Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright today announced the arrival of a four-person insurance corporate regulatory team, comprised of partner Robert Romano, counsel Jonathan Bank and insurance specialists Al Bottalico and Stewart Keir. Joining from Locke Lord, Romano and Keir will practice in Norton Rose Fulbright's New York office, and Bank and Bottalico will be based in the firm's Los Angeles office.
The team brings additional US and Latin America capabilities to Norton Rose Fulbright’s renowned global insurance practice, which has leading practices in the UK, Australia, Singapore and South Africa as well as continental Europe. The team expands the firm's longstanding work in the US on contentious matters to include all types of noncontentious mandates and the full range of regulatory advice.
Romano has extensive experience with insurance regulatory and corporate matters. He has assisted clients in numerous M&A, corporate finance and restructuring transactions, with special attention to methods of entry into new and specialty markets for domestic and international insurers. Romano spent two years in the London office of a prior law firm assisting the Corporation of Lloyd's and clients in the Lloyd's and company markets. He frequently attends meetings of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and has recently contributed to rule-making deliberations on reinsurance reform, Insurance Business Transfers and Corporate Divisions. Romano is the third US lateral partner to join the corporate, M&A and securities practice in the past month, following Rajiv Khanna and Eric Rauch.
Bank's practice focuses on reinsurance/insurance matters, insurance company restructuring and regulatory related matters (credit for reinsurance/collateral) for both the domestic and foreign/alien as well as captive insurance markets. He spent three years employed by UK market participants, including one of the major accountancy firms, working on a number of major UK insurer liquidations. He is actively involved in the run-off industry, involving both Corporate Division and Insurance Business Transfer statutes.
Keir and Bottalico are non-lawyer insurance financial and regulatory specialists. They both served in senior positions in insurance regulatory agencies in the US. Keir, who is also a chartered property and casualty underwriter (CPCU), served for 32 years in the New York Insurance Department (now the Insurance Division of the New York Department of Financial Services), his last position being that of Assistant Deputy Superintendent and Chief Insurance Examiner. Bottalico served for 38 years in the California Insurance Department ending his service as Deputy Insurance Commissioner of the Financial Surveillance Branch. They assist clients with all aspects of insurance regulation and analysis, including statutory accounting, auditing, compliance and liaising with state insurance regulators.
Jeff Cody, Norton Rose Fulbright's US Managing Partner, said:
"Robert, Jonathan, Al and Stewart are all seasoned professionals in insurance law who are also highly regarded in the regulatory community. Their practices blend well with our existing insurance capabilities and also supplement our overall strength in the financial institutions sector in the US and globally."
Scarlet McNellie, Norton Rose Fulbright's US Head of Corporate, M&A and Securities, said:
"The regulatory landscape is everchanging, and insurers rely on our global team to advise them on complex issues. Robert, Jonathan, Al and Stewart have impressive experience which expands Norton Rose Fulbright's service offerings for our insurance industry clients, especially in the highly-regulated US insurance market."
Romano, who has extensive experience in the Brazilian market, said:
"Norton Rose Fulbright has an unmatched global reach that will greatly benefit my international practice, especially in Brazil. I'm excited to join the US insurance regulatory team and get a chance to expand our practice with colleagues across the globe."
Bank, who worked for Chadbourne & Parke before its 2017 combination with Norton Rose Fulbright, said:
"I have practiced together with many lawyers at Norton Rose Fulbright for a long time, and moving our practice to this world-class firm is a great opportunity for our team and our clients."
Both Romano and Bank are licensed in New York, and Bank is also licensed in California. Romano earned his law degree from New York University School of Law and his bachelor's degree cum laude from Harvard College. Bank earned his law degree from Creighton University School of Law and his bachelor's degree from the University of Oklahoma. Bottalico received his bachelor's degree from California State University, Fullerton and Kier earned his bachelor's degree from Hunter College of the City University of New York.