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Aside from being one of the few reinsurance lawyers actually based in Washington, D.C., David Raim is also a kind of entrepreneur. The practice group he now co-chairs at Chadbourne & Parke is his second legal startup. Raim, who arrived at Chadbourne & Parke in 1989, has built the practice from zero to more than 30 attorneys who primarily focus on reinsurance issues in the United States and the United Kingdom. In essence, they advise on the business of insuring insurance companies. To best serve his clients, Raim, 53, spends much more time in arbitrations and mediations than in court. In addition to handling large reinsurance disputes, he also counsels clients on contract wording, regulatory issues, and corporate matters. His clients include Zurich Financial Services, United National Group, RenaissanceRe, and Atlantic Mutual. Most recently, Raim has been representing reinsurers in a series of major investigations by the New York state attorney general into accounting irregularities and improper finite-reinsurance transactions at major insurance carriers. In those investigations generally, the state has reached settlements for millions in restitution and penalties. “He brings an insight and practicality that you don’t find in the competition,” says a large reinsurance company’s spokesman, who did not want to be named. “That’s rare in our industry.” Raim is one of the few insurance lawyers who started his career focused on insurance law. Fresh out of law school, he began handling reinsurance cases at the firm now known as LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae, first in the New York office and then the D.C. outpost. “I went into the insurance area, particularly litigation, because I thought I could get hands-on experience more quickly,” he recalls. “That was right.” Craving a more entrepreneurial environment, Raim left LeBoeuf, Lamb in September 1986 to launch a reinsurance practice at Hughes Hubbard & Reed with one other associate. It was another smart move. “Managing to basically be out on my own without that many safety nets and developing a practice and then being made a partner was significant,” says Raim. An important early client was Republic Insurance Group, a Dallas-based company that sold insurance and reinsurance policies. After Raim had worked on several cases for the company, it hired him in the late 1980s to handle all of its reinsurance matters. One case involving hundreds of millions of dollars stretched from 1991 to 1995 and took him to courts in New York and Texas. He dealt with contract disputes, tort claims, and accusations of accounting irregularities. “It was very complex and very important to the client,” he recalls. “It involved a great deal of money, and we prevailed at the end of the day.” In the early 1980s, Raim took a two-year break from reinsurance law to serve as assistant director of the national law department at the Anti-Defamation League, focusing on church-state and other constitutional law. He drafted what became the league’s model hate-crimes statute, which has since been enacted in many states.

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