AIDA Europe held its inaugural conference in Hamburg on 23 May 2008 in association with the Insurance Committee of the International Bar Association. The conference was a complete sell-out with 200 delegates attending from all over Europe and beyond. The delegates were a mixture of private practice lawyers, in-house counsel, claims personnel, accountants, adjusters and other industry players. A pre-conference drinks reception hosted by Plesner Svane Gronborg was held on the eve of the conference and was well attended by delegates.
The conference began with two key note speeches. Wilhelm Zeller, Chairman of the Executive Board of Hannover Re, began by talking about the challenges facing the (re)insurance industry in Europe today (for a copy of the presentation see below). He identified over-regulation especially in the US and the UK, natural catastrophes, climate change and under reserving in respect of long-tail liabilities as being amongst the biggest challenges facing the industry.
Dennis Mahoney, Chairman of Aon Global, gave the second key note address on the topic of how the US and Bermuda view Europe.
Several lawyers and industry figures participated on panel discussions which took place throughout the conference on topics including: present and future risks-the latest developments and next big claims; class actions-will Europe have to face a US-style litigation culture in the future?; and cross border multi-jurisdictional disputes and how to manage them.
Professor Helmut Heiss, University of Zurich, and Professor Diana Cerini, University of MIlan, spoke on the work of the Innsbruck Group on Principles of European Insurance Contract Law. Professor Robert Merkin and Johanna Hjalmarsson of the University of Southampton, also gave a presentation on the European Intermediaries Directive. (See the delegate pack below for copies of these presentations)
For those who wanted to see more of Hamburg after the conference, a sight-seeing boat cruise was arranged and hosted by Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty on Saturday morning in glorious sunshine.
A copy of the delegate pack for this conference as well as the presentations are listed below: