With technology inevitably impacting how the business of insurance is done, firms are finding ways to keep up.
In response to the advancements, global law firm Clyde & Co has launched a consultancy to advise clients – insurers included – on aspects related to smart contracts, blockchain, and distributed ledger technologies.
Called Clyde Code, the consultancy will provide services including smart contract creation, existing contract enhancement, contract verification, contract enforcement and dispute resolution, as well as forensic investigations in relation to smart contract failures.
“Smart contracts are coded instructions which execute on the occurrence of an event, often using a blockchain or other related technology to record and enact it,” explained Clyde & Co.
Citing an example, the law firm said: “Smart contracts allow for insurance monies to be transferred virtually immediately on the occurrence of an event – such as travel insurance paying out following a flight delay.”
The new consultancy will cover both the technical and legal aspects of smart contracts. The legal side will be handled by a Clyde & Co team led by partners Lee Bacon and Nigel Brook in London, Sally Sfeir Tait in Abu Dhabi, and Christina Terplan in San Francisco.
As for the technical aspect, Gary Nuttall – independent consultant on smart contract, blockchain, and distributed ledger technologies – will be the lead technical consultant. He will be supported by the independent advisory group Team Blockchain.
“Blockchain provides the rails that smart contracts run on and together they have the potential to radically change and simplify legal contracts and transactions,” noted Bacon. “But legal and technical advice is needed to ensure that workable agreements are reached and enforced.”
He said legal advice cannot operate in a vacuum, especially around technology and concepts that are so fast-moving. The aim is to bridge the gap between the legal and technical aspects of implementation.
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