An “expert in financial lines” and ‘Leading Individual’ for Insurance and Reinsurance Litigation
Legal 500

Overview

Jane Childs is a partner in the Insurance & Reinsurance practice of the London office. She is "highly experienced” in insurance and reinsurance litigation (UK Legal 500, 2017) handling complex, high value claims across a range of FI, D&O and W&I matters. She also heads up the UK Pensions Risk Transfer Group, advising on bulk annuity and insurance longevity swap transactions and is regarded as “exceptionally collaborative with a solutions focused approach” to her work in this sector (UK Legal 500, 2020).

Financial lines
Jane is recognised in UK Legal 500, 2012 as an “expert in financial lines” and regarded by insurance clients as an "outstanding lawyer" for her "market appreciation, thoroughness and gravitas" (The Gracechurch London Market Insurance Law Report, 2016).  Jane is acknowledged in UK Legal 500, 2020 as a ‘Leading Individual’ for Insurance and Reinsurance Litigation.    

Jane has been at the forefront of advising the FI insurance market on rate-fixing scandals, prospectus liability issues and a range of retail mis-selling and misconduct claims for the past two decades. She also handles significant D&O claims, often involving US securities class action exposure, wide-ranging regulatory investigations and complex offshore trust and administration liability issues.

Jane works closely with W&I insurers, drawing on her audit and accounting knowledge to advise on coverage, as well as loss and valuation issues. She is also advising public liability insurers on 'silent cyber liability cover' arising from an international data breach incident resulting in regulatory investigations and third party damages claims.

Jane has defended asset/fund managers against claims for breach of investment mandates and fund mismanagement; defended private banks for breach of mandate claims; and represents offshore service providers in connection with administrator and director disputes.

Pensions Risk Transfer
Jane has considerable experience advising pensions trustees on pensions de-risking transactions, including bulk annuity (buy-in and buyout) policies and longevity insurance swaps. She leads the UK Pensions Risk Transfer Group, which includes lawyers from the firm's pensions, banking & finance, insolvency & restructuring and insurance practices.

Jane recently represented the trustees of the National Grid Electricity Group of the Electricity Supply Pension Scheme on a fully intermediated longevity swap transaction with Zurich, covering pension liabilities worth more than £2 billion. The insurance swap features sophisticated title transfer and fixed security collateral arrangements and has been structured to ease conversion into a buy-in or buyout of pension scheme liabilities with a bulk annuity provider, if desired in the future.

Jane also represented the trustees of the Total UK Pension Plan who insured £1.6 billion of pensioner liabilities with Pension Insurance Corporation (PIC) in June 2014. This is one of the UK industry's largest bulk annuity deals and the size of the transaction required the implementation of an innovative structure with PIC.

Jane's pensions work also involves advising on legal issues associated with different de-risking strategies and pension trustee liability run-off insurance in the context of winding up.

Professional Liability
Jane also has experience of defending accountants and auditors in relation to claims for negligence and misrepresentation arising out of audits, share valuations, corporate transactions and property appraisals.

Jane was previously part of the litigation team representing Coopers & Lybrand in large scale commercial litigation arising out of the audits of the Maxwell group of companies and subsequently spent time on secondment with the Office of General Counsel at PwC UK, working as a Legal Adviser and Risk Management lawyer for the Tax and Legal Services business. Jane has considerable experience working with the captive of a major accounting firm, managing offshore professional liability claims brought against trustees in respect of investment mandate and fund management issues.

Spoken Languages

  • English

Experience

Financial Lines - Insurance

  • Advising PI and D&O insurers on coverage for consumer redress schemes set up to deal with mis-selling and misconduct across the UK insurance and banking sectors; sums involved exceed several hundred million pounds.
  • Providing coverage and strategy advice to insurers of D&O and prospectus (POSI) insurance for a UK retail bank whose directors face billions of dollars of claims in the US and the UK as well as global regulatory investigations.
  • Advising D&O insurers of a national commercial operation on insurance issues arising from prospectus liability claims under s90 FSMA and related regulatory investigations.
  • Advising insurers of private equity funds on the response of Civil Liability and D&O policies as a result of litigation in Canada and the Bahamas in connection with trust asset management and fund administration services.
  • Advising insurers on D&O Policy issues in connection with the position of outside entity directors of an international telecommunications company, who are facing fraudulent trading and breach of fiduciary duty claims in the US, London and Luxembourg, in excess of €1billion.
  • Advising D&O insurers on response of policy issued to high profile global commodities trader who faces US Class Actions and DOJ investigations into possible bribery and corruption.
  • Advising insurers on notification and aggregation issues in connection with the collapse of European property markets and the suspension of property investment funds.
  • Acting for UK insurers pursuing claims against Australian coverholder writing risks outside the terms of their authority.
  • Advising insurers of public liability policy and 'silent cyber' cover in respect of international data breach incident resulting in regulatory investigations and third party damages/breach of Data Protection Act claims.
  • Advising W&I insurers on a myriad of claims relating to the accounting treatment of accounts receivable, warranty reserves, inventory, compliance with global data privacy laws and US customs requirements, and multi-jurisdictional tax liabilities.

Financial Lines - Defence 

  • Defending offshore service providers based in the Isle of Man against claims against directors in connection with pledges of company assets and priority of creditor claims brought in the BVI.
  • Defending asset managers against claims re non-suitability and mis-selling, negligent investment advice and negligent fund management.
  • Defending a London based private bank against claims that accounts were operated in alleged breach of mandate, giving rise to millions of pounds worth of losses.

Pensions Risk Transfer

  • Advising UK pensions trustees on 2018 £550m buy-in for pensioners and deferreds on a full (all risks) basis.
  • Advising the trustees of the National Grid Electricity Group of the Electricity Supply Pension Scheme on a fully intermediated longevity swap transaction with Zurich in 2018, covering pension liabilities worth more than £2 billion.
  • Advising trustee in use of innovative umbrella structure for 2017 buy-in of pensioner liabilities as well as potential future tranches of pensioners and deferreds.
  • Representing pension trustees in negotiations for issue of a Deed Poll in lieu of individual policies to facilitate early winding up of a Pension Scheme.
  • Advising pension trustees on potential exposures after winding-up and consequential considerations for trustee liability run-off insurance.
  • Advising offshore reinsurer on legal risks associated with writing longevity insurance policies for UK Pension Schemes.
  • Advising the trustee board of the Total UK Pensions Plan on their insurance of £1.6 billion of pensioner liabilities with Pensions Insurance Corporation in June 2014.
  • Advising trustees of the Home Retail Group Pension Scheme on their £278 million buy-in with Prudential in 2011, as well as their second buy-in with Prudential in November 2013, and, more recently, the impact of the transfer of PRIL's insurance business to PAC under Part VII FSMA.
  • Advising the trustee board of the Meat & Livestock Commission Pension Scheme on their £150 million bulk annuity buy-in policy with Aviva in 2011; their second buy-in with Aviva in July 2013; and a third medically underwritten buy-in early 2016.

Professional Liability

  • Advising excess layer professional indemnity insurers on aggregation issues arising out of a dishonest solicitor's conduct across a range of client transactions over several years, resulting in losses in excess of EUR20million.
  • Representing a London based partner of a US law firm against allegations they acted on a share placement without disclosing a conflict of interest, giving rise to a damages claim against the firm of £33 million.
  • Defending audit firm Sephton & Co against negligence claims arising out of the annual audits of the accounts of a fraudulent sole practitioner solicitor (the case went to the House of Lords on important issues of limitation in connection with professional negligence claims: Law Society v Sephton & Co (a firm) [2006] UKHL22).

Education

University of Auckland, BCom/LLB (Hons)

Admissions

  • England and Wales
  • New Zealand (Barrister and Solicitor)

Memberships

  • Associate Member of the Association of Pension Lawyers (APL)
  • The Association of Regulatory & Disciplinary Lawyers
  • Listed as a 'Leading Individual' for Insurance and Reinsurance Litigation and under 'Other key lawyers, 'Jane Childs specialises on financial lines and transactional liability claims'. She 'has an exceptionally collaborative style, with a solutions focused approach.' (Legal 500 2020)
  • “highly experienced” in insurance and reinsurance litigation (UK Legal 500 2017)
  • Recognised as an Outstanding Lawyer for her “market appreciation, thoroughness and gravitas” (The Gracechurch London Market Insurance Law Report, 2016)
  • An “expert in financial lines” (UK Legal 500, 2012)
  • "Responsive, accessible, and down to earth" (UK Legal 500, 2010)
  • "First class" (UK Legal 500, 2007)