Canadian Underwriter

Global insurance law firm expands its Canadian presence

June 23, 2021   by David Gambrill

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Global insurance law firm Clyde & Co will be entering the B.C. market through a merger with SHK Law Corporation in B.C., effective July 1.

The terms of the merger were not disclosed. B.C.’s property and casualty insurance market is the fourth-largest insurance market in Canada, accounting for more than $6.7 billion in direct premiums written in 2020, according to Canadian Underwriter‘s forthcoming 2021 Stats Guide, per MSA Canada statistics.

“In SHK Law, we are joining forces with a firm with whom our existing Canadian offices share a common culture, vision, and practice focus,” Matthew Kelsall, CEO of Clyde & Co, commented. “The team has a leading reputation in both insurance and construction, which will further bolster our leadership positions in these sectors globally and benefit our clients in Canada, North America, and beyond.”

Founded in Vancouver in 1991, SHK began as a highly specialized construction and insurance law firm. It has since grown into a multi-practice firm with experience in more than 25 practice areas across nine major industries.

SHK Law has six partners and 18 lawyers in total. Areas of expertise include E&O and D&O, product liability, construction disputes, and commercial litigation. They provide advice to a range of professionals, including architects, engineers, actuaries, insurance brokers, owners, contractors, and insurers.

Clyde & Co is an internationally recognized insurance law firm specializing in sectors that underpin global trade and commercial activity — including insurance, transport, infrastructure, energy, and trade and commodities. It first launched in Canada in 2011 through a merger with boutique insurance firm NPM and the opening of offices in Montreal and Toronto.

Clyde & Co in Canada now acts for both domestic and international insurers, especially the London market. The opening of a Vancouver office extends the law firm’s presence into the west of the country.

For Craig Wallace, a partner at SHK Law, and the future managing partner at Clyde & Co’s Vancouver Office, the deal offered SHK Law to scale up its services to an international level.

“Joining Clyde & Co’s global network is a natural and exciting move for us,” he said of the deal. “Our culture and approach, our sector focus and expertise, and our client bases align well.  We are looking forward to making the most of the global platform Clyde & Co provides, for the benefit of our clients and our lawyers. Everyone at SHK is thrilled to be joining the Clyde & Co team.”

Strategically, the deal allows Clyde & Co to beef up its construction law offering “in a region which has a thriving infrastructure sector and a wealth of natural resources,” as Carolena Gordon, partner and chair of Clyde & Co’s North American Board, put it in a public statement about the merger.


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