Zurich North America creates new place to handle tort reform

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Zurich North America announced the appointment of Allen Kirsh (pictured above) as Head of Legal, Justice and Legislative Affairs. He reports to Paul Lavelle, Zurich North America’s Chief Claims Officer.

In the newly created role, Kirsh will be responsible for developing and executing a claims-driven strategy to influence the judicial and legislative agendas in major US jurisdictions. This includes advocating legislative changes in line with crime reform issues, assisting judges and lawmakers who reconcile industrial and social interests, and working with business leaders and trade associations to promote a fair trial for the lawsuit, Zurich said.

“For years, a well-funded bar association has undermined crime reform across the country to allow for larger jury verdicts and attorney fees,” Lavelle said. “It is time the business community involved our government officials more actively to enable a fair and transparent application process. The appointment of Allen to this key role shows that Zurich stands ready to lead the industry’s efforts to create a level playing field inside and outside the courtroom. “

Kirsh will work closely with Zurich’s Government and Regulatory Relations and Corporate Law team, as well as working with external partners such as brokers, clients, trade associations, other insurers and defense-oriented groups on issues related to the judicial and legislative claims process.

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Kirsh has been with Zurich since 2002 and has been Head of Claims Staff Legal for the company since August 2019. Prior to that, he held numerous management positions in claims management and operations, claims quality assurance and strategic planning. He also served as the chief of staff for claims.

“Zurich is committed to helping our customers manage their risk,” said Kristof Terryn, CEO of Zurich North America. “In creating this critical role, we are in a leadership position that will drive a fairer and more sustainable legal future. We look forward to working with our clients as well as brokers and others in the insurance industry in this endeavor. “

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