problems and issues that they face.
- Albert Betts Jr., Partner
- Jack M. Cleaveland Jr., Partner
- Michael W. Jones, Partner
- David D. Knoll, Partner
- James L. Sowder, Partner
- Jay A. Thompson, Partner
- Rodney D. Bucker, Of Counsel
- Richard S. Geiger, Of Counsel
- Emory L. White Jr., Of Counsel
- Steven M. Augustine, Associate
- Stephen C. Richman, Associate