Noor Irshaidat L’23 is from Amman, Jordan. She graduated summa cum laude from Elon University with international business and international and global studies majors and leadership studies and economics minors.
Over the summer, I interned with Lockton Re in their Philadelphia office. Lockton Re is the world’s largest privately held insurance brokerage firm that supports businesses in their efforts to understand, mitigate, and capitalize on risk. The global property and casualty reinsurance industry provides financial protection in the event of artificial or naturally occurring events causing property damage or other damage and financial expense/loss (e.g., hurricane). At its most basic, reinsurance is insurance for insurance companies, where reinsurers agree by contract to indemnify insurance companies for a portion or all of the loss that the insurer may incur under the insurer’s policies. By covering the insurer against accumulated individual commitments, reinsurance allows the insurer more security for its equity and solvency. This thereby increases the insurer’s ability to withstand the potentially devastating financial burden when unusual and major catastrophic events occur. Lockton Re is a reinsurance intermediary broker. Insurance companies appoint reinsurance intermediary brokers to provide reinsurance intermediary broking and analytical services to assist with planning and development of reinsurance programs and to perform the solicitation, negotiation, and placement of the requested reinsurance on behalf of the insurer.
As an in-house legal intern at Lockton Re, I was able to learn about the global reinsurance industry and understand the role of a reinsurance intermediary broker. Moreover, I had the opportunity to view everything from the perspective of the legal department and perform in-house legal department work. At Lockton Re, the legal department works to provide advice on all legal, regulatory and compliance issues impacting a reinsurance intermediary broker. From exploring issues relating to cross-border expansion to hiring in different geographies around the world, I was able to see firsthand how a global business operates and the challenges that come with it. Having taken Contracts in the Fall, I was able to participate in discussions regarding reinsurance contracts and better understand the various sections of the contracts and how specific sections change to better accommodate the clients’ needs. Working at Lockton Re, a global company with people collaborating around the world, reinforced my interest in international law and tackling cross-border legal and regulatory issues.
My final internship project involved researching and presenting to client teams on the attorney-client privilege in a corporate setting. I provided a general introduction to the privilege and explained how fragile the privilege is and how it applies to confidential communications between an attorney and a client made for the purpose of obtaining or providing legal advice. I reemphasized the importance of the privilege and the steps that can be taken to maintain it.
Due to the virtual nature of work during the COVID-19 pandemic, I was able to also work with P.R.I.M.E. Finance in The Hague. P.R.I.M.E. Finance stands for the Panel of Recognized International Market Experts in Finance. It is an independent, not-for-profit charitable foundation with a mission to ensure that requisite expertise is available to anticipate and address any disputes that arise in the financial markets. Through addressing any disputes, PRIME helps reduce legal uncertainty and systematic risk, and fosters stability in a more authoritative body of law for world finance. My experience with P.R.I.M.E. was funded by the Global Justice Fellowship.
As a legal intern, I was assigned to work on a chapter about arbitration in banking and finance research. The chapter addresses the hesitation of companies, in the banking and finance sector, to seek arbitration as the avenue for dispute resolution. As a heavily regulated sector, the banking and finance sector usually requires greater understanding of the underlying regulatory framework and involves increasingly sophisticated and complex transactions. In addition, the developments in areas such as fintech and sustainable finance also present scope for new types of dispute. As the sector becomes more globalized, it is harder to rely solely on New York and London courts for dispute resolution, therefore arbitration will become the more suitable avenue, especially for cross-border banking and finance transactions. Similarly, companies are not as familiar with how arbitration changed over time to better accommodate parties with more autonomy, flexibility, and access to specialists.
Through this chapter I was able to learn more about international arbitration and further develop my research and writing skills to accommodate different purposes. Interestingly, the reinsurance industry primarily favors arbitration in the event of a dispute. At Lockton Re, I was exposed to sophisticated arbitration clauses in reinsurance contracts and learned that the industry prefers arbitration because the parties wish to have an arbitration panel of reinsurance industry professionals that understands the business and the custom and practices related thereto. I also supported the planning and organizing of a virtual event with Sandie Okoro, General Counsel of the World Bank. As an aspiring female lawyer, so many of the stories and insights Ms. Okoro shared resonated with me, especially the “can do” mindset, importance of storytelling, and the power of representation.
I am grateful for the opportunity to intern with two great organizations and explore two diverse areas of the legal field. Although the experiences were different, they both helped cultivate my connection to the legal field on a global stage and enabled me to get one step closer to the attorney I want to be.