Leading Adviser Awards 2020

44 Acquisition International - Leading Adviser 2020 Acquisition International - Issue 7 2020 27 Mar20267 Leading Insurance & Reinsurance Lawyer of the Year - British Columbia Harmon C. Hayden is an internationally recognised insurance & reinsurance lawyer serving clients across British Columbia. As one of AI’s leading advisors of 2020, we got in touch with Harmon to find out more. fter decades as the chair of insurance law at prominent law firms, Harmon created his own practice to focus on insurance, reinsurance and complex commercial litigation. To start, Harmon gives us a brief overview of his firm and its typical client base. “My insurance law practice is international in scope, with international associations and facilities around the world, coupled with Swiss, American and Canadian citizenship. Typically, my client base includes provincial, national, international insurers and government bodies. Travelling is part and parcel of my job as I travel to London, Europe and the U.S to see clients. “I cover a wide spectrum of issues such as D&O and E&O liability, class actions, construction disputes, product liability, professional liability, commercial and social host liability, recreation risks, cyber risks, landslides and subsidence, sexual abuse claims and major loss casualty cases.” Through working remotely Harmon has been able to provide excellent service to his clients, working on some of the largest cases in Canadian history. He added, “We need not strive for quantity. Our practice is more bespoke, and we are able to focus on quality with the best of clients. Client relationships are based on utmost good faith and a culture of integrity rather than mutual distrust.” As a lawyer, Harmon remains at the cutting-edge of technology to both communicate with and attract new clients, he explains, “I have worked with some of my clients for decades and continue to serve as Chief Counsel for some. I use social media such as LinkedIn extensively to stay in touch with my colleagues and to promote our services to new clients.” By also working with some of the leading counsel and insurance executives across the world, he has gained vast experience in insurance law, picking the brains of those who have seen it all before. As a small law practice, trying to compete against bigger firms can be quite a daunting challenge, however with the recent outbreak of COVID 19 the industry is having to learn new ways of working as Harmon confirms. “The primary challenge is to convince new clients that the size of the firm does not equate to the quality of our services. We have truly amazing flexibility to respond to any challenge that may arise based on our international networks and relationships. Working electronically, A we are able to respond with alacrity to demands. Client portals are available so that clients can access all the relevant materials at anytime from anywhere. With the present viral crisis, our industries are learning new ways to work, and we can lead the way. Embrace change.” Professionalism is the buzzword when it comes to describing the working culture in place as Harmon goes on to explain. “With a culture based on professionalism and good faith, we have few secrets. We share information freely with each other and integrate our people with clients, promoting them on a steady basis.” Although he is open to recruiting new talent, Harmon doesn’t want to move away from the core strengths of the firm as he goes on to explain. “We are always open to new talent, but we are not insistent on growth and the primary focus should be on quality service for global special risks and this will not be sacrificed.” Finally, Harmon comments on the future of the firm and discusses what’s in store for 2020 and beyond. “We plan to increase our international presence on a global scale, particularly in London, Europe, the U.S and China. Going forward, we will also continue to participate in our international associations and publish on a regular basis on any changes in the law. Due to the outbreak of COVID 19, I’ve also had to cancel travel plans to London, Paris and Zurich but such plans can wait for a safer time.” Contact Name: Harmon Hayden Telephone Number: 1-778-469-0688 Address: 1818 Gardiner Road, Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada, V2C 6V8 Web Address: www.haydenlaw.ca Leading Insurance and einsurance Lawyer of the Year, British Columbia