By James Candappa.
Recently, we’ve seen real development in P&I Club opportunities across the APAC region.
Previously it was common practice to have a ‘global hub’ of operation in the UK or Scandinavia with satellite offices in Asia being mostly focused on strategic marketing rather than handling claims.
However, members expectations of quality service are changing, and the Clubs seem to be adapting rapidly. A skeleton office in Asia, simply to show presence in the market, is no longer seen as good enough.
This is leading to the opening of Club offices in multiple locations across Asia with more comprehensive offerings in place so that members can have local access to quality service.
Both Singapore and Hong Kong are already well developed in this regard with most of the IG clubs housing offices in both locations. However, we are seeing the continued development of offices in mainland China and Japan with a requirement to get closer to members and develop relationships further in these markets.
Over and above this, the quality and level of legal work undertaken in-house at the Clubs is continuing to strengthen. This means that the style and complexity of work that you can expect in a Club is also developing – as is the commercial offering of the Clubs.
In my opinion, this means top quality lawyers are increasingly seeing an opportunity with a Club as a highly attractive option. Not only are you closer to the members (in terms of direct contact to the industry), but the work itself is more interesting and has a commercial flavour that is hard to achieve in Private Practice.
It’s great to see the modernisation of the P&I market and the Clubs in the region enhancing their offerings.
If you are keen to discuss the Club market in APAC, please do get in touch.