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lawyer providing legal advice

GBH Law assists UIA Mutual to navigate the intricacies of a solvent winding-up

Our corporate lawyer Kate Doody assists UIA Mutual, an insurance company in the United Kingdom, to navigate the intricacies of a solvent winding-up.

With circa 70,000 members, UIA Mutual provided home, travel, car, and pet insurance, and general insurance products to members of the trade union movement and other not-for-profit organisations.

UIA Mutual first started working with Kate Doody at GBH Law in December 2019 when they were looking for more a cost-effective solution for their day-to-day legal requirements. A former colleague of Kate’s at Ashurst LLP, a large corporate and commercial international law firm based in London, who had been advising UIA on all legal matters, introduced Kate to the then CFO and CEO and, as they say, the rest is history!

Since 2019, Kate has taken on the role of a quasi-in-house lawyer, advising UIA on commercial contracts and Union partner contracts, as well as data protection and other commercial matters. GBH Law also provided support on the property side, with Kathryn Shaw advising on the new lease of UIA’s offices in Stevenage, and on the employment side, with Andrea Tishler advising on several sensitive employment matters.

In 2022 UIA announced that it would stop taking on new business or renewals from 15 July 2022, and members agreed at the AGM in September 2022 to enter a solvent run-off process. The winding-up process will take another 24 months and will likely be complete in 2025.

Closing down an insurer is a complex process that requires various commercial agreements to be unwound in different ways- no two contracts can be treated the same. Above all, UIA Mutual has to ensure that the runoff is solvent, which impacts the way in which some of the contracts are dealt with. To help navigate this complex process, and to keep legal costs to a reasonable level, UIA Mutual turned to GBH Law, and in particular, to Kate Doody.

Kate has worked together with Ashurst advising UIA Mutual on the transfer of assets and the novation or assignment of contracts, data protection matters, outsourcing arrangements, and the termination Union partner contracts and other commercial contracts. Kate’s tenacity and ownership have been crucial in ensuring that the process has gone without instance to date. Kathryn Shaw has also advised on property aspects of the winding up and Andrea Tishler has assisted on the employment law side.

“Kate’s experience and the way she works has always made the experience of working with her a positive one. She has been representing UIA Mutual since 2019, and her expertise and ability to work well with all our employees as well as other law firms has been an excellent experience and remains highly valued.”

Jon Goodchild, Ceo, UIA Mutual.

Throughout the winding-up process, Kate has worked collaboratively with her counterparts at Ashurst, who have provided specialist regulatory, restructuring, and pension transaction advice. Kate works well together with other firms, she knows when to give her input and then when to stop, which is really helpful if you’re dealing with complex transactions but want to keep legal fees to a reasonable level.

“Kate is superb. It’s extremely rare that she’s unable to turn something around in the sort of timescales that we need, and she just takes strong ownership of ensuring that we get the best kind of solution possible in the time and the costs that have been agreed upon. It works extremely well. We’ve had some terrific support from GBH Law over the last three and a half years. Having access to somebody who you can trust and who understands your business is crucial.

And that’s one of the key things that Kate certainly does. We’re impressed.”

Jon Goodchild, Ceo, UIA Mutual.

Find out more about the GBH Law corporate team and how they can help your firm navigate complex corporate and commercial needs here. Alternatively, call our specialist corporate lawyer Kate Doody on 01483 421234 or email her