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Job Title: VP & Legal Counsel (Insurance) - Surety and Warranty Claims (Toronto) ( ID: A6735 )
Career Category: Business Affairs, Claims, In-house, In-house Counsel, Insurance
Posted Date: 2014-11-08
Location: Downtown Toronto
Our client, one of the leading insurance companies in commercial property-liability insurance and asset management services in North America is seeking a VP & Legal Counsel, Surety and Warranty Claims to join its Toronto team.

The successful candidate will have 10+ years in claim, management and insurance experience with advanced knowledge of claim business and be responsible and accountable for developing the strategy, direction, workflow and quality of the Surety/Warranty Claim team in Canada.


Reporting to the Head of Claims, Canada, the VP and Legal Counsel, Surety and Warranty Claims will focus on providing efficient and cost effective claim management, developing industry experts from a technical and management perspective and leading underwriting support.

As an extended member of the Enterprise Bond Claim Product team, and serving on the Canadian Claim Executive Management Team, the successful candidate will also be charged with managing significant litigation that has the potential for high exposure and visibility, while overseeing and evaluating national trends, performing historical reviews on large claims and collaborating with Underwriting and Actuarial in portfolio analysis for market segments or individual products.

In addition, the successful candidate will proactively manage tendered litigation and will also act as a Surety/Warranty Ambassador to the organization’s various business leaders, agents, brokers and clients and effectively represents the perspective of the business.


The following make up the various components to this role:
1. Claim Management
2. Legal Support
3. Strategic Planning/Operations Management
4. Human Resource Management

- Develop, communicate, and execute claim philosophy and strategic initiatives for a market/product segment or region based on the goals of the organization.
- Litigation management and provide guidance and make decisions on claims where the exposure is open-ended or exceeds the authority limits of employees within the organization.
- Oversee and evaluate national trends, perform historical reviews on large claims, and collaborate with underwriting
- Ensure that senior management, underwriters and actuaries are apprised of high-exposure/high-sensitivity losses, claim trends, legal decisions, and issues which may impact the product lines underwriting philosophy and overall industry.
- Approvals of Large Loss Memos, Quarterly Claim Reports, and other senior management reports for Claim Business Unit or Product/Regional team.
- Establish standards and policies for business line to ensure rigorous management of ALAE & ULAE.
- Involved with claims settlements, reserve changes, and expense/indemnity payment requests from direct reports and other unit claims professionals (e.g. BCMS approvals).
- Lead support to aspects of underwriting relating to indemnity, risk management, collateral, restructuring/unwinding of high risk account(s), bankruptcy matters/run-off coverages, new account(s) and business initiatives, as applicable to the Business Unit.
- Act as the industry expert by identifying and advising management on legal and regulatory issues that have the potential to impact the industry.
- Represent the organization on sensitive claim matters
- Oversee the selection of panel counsel to ensure that claims are proactively managed consistent with the company’s claim philosophy while ensuring the best financial results for Bond.
- Proactively manage tendered litigation to ensure that Bond financial interests are being protected by tendered counsel.


- Review and analyze bond forms and provide legal advice and risk analysis to underwriting.
- Draft and negotiate indemnity agreements and riders [Surety].
- Provide oversight and direction for high quality, cost-effective legal support to our business partners by ensuring proper staffing, skill and performance levels of legal team and through mentoring and coaching attorneys on issues presented
- Review complex transactional documents and provide legal advice and risk analysis to business partners.
- Review complex/significant customer contracts and advise underwriting and business partners of legal risks of contract language to Bond.
- Provide legal advice on litigation strategies on all litigation. Manage complex and higher severity litigation.
- Provide research on legal issues for business partners and claim team.
- Draft or oversee team leads in drafting internal topic documents (e.g., white papers, 50 state surveys).
- Maintain current knowledge of relevant legal issues and trends in the surety/ management liability market place through review of legal publications and attendance at industry events.


- Provide oversight and direction for claim handling by ensuring the staffing, skill, and performance levels of employees support the claim volume and severity of claims to be managed.
- Work with Corporate Communications to respond to media inquiries on issues and claims for business line.
- Represent the Organization as an industry expert at conferences and with outside organizations


- Prepare effective performance and development plans for Managing Directors and/or Managing Claim Counsel/Executives, make final Claim Business Unit or Product/Regional team promotion and authority level recommendations to VP Claim Canada.
- Lead the annual compensation process by communicating corporate goals to the Managing Directors and Managing Claim Counsel/Executives communicate them) and reviewing overall compensation submission to ensure the goals have met the objectives.
- Coach and collaborate with Managing Directors and Managing Claim Counsel/Executives in all aspects of human resources, strategic initiatives, and operations.
- Assure effective allocation and utilization of employees across the organization.



The Successful Candidate will:

•Have 10 + years of experience in claim, management and insurance experience with advanced knowledge of claim business

•LLB or Juris Doctor from an accredited law school with approximately 6 to 10 years of prior legal experience.

•Must be a member in good standing of the Law Society of Upper Canada

•Ability to work independently but in a collaborative manner with other business units.


•Highly Superior proficiency in all assigned Bond.

•Ability to utilize all Bond technology tools proficiently.

•Excellent communication skills

•Possesses strong and demonstrable negotiating and conflict resolution skills



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