Chris Garrod is a Director in the Bermuda Corporate practice.
Chris specialises in advising on Bermuda reinsurance structures and working with or forming large commercial insurers, life reinsurers, insurance captives, special purpose insurers and segregated account vehicles. In addition to his insurance practice, he also advises on all aspects of Bermuda corporate law, including mergers and acquisitions, takeovers, reorganisations and re-domestications.
Chris also advises on fintech, insurtech and digital transformation matters generally. He has worked with and advised clients who are interested in forming Bermuda cryptocurrency vehicles using blockchain-based technology.
He currently serves as an active member of the Bermuda Business Development Agency’s Fintech Legal and Regulatory Sub-committee and he is a director of the Association of Bermuda International Companies. He also serves as a director of the Bermuda Foundation of Insurance Studies.
With over 25 years of experience working in Bermuda’s reinsurance market, Chris acts for a number of large commercial insurers/reinsurers including Assured Guaranty, AXA SA, Brit Reinsurance, Essent Re, Everest Re, Resolution Life, White Mountains Insurance Group and Zurich Insurance Group.
He has also been involved in the formation of a number of segregated account “alternative” reinsurance and ILS platforms, acting for reinsurers, investment hedge funds, investment managers, pension plans, investment banks and listed companies. Additionally, he acts for numerous Lloyd’s syndicates which have Bermuda platforms. Finally, Chris sits on various reinsurance and captive boards in a non-executive capacity advising on Bermuda insurance regulatory and general corporate legal updates to those boards.
Internationally recognised as a leading lawyer, Chris has been recommended in a number of legal directories including Chambers Global and Legal 500, where clients note that his “main strengths are his responsiveness and depth of knowledge” and that he is “very knowledgeable about Bermuda regulations and has a good working relationship with the Bermuda Monetary Authority”.
- Acted for Resolution Life in its strategic partnership with Blackstone, including a US$500 million strategic investment, for its life insurance and annuity business.
- Advised J.P. Morgan in connection with a US$1.15 billion hybrid cat bond/loan transaction providing stop-loss reinsurance protection to Swiss Re.
- Acted for Essent Group Ltd. (NYSE: ESNT), in connection with its US$440 million public offering of an aggregate of 13,800,000 of its common shares.
- Advised on the formation of Resolution Re Ltd, a Bermuda Class E reinsurer and its parent, Resolution Life Group Holdings (RLGH), an insurance holding company focused on investing in legacy life insurance portfolios. RLGH secured commitments in excess of US$3 billion from a broad mix of global institutional investors.
- Acting for AXA in its US$15.3 billion acquisition of XL Group
- Acted for OneBeacon Insurance Group, Ltd. and White Mountains Insurance Group, Ltd. in connection with the US$1.7 billion acquisition of OneBeacon by Intact Financial Corporation.
- Advised Sirius International Group on the issuance of SEK 2.75 billion (approximately US$340 million) floating-rate callable subordinated notes, due 2047, the largest SEK insurance hybrid issuance to date.
- Acted for Bermuda based mortgage insurer and reinsurer Essent Group Ltd. in connection with providing Bermuda legal advice related to its US$200 million secondary public offering of five million common shares.
- Acted for Sears Holdings Corporation in connection with providing Bermuda insurance regulatory advice related to the sale of its Craftsman tool brand, valued at US$900 million, to Stanley Black & Decker.
- Acted for Lloyd’s syndicate Neon Underwriting in connection with the formation and licensing of Neon’s office in Bermuda.
- Advised Sirius International Group on the issuance of US$400 million senior notes due 2026, of which approximately two-thirds were allocated to leading institutional investors in Asia.
- Advised Somerset Reinsurance Ltd. on its US$375 million common share capitalization and registration as a Bermuda Class E life and annuity insurer.
- Acted as Bermuda counsel for White Mountains Insurance Group, Ltd. in connection with its sale of Sirius International Insurance Group to CM International.
- Trainee solicitor, Denton Hall
- The College of Law, Diploma in Law and Post-graduate Diploma in Legal Practice (with Commendation)
- University College London, Anthropology and Geography, B.A. (First Class Honors)
- Bermuda, 1998
- Solicitor, Supreme Court of England & Wales, 1997
Awards & Accolades
- Recognised in the 2023 edition (and since 2011) of Chambers Global (insurance)
- Recognised in the 2023 edition (and since 2014) of Legal 500 Caribbean (insurance/reinsurance)
- Recognised in the 2020 edition (and 2019) of Legal 500 Caribbean (corporate & commercial)
- Recognised in the 2015 edition (and since 2011) of Who’s Who Legal (insurance and reinsurance)
- Recognised in the 2015 edition of Legal Media Groups’ Expert Guides (insurance and reinsurance)
- Recognised in the 2010 edition of Chambers Global (corporate and finance)
- ILS Bermuda Steering Committee Member
- Bermuda Foundation of Insurance Studies Member