Yes, I have a special expertise and interest in claims in Africa across insurance product lines such as property, energy, construction, financial and political risk. I have been instructed by some of the largest insurers in the world as well as private companies in jurisdictions such as Egypt, Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia as well as other French speaking African jurisdictions like Mali and Senegal.
My team and I regularly present to the insurance industry on emerging trends, regulatory landscape and claims management in Africa. We are able to do this because of our extensive experience as well as the diverse make-up of the Africa Desk at DWF.
We are very proud that our team consists of French, Portuguese and Arabic native speakers as well as of course English speakers. This makes us well placed to handle claims across the continent whether in Anglophone, Francophone or Lusophone jurisdictions. The team has some 20 years of experience working in Africa.
As just one example, our Africa Desk is able to call on the expertise of Souleymane Simpara, a Senior Associate in our Paris office who is Franco-Malian. As a second example, we have Ahmed Habib a Senior Associate in our Doha office who is Egyptian and very familiar with handling disputes in North Africa. These kinds of talented people allow us to combine country and industry expertise with on-the ground know how.
We have been involved in many coverage disputes as well as subrogated recoveries across lines of business in Africa. Many of these have been resolved through local litigation as well as ICC and Paris Chamber of International Arbitrations.
The Legal 500 has published testimonials in the past noting that both DWF's insurance and dispute resolution teams are very capable in Africa. For example, clients have said "DWF is reactive and has good knowledge of African countries."
Investment in Africa is accelerating in most but not all jurisdictions. We have seen very high investment in the energy sector as well as in the mining and natural resources industry. This inevitably leads to claims under CAR, Energy and Property policies which we deal with regularly.
So much is changing in Africa and it is a very dynamic continent but often, the challenges it faces are similar to those elsewhere. Data protection for example is a key area and the Algerian authorities have from 11 August 2023, stipulated that companies and organisations processing personal data must comply with Law 18-07 of 10 June 2018. Law No. 18-07 is inspired to some extent by the entry into force of the General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation (EU 2016/679). Insurers must be aware of these issues.
We closely monitor the development of parametric insurance in Africa. Parametric insurance is an index-based mechanism pursuant to which insured received an insurance indemnity whenever a pre-set criteria is met. It is usually a meteorological event (volume of rain, speed of wind) and very much ease the indemnification process. It develops quickly in Africa in a number of industries, such as agriculture, transport, tourism, energy.
More on this in the following interview (in French): Agriculture, transport, énergie, tourisme : et si l’avenir de l’Afrique était à l’assurance paramétrique ou indicielle ? Entretien croisé avec Romain Dupeyré et Souleymane Simpara de DWF - Opinion Internationale (opinion-internationale.com)