With London’s insurance business heading a global industry that emerged strongly from the recent financial crisis, Queen Mary, University of London, has become the first UK university to offer a postgraduate degree in Insurance Law.
While some LLM (Master of Laws) programmes at other universities offer Insurance Law options, Queen Mary’s course – to be introduced in September 2012 - is the first to specialise in the discipline.
Professor Philip Rawlings, an expert in the field and co-author of leading student text Insurance Law: Doctrines and Principles, established the course with the aim of filling a significant gap in the current academic and professional training market in the UK and Europe.
London can be described as the world centre for insurance, primarily because of the presence of Lloyd's – the insurance market providing insurance services in over 200 countries and territories. Europe is the industry leader, followed by the US and Asia, with a market growing rapidly in parts of Asia and developing economies. Queen Mary’s new LLM addresses the need for expertise in insurance law as the industry grows.
The industry’s importance to international commercial activity is clear, with one estimate suggesting that global premiums (payments made to companies by those taking out insurance cover) reached $4.3trillion in 2010.
It is insurance law that shapes litigation when, for example, a car crash occurs, a ship sinks, or an oil leak pollutes the coastline. An understanding of insurance law is also vital in the debate about how much health care the state should provide and how much should be obtained through private insurance - an ongoing and particularly controversial issue in the US.
Professor Rawlings comments: “An understanding of insurance and insurance law is a vital part of any lawyer's education. The influence of insurance can be seen in the way it shapes other areas of law by the simple fact that much litigation is, in effect, between insurance companies.”
The programme’s teaching will largely take place near the hub of London’s insurance business, at Queen Mary’s Lincoln’s Inn Fields campus - home to the Centre for Commercial law Studies (CCLS) at QM’s School of Law.
The site is close to the Royal Courts of Justice and the City’s main financial centre, offering unprecedented access to the insurance market’s biggest names. Students will have the opportunity to visit both Lloyd’s of London and the head offices of some of the world’s most important insurance companies.
The course will cover a range of areas, with modules also open to students taking other specialisms. Subjects include the general principles of insurance contract, regulation of insurance business, accident and life assurance and insurance in the construction, motor and marine industries.
Teaching is undertaken by the Insurance Law Institute, a research institute within the CCLS. Professor Rawlings will lead the programme with further teaching from QM lecturers Anne Flanagan and Dr Georgosouli Andromachi. Some of London’s leading practitioners, such as Lloyd’s solicitor Kevin Lazarus and former Lloyd’s Counsel Julian Burling, will also contribute.
For further information on Queen Mary, University of London’s LLM in Insurance Law visit: http://www.law.qmul.ac.uk/postgraduate/llm/programmes/insurance/index.html
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